Thursday, February 28, 2008

Owning It

Sometimes it amazes me when we fumble around with our actions. We are unsure of what we are supposed to do. Although we want to do them, we still have this sense of uncertainty, of being judged or seeming a bit wishy-washy because we don't know how we will be perceived.

In everything we do, we need to own it. By this I mean embrace it, take responsibility for it as yours. Walk into that room owning yourself, your walk, your talk. Write that book or story or poem and own those words. Don't think about them or if someone will like them--own them.

Own the way you drive, your decisions, your feelings, your thoughts.
Own it all.
Once you own it, yourself, you will truly be alive.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Finding Balance

Finding balance in our lives can be quite daunting. How do we juggle kids, home, work, relationships and still find time to be creative?

It's hard to sit down at the computer after ushering all the kids to bed when we'd rather sit down in front of the tube and drink tea.

How do we find balance in an unbalanced world? Everything takes time and effort. Here are a few suggestions.

1) Eat a proper diet. This has been drilled into us for ages now. We know that this is effective, but actually doing it is another thing. It does work, and it does require effort.

2) Adequate Rest. Another simple task. I certainly don't pay attention to this tip. I know I should, but there's so much to do.

3) Exercise. Maybe if there were 2 extra hours in the day, I might be able to squeeze it in there.

What it comes down to is deciding how important it is to you. And sometimes it means setting aside less important tasks for the really important ones. The dishes can wait, the laundry can wait, etc. It's definitely a process and definitely worth it.

View my article, Balance Your Life, Or Who Put Their Yin In My Yang for an interesting perspective.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Couch that Offered Inspiration

The 'Couch' (or sofa for those people not familiar with the term 'couch'. I'll use it interchangeably throughout the blog) that offered inspiration begins with this story...awhile ago, a local lifestyle magazine wanted me to write an article on a particular couch that a certain furniture store was selling. I don't know how I got picked for this article--I must have pulled the short straw without knowing it.They wanted 300 words on a damn sofa. How can I make a sofa sound absolutely great without using the words "comfy, green, and cushy" too many times?

I knew I had to think beyond the couch and what the couch does. I had to look past the whole issue that this is just something you sit on while watching TV and eating popcorn. (Usually the popcorn falls beneath the cushions and eventually you find it months later and vacuum it up. There also might be cash under there or dog hair or your watch and ring that your child hid there for fun.)The reality was I had to look past the sofa and into its roots.

Amazingly, sofas have roots. They go back hundreds of years when only royalty could sit on them. Once I discovered how far back the couch went, the writing was easy. I put a little twist into the article by providing a little interesting background on the whole sofa thing. The article was no longer boring--it actually had substance.

When writing, look past what you already see. Open your eyes to something you never really noticed before.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I was browsing through the bookstore one day (something I often do for inspiration) and noticed an artist had displayed his paintings inside the store. I was thinking that this was a bold move on the artist's part because there must have been some inner dialogue going on about what others might say, etc.

This man probably had an expectation of people hating or loving his work. But, to him, it was important that he took the chance and let others see it.

Of course, this applies to writing as well.

How many times have we all been afraid to send out work because of what others might think? It's all subjective, isn't it? What one person doesn't like, another one will.

This all goes back to taking a chance and getting past that fear. No, not everyone will like what you create, but how are you able to reach those people who might like it if you don't give it a shot? At least you should try.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Creativity Comes to Call

As I was sifting through some old elementary school report cards (I guess they would be old considering they're from circa 1975 and I am an adult now), I discovered something very interesting about the way I feel about myself today. An English Teacher had written that I was very good at creating stories, but had blatant disregard for grammar and punctuation.

Well, of course a grade '1-er' isn't going to care about where a comma goes. The kid only wants to get the story out, tell it to everyone as fast as possible and move on to the next thing.This whole thing made me think about how most of us (including kids today) have had their creativity trampled on because well-meaning adults thought it was 'right' to correct grammar issues rather than let a child create.

This is what children do, they create. They love to do it. Can you imagine what kind of adults we will have nurtured if we let a child continue creating?My goal is to help others reclaim their creativity, to reach deep down to their core and re-ignite that spark. I want everyone to go back to that grade one class where it was lost so many years ago and find the power in creativity once again.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Finding Ideas

In writing, anything is fair game. It's true. But, sometimes we tend to over-analyze it too much and end up coming up with nothing. We wouldn't be able to think up an idea for our next article to save our lives. But it honestly doesn't have to be this way. Let's take the calendar as an example. It has tons of different holidays and observances to write a whole book about...and people have.
Because Valentine's Day is approaching, I quickly wrote up this little article on inexpensive Valentine's Day ideas. That's the thing about article ideas; sometimes they don't need to be heavily researched to get your idea onto paper. Check out the article here.