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Creative Witchery BLOG

Bad year for your creative work? READ THIS (part 1)

“I said I’d finally break out of the commercial work and do my real creative work—but I didn’t.”

“I never thought I’d be this old and still not have my novel done.”

“I keep saying I’ll finish my TV pilot, and I never do.”

“How is it that this whole year, I only finished two pieces?”

If you look back on 2018 and feel down about yourself and your creative work, I have something to say to you. If you want to go into 2019 strong, but aren’t feeling it deep down, read on. Maybe you’ve given up making resolutions. Maybe you don’t believe yourself anymore when you set goals. This is for you.

The truth is, you CAN turn your creative visions into reality.

There are just a few reasons people don’t reach their creative goals:

#1: They don’t know how to do it or what to do.

For this one, all you need is information and guidance–someone to listen to what you want and help you lay out the steps. (Sometimes this lack of knowledge is the problem and you don’t even know it—you just feel intimidated or uncertain, and you’re holding back.)

#2: They can’t get through the blocks

There are basically five kinds of blocks that can stop you.

* Physical blocks, like not having enough time, money, energy, or space to do your creative work.

* Emotional blocks, like fear, anxiety, or self-criticism.

* What I call “energetic blocks”—not having the courage, determination, passion, or “fire in the belly” to get it done.  

* Mental blocks, or beliefs like “I can’t do it,” “I can’t be an artist and a good parent,” “It’s impossible to make money as a writer/musician/artist,” and “People will laugh at me.”

* Spiritual blocks: Not trusting yourself to make decisions, or not knowing how to listen to your inner guidance.

All these problems can be solved. They can seem overwhelming when you consider them all at once, but for each problem, there is a healing process, strategy, or action step. Even the blocks you’ve had for years, the ones that seem like octopuses with so many waving tentacles, are things you can get through. Truly.

#3: They don’t have the right support—someone who can guide them through the blocks, who can help them keep going when “stuff comes up.”

Support is the #1 factor that separates struggle from success. Personally, I could not have gotten where I am (in my creative work, business, and life) without a LOT of support. These days, I work with at least one coach/mentor, and often up to three or four at a time (because different coaches have different strengths, and I’m a big believer in getting all the support I need). I’ve spent well over $100,000 on my own personal development and training, and I attribute a huge part of my success to that.

Without coaching support, it’s easy to get stuck in your own limitations. We all have them, and unless we identify them and find ways to grow beyond them, we tend to repeat the same patterns over and over, with the same unsatisfying results.

I’ve been helping people do their creative work for years, and I can assure you of two things: 1) you’re not alone, and 2) you can get past what’s blocking you.

The truth is, what blocks you is similar to what blocks everyone else—and these blocks are things you can get through. (Yes, what gets in your way is yours alone because you’re a unique person with your own individual history and soul, but all blocks have common elements—and solutions.)

Other people have gotten through similar blocks. They’ve started doing their true creative work—and thriving. And you can too. You just have to decide—truly decide, like a commitment to your soul—that you will.


P.S. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this series, where I talk about getting out of the negative cycle with your creative work–and how to make 2019 your best creative year ever.

(Or, if you’re super-motivated and want to get going NOW, email me about working together.)

Winter solstice: The key to letting go of negativity

Today is the winter solstice–the shortest day and longest night of the year. In honor of the energy of darkness (and the sacred return of light), I want to look at the dark side of our feelings about our creative work.

However your creative work went this year, there’s a chance you were disappointed about something. Maybe your work didn’t get the response you wanted, or sell as well as you hoped. Maybe you were unhappy with how a creative project turned out, or maybe you didn’t get as much done as you hoped.

Whenever there’s disappointment, it’s easy to blame yourself. The critical voice in your head says things like, “You’re not good enough,” “You’re lazy,” “You should have known better,” and “You’ll never get there.” And then you either feel like crap and fall into a cycle of self-blame, or you defend yourself, saying why you are good enough or why you will succeed.

The truth is, both these approaches can keep you stuck. It’s obvious how descending into self-blame can take you out–destroying any good feelings, killing motivation, and making it almost impossible to do your creative work.

