When Your Mind is Blank

by Barbara Martin

in Try This

What do you do when you are backed up to a wall, a deadline looms and you’ve “got nothin’” — no muse, no idea, no concept, no nothin’ — and that all-too-familiar panic is about to set in? What are you gonna do? If the idea of “positive vibes” sounds abhorrent, listen up! Here’s the […]

Do you have a big hairy deal exciting creative project languishing in the back of your mind because it’s too big, too bold, too overwhelming to contemplate in detail? I know you have a project like that, because we all do! This week’s creativity tip and experiment will help you get started on it — […]

Stirring Broken Eggs

by Barbara Martin

in Try This

At the beginning of my creativity coach training with Eric Maisel, one of our assignments was to break some fine fresh eggs into a bowl, shells and all, and stir them around.  Keep the bowl of broken eggs at your workspace and each time you feel tempted or compelled to get up and go do some distraction, […]

Many creative people apparently believe or subscribe to the idea that “inspiration” must strike so that we can be creative, regardless of how motivated we may feel about our creative work.  Do you believe it? More important:  How have you tested your belief? What conditions make that spark of “inspiration” more likely to happen? Is inspiration the same as flow? […]

License to Write Badly

by Barbara Martin

in Writing Daily

As a writer, how often do you stop to reread your work and then agonize over what you just wrote because it’s not perfect? How much time to you spend mulling exactly where to start a scene, debating the perfect first line for the fifth chapter, toying with the perfect verb for a key sentence, […]

As Eric Maisel explains in his expert creativity manual Coaching the Artist Within, anxiety can be a tricky thing for creative people. Sometimes fear serves as a valuable alert, sometimes as a false alarm. But how can you tell the difference? And what can you do about it? Symptoms of Anxiety First of all, you […]

In his self-help creativity guide, Coaching the Artist Within, psychologist Eric Maisel devotes an entire chapter to Anxiety. Certainly some anxieties are rooted in the irrational, but creative people often experience reality-based, rational fears. What happens, for example, if we perform badly, or our book does not sell, or no gallery will represent us? These […]

Deep in Chapter 8 of Eric Maisel’s Coaching the Artist Within, we come across a nugget on identifying and dealing with perfectionism. Maisel argues that we are culturally conditioned to value a high gloss perception of perfection over reality. Reality, of course, includes both glossy and matte, highs and lows, successes and failures, perfection and […]

In his self-coaching creativity manual Coaching the Artist Within, Eric Maisel offers four specific tactics or strategies you might adopt to help yourself create more consistently and more easily. “Don’t Snivel” Stop complaining. Take that time and energy-sucking, self–indulgent complaint/excuse-generating habit and redirect its power and intensity toward doing the work instead. Do you seriously […]

Creating in the middle of things is admittedly not easy and often difficult, fraught with all kinds of risks and fears and do-ability issues. If “Just do it NOW!” doesn’t push you to take action, then you may need to work on some strategies to help yourself get moving. In Coaching the Artist Within, creativity […]