• creative life

    The Perfection Paradox

    I recently listened to a motivating, inspiring podcast where the guest shared this advice: Be OK with B- work. B MINUS. That stopped me in my tracks. I’m not a B- person. I suspect you’re not either. We strive for that A every time, right? After my initial shock wore off, I thought it through. What does B- work look like? Well, it’s a passing grade. It’s not perfect, but it’s not a failure either. And, I think more importantly to her point, it’s done. Taking that a step further, it’s done in a reasonable amount of time. That’s the thing with striving for that A every single time: Sometimes the…

  • creative life

    Does grammar matter anymore? Does it matter online?

    Yes. Of course, grammar matters online. Why? As a self-professed grammar nerd, I say that not only because I adore the structure of grammar (I desperately need creative constraints when I’m writing, and the rules of grammar provide that… but that’s another post for another day) but because grammar helps your readers, well, read. I’m not one to advocate strict adherence to every fussy rule in the style book. Voice matters, and sometimes your voice requires you to know the rules and then let ’em go. <— see that ’em there? Letting a rule go, yo! However, your readers need to understand the intent of your work. You need to convey…

  • creative life

    5 Tips for Brainstorming

    My work plate has been piled high with new projects. I love starting new projects because I love the opportunity to brainstorm – it often leads me to fresh ideas to pitch to other outlets, too! Even though I love the opportunity to brainstorm, I don’t always love brainstorming itself. Let me explain… I get super-duper pumped about new ideas. It’s invigorating to come up with fresh concepts. However, if you’ve been doing the same thing for a while – say, working with one client or on one project type – getting out of a creative rut can be tough. It takes a mindset shift from that client or that project…

  • creative life

    Here’s the thing about time…

    I recently had the opportunity to chat with life coach Arienne Gorlach, and holy smokes. She just drilled right down into the core of what’s been holding me back. I left our session feeling enriched and empowered and inspired to take back my time. See, here’s the thing about time: You get 168 hours each week. All of us do–even Oprah and Reese Witherspoon and Barack Obama and Beyonce, etc. What we do with those hours is what sets us apart. My mindset around time–before I spoke with Arienne–was THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH! How can I be a good mom, wife, employee, business owner, and myself with so much to do and…

  • creative life

    How to Hone Your Writing Voice in 3 Simple Steps

      The term “writing voice” is bandied about but rarely defined. Your voice, though, will make you stand out from the crowd of other writers and bloggers. So, how are you supposed to hone your writing voice if you’re not sure what–or where–it is? For starters, I like to think of my writing voice as the sound of my work. If you were having a conversation about your article/book/post, think about what you would say and how you would say it. You want to capture the sound of that discussion in your written work. I admit: It’s often easier said than done, especially while you’re still refining your craft. Why? We all want…

  • creative life

    Happy New Year!

    I hope your 2015 is off to a wonderful start! Mine sure is. I love all the freshness, the newness of January 1: a new calendar, a new blog planner, new goals and dreams and aspirations, a new journal, and a renewed commitment to working hard. At the beginning of the year, I always set a single word as my intention for the year ahead. For 2015, I was torn between “authenticity” and “inspired.” Ultimately, I chose “inspired” because I think being/working/feeling inspired informs authenticity. I may be the only person to say this, but I’m so ready for the holiday break to be over so I can hit the ground…

  • creative life

    Will work for…? (The answer is NOT exposure!)

    You’re looking for a mechanic. You call around and find one who is nearby, highly recommended, and has an opening in his schedule. So, you give him a call. “I need a mechanic,” you say. “It’s sort of urgent because my car is making a funny noise, and I need the tires rotated and oil changed.” He schedules you an appointment. You drive to the mechanic and he presents you with an estimate of what the work will cost. “Oh, no,” you say. “I don’t pay in cash. I pay in exposure! I’ll tell all my friends on Facebook about how awesome you are, and I’ll live tweet my appointment!”…

  • creative life

    Can you teach creativity?

    Have you heard of Coursera.org? Oh, man. It’s fantastic. You can take college-level courses from universities around the world… for free! As soon as I discovered it, I signed up for two classes right away: Animal Behavior (of course!) and Creativity, Innovation, and Change. The classes overlap with each other, so in addition to my regular workload, the blog, and the dogs, things have been a little busy. But oh-so-worthwhile! In the first week of the Creativity course, the instructors linked to a YouTube video that I knew was worth sharing. Take a few minutes to watch – and think about – the question: Can you teach creativity?