BUT, defending yourself against those voices can actually perpetuate negativity as well. Here’s why: if you’re in a defensive crouch, you are actually pushing away a part of yourself–the part of you that didn’t do well enough, didn’t get there, and doesn’t feel good. All that does is use up your energy (while the shoved-down crappy feelings continue deep down).

What you need is FORGIVENESS. Instead of pushing it away, truly accept that you didn’t do as well as you hoped. Accept whatever part of you you’re angry at. Give yourself compassion, and known that you did what you could under the circumstances.

Maybe you made the wrong choices–and maybe you even knew it at the time. Maybe the next time you need more information, more guidance, more support, more energy, more of something you didn’t have. And going forward, you can do something about that.

But first comes forgiveness. To successfully move forward, you must end the cycle of self-blame and self-defense, and simply give yourself love. And this will allow you to create with peace and joy.

Solstice blessings to you. May you move through the dark and into the light, bringing your soul’s work into the world with joy.


P.S. If part of what you want for the new year is to take a big leap in your creative career, get in touch.

I’ve put together a program designed to help you do your TRUE creative work. You’ll break through the obstacles holding you back, get your truest creative work out into the world, and take a dramatic leap in your career.

What kind of leaps are we talking about? Going from the hidden talent who makes other people shine–to seeing your own work live, in film festivals and on TV. Getting an agent. Getting a book published. Appearing regularly in The New Yorker.

TRUE CREATIVE SUCCESS is a high-level program for ambitious creative people who are committed to big, exciting results. If that’s you, email me and let’s talk!

A Taste of Tea: From the Opium War story

As you know, I’m working on a collection of stories about people from different times and places whose lives have been shaped by tea. I’ve been inspired to start sharing bits of these stories. This piece is set in 19th century China, shortly before the Opium War.

From the Opium War story (a selection)

Uncle Gu’s way of business was nothing like Father’s. Father’s tea trade was talk, calculating and recording figures, paying the bribes promptly and as expected, arranging for the transfer and delivery of cargoes.

Uncle Gu’s was taking the right man to dinner, sending his men to do favors for the foreigners who bought the tea–whether that was arranging for a ship captain’s private trade allotment of opium or sandalwood or cotton to be sold, arranging for night trips to the “pleasure boats” that lined the river. Tonight’s task was to smuggle an American tea trader’s wife into the foreign compound.

And so Chao Xiang stood at the harbor front in the dark. Water lapping. The shapes of sampans and junks stood out against the dark sky, bobbing gently. He imagined the families asleep on the houseboats, their chests rising and falling in a similar rhythm as they slept. All dark, but for an ember of light on the nearest boat–the glow of an opium pipe.

Those foreigners–they brought opium in their ships from India, and Chinese men bought it, smoked it, until vast numbers of them were wasting away from addiction. His father would have nothing to do with opium, would not contribute to that wasting lethargy that destroyed men and wives and families, but Chao Xiang could see that his uncle was not the same. He had seen the books and heard the conversations; he knew that for all his surface rectitude as a hong merchant, his uncle was a silent partner in an opium smuggling venture. If there was money to be made, Uncle Gu would make it.

Chao Xiang stared down the dark river. The night felt shadowed with danger. If they were discovered, surely they would be destroyed. Smuggling a foreign woman into China against the Emperor’s decree—certainly Father would never have taken such a risk. He shifted his feet nervously.

Of course he was more honor guard than actual smuggler—here to give face through his position as Uncle’s relative. Uncle’s old servant Ah-Chiong would handle the foreign devil woman. But still, to break such a rule—Chao Xiang was putting his own family at risk.

Might this be a set-up—Uncle’s plan to disgrace Father’s son and cause Father to lose even more face? No, Father was defeated—there was no need to go through such trouble for Father. Uncle was testing him. Seeing if he could handle the demands, fit into Uncle’s way of trading.

…A faint sound on the river caught his attention. Beyond the crowded shapes of the boats at rest, the long shape of a sampan moved against the water. Chao Xiang stiffened. The foreign ghost-woman was arriving.





…And now for your creative work:

Your creative work is a gift to the world. The world needs your unique insight and brilliance.

And if you’re honest with yourself, you know you need to do your creative work too–for yourself. You won’t feel fully alive, or completely whole, unless you’re bringing out what’s inside you.

I’ve put together a program designed to help you do your TRUE creative work. You’ll break through the obstacles