Spring Cleaning for Creativity

I hate spring cleaning.  I’ll tell you why.  When I was a kid, my mom would come into my room and instigate a spring cleaning.  Now if it were just about getting the dust bunnies out from under the bed and putting away the winter coats, that would have been fine with me.

Alas, no.  Her intent was to go through my toy box and find a way to make it more manageable.  Not a bad idea from her point of view.  I am sure her point of view was a horrific pile of un-played-with toys strewn everywhere but where they belonged.

My point of view was that someone else was going to force me to choose which of my beloved pile of toys had to go.  Oh, I hated those sessions.   

I would defend a broken unrecognizable bit of plastic as necessary to a game that I never played.  My mother would become frustrated with my tears, drama and obstinacy and return it in kind and we both wound up exhausted, hurt and angry.

Spring cleaning became a hated ritual.

Fast forward to today and there is no one to force me to clean out my toy box of art supplies, unfinished projects or no longer loved items, except the sound of my mother’s voice whispering in my ear that I have entirely too much stuff.  It is much easier to ignore the voice now than it was back then.  But I ignore it at a price.

The price of hanging on to un-finished-objects (UFO’s) or unneeded objects requires a lot of mental, emotional and physical energy that could be used to fuel my creativity.

If letting go of UFO’s are blocking you in any way, you might be interested in a short e-book I wrote called:

How to Prevent UFO's from Alienating Your Creativity

You can find out more about it here:

If you have trouble letting go of your un-used creative toys consider that you may have gotten what you needed out of them already even if they don’t look finished or used up to the rest of the world.  

Spring cleaning your space can allow room for more creativity.  And isn’t that a breath of fresh air?

Energy Vampires Suck Your Creativity Dry


Hi Creative Friends,

I finally got sucked into reading a vampire book. (Please pardon the pun. I couldn’t resist!  They make me laugh.)  I didn’t read the whole thing.  About half-way through, it was too much for me, so I skipped to the end to find out what happened, but I really didn’t care much.

However the book got me to thinking about Energy Vampires.

Here is a quick primmer on EV’s:

  • An EV can be a person, place or thing:  (Your negative sister-in-law who never shuts up at family dinners) (Driving in rush hour traffic) (The Internet)
  • EV’s are relentless:  Conscious or unconscious behavior, Energy Vampires never give up taking, taking, taking. 
  • They are restless:  They are always seeking new ways to steal your energy, your ideas, your good will.
  • They will waste your time.  Time you will never get back.
  • EV’s are demanding, self-centered and self-serving.  They never have your best interest at heart.
  • They are all around you.  They can spot the young vulnerable ingénue in you wearing a low cut dress when you should have on your garlic necklace.
  • Energy Vampires restore their energy from sapping yours.

You already know what you need to do to un-hook from these life-suckers but here are a few ideas:

  •  Make a decision to eliminate the Energy Vampires in your life.
  • Name them.  Shed some light on the ones that give you the most trouble and acknowledge what is going on. 
  • Pick your battles.  Unless your middle name is Buffy, you should do this elimination one battle at a time.  Energy Vampires don’t go away without a fight.  They are used to getting their way with you and want things to continue.
  • Get support.  Ask for help if you need it.  Safety in numbers at functions that drain you can help.  Limit your time around the ones you can’t avoid completely.
  • Know that you are in a fight for your life, your time, your feelings and your priorities and your creativity.

Ultimately how much energy you have dictates how much you can allocate to your creativity.  No energy, no creativity.

Now start sharpening that wooden stake!

Have a creative week!

Hugs, Diana

Getting Credit for What You Don't Say

"It is best to keep your mouth shut and be presumed ignorant than to open it and remove all doubt." – Mark Twain

Have you ever had to bite your tongue to keep from saying something that might get you into hot water or cause hurt feelings?  What about keeping your mouth shut when you’d rather say, “I told you so.”  There are many opportunities when what you don’t say is as important as what you do say.  Remember the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

I am here to today to give you credit for what you don’t say.

What does this have to do with energizing your creativity?  Your creativity needs protecting and nurturing.  Sometime we need to speak up and let our feelings be known: sometimes the requirement is silence.

Here are some times that I think what you don’t say is preferable:

•    Keep mum about the mistakes you know or think you know are in your work; let the work speak for itself.

•    Don’t blab on and on about a new idea.  You will talk it out of your system.

•    Don’t argue with a critique. Practice your best Mona Lisa smile and, if forced, use the phrase, “You may be right.” (How can anyone argue with that?)

•    Don’t make grand announcements regarding your creative plans to family members or co-workers unless you want to be reminded daily that you aren’t following through as grandly announced.

•    Don’t be a know-it-all.  Practice listening.  You might be inspired or learn something.

•    Stop explaining.  If you say no to something, you don’t owe a lengthy heartfelt explanation why you are saying no.

 Energizer Break:

Practice verbal awareness for one day or one week. Then give yourself lots of credit for all the stuff that you didn’t say.  Celebrate by going in your closet and giving it a piece of your mind if you need to.  You could celebrate by taking yourself to a nice meal and not tell anyone!

My friend and I are all the time bestowing credit on each other for what the other managed to keep quiet about, but could only keep quiet about it until they found a sympathtic ear.

Leave a comment here about what you didn't say and I will give you lots of credit that you deserve!

Have a creative day!

Hugs, Diana


Dreaded Deadlines

Do You Dread Deadlines?

I hate deadlines.  I don’t like to be told what to do. 
Deadlines are
•    the voice of authority commanding that I get busy
•    doing what I said I’d do
•    doing what’s expected of me
•    doing something by this time or else

Or else what?  Death or Humiliation?  (It can certainly feel that way!)

On the other hand, if I don’t have a deadline
•    I procrastinate 
•    I create mountains out of molehills
•    I whine
•    I put off the difficult parts until my work suffers
•    I take frequent avoidance naps and eat avoidance cookies

Deadlines feel like grown up stuff and my artist is a playful kid who wants to ignore them, (except when they are made to her!).  Using a deadline to accomplish a task is an old standard productivity trick worth using. 

However a little EFT can take the sting out of an annoying deadline and possibly get you going on the right track.  Here are some EFT statements to help you let go of the resentment for the need of a deadline, or the fear that you won’t make it, or the rebellion induced procrastination that accompanies it.

Energizer Break:
Set up statement for EFT:
(Tap on the karate chop point)

Even though, I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I set this deadline and I’d rather be doing anything than fulfill my obligations like maybe give my pet a bath or wash down the sidewalk with a toothbrush, anything but this, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though, I have this annoying deadline that I promised myself I would honor and I made these ridiculous promises to others and I will look like a fool and a flake if I don’t do what I said I would, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though, I have this deadline that is making me crazy and I don’t want to complete it because there is this part I don’t want to do, I know I will feel better when I accomplish this task, even if I can’t even imagine what the outcome will be, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Now take the part of the project that is causing the most resistance and tap on that.  Take time to tap on all facets of the projects that you are avoiding.  For instance, here is one of mine:

TOH:  this project (substitute yours)
EB: this part of the project I don’t enjoy (substitute yours)
SE: this need to (substitute yours)
UE: this belief that I can’t (------)
UN: this burning desire to take a nap (substitute yours)
CH: this wishing someone would do it for me
CB: this deadline
UA: this stupid deadline

TOH:  this doing it by myself
EB: this looming deadline
SE:  this why did I commit to this in the first place
UE:  this resistance
UN: this gotta get it done
CH: this annoying deadline
CB: this work I have to do
UA:  this willingness I don’t have

This should get you started tackling a deadline with less resistance than when you started.  If not, do more rounds using more descriptive feeling words.

Have a creative week,

P.S.  I’d love to hear from you if this helped.

Be A Beliver

“There is no use trying; one can't believe impossible things." (Alice)

"I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Red Queen)

                                                                     ~* ~* ~*~

To be creative is to believe in the possibilities.  Too many times we nip our possibilities in the bud before we ever take time to consider them. 

If the universe of great ideas is going to continue to send them your way, you must respond with consideration.  Not every idea becomes a reality, of course, but not every wild idea is impossible.

Why not try this technique: When something seems impossible, use the words “What if,” to speak about the possibility so that you don’t automatically discount and disallow a budding idea before it ever has a chance to bloom. 

“What if I did self-publish my poetry?” 

“What if I were able to save the money for that trip to take classes in Italy?” 

“What if I went to work early so I could get home while the light is still good?”

Your mind loves questions.  Posing your considerations as questions can interrupt and quiet the internal censor until possibilities can become possible.


So try using, “What if, questions.  I’ll leave you with this example:  What if this helped you believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast?

Hugs, Diana

Whittle While You Work

You can whistle while you work too; whistling probably means you are content and focused; getting the job done.  But what if you aren’t focused, not taking action; what if you are overwhelmed and paralyzed by procrastination? 

When this happens, I advocate whittling.  I am not taking about taking a knife to your creative project though I admit sometimes the idea of stabbing my computer with the nearest sharp object has its appeal. 

One of the biggest problems creative geniuses face is overwhelm.  Invariably, a writer will one day grasp the number of completed novels at her favorite book store and think, “Look at all this competition; what’s the use?”  A dancer tunes in to Dances with the Stars and thinks, “I’m not a celebrity. Where is this dancing going to get me anyway?”

Overwhelm seeps into your psyche like a foggy mist until it hardens into a solid block that comes between you and your creativity.  That’s when a little whittling is in order.
First you have to recognize that overwhelm has you in its grip.  When you keep your focus on the big picture, how do you know what is the next possible action you need to take? 

When I use to paint for other people, I could easily get overwhelmed listening to their expectations of the overall finished project.  Finally I learned how to whittle it down into manageable bits.  What is the absolute first thing I needed to do?  It may be that I needed to just think first or make a plan.  It might be that I needed to make a sample; mix a little paint.  Those two things I knew how to do. The idea is to take some small action that I know I can do to attain a tiny measure of success.  This success will propel me forward if I will allow it.

Action promotes further action, and before you know it, you’ve whittled the project to something manageable, even something you are enjoying.  Who knows, you might find you are whistling while you whittle.

Creativity Energizer Break:

  • What project have you been avoiding because the big picture overwhelms you?
  • What can you do to whittle down the giant?
  • Make a whittling plan.
  • Decide on three tiny action steps you can take to get started.
  • Commit to doing them.  (Share your plan with a friend if you need accountability.)
  • Whittle while you work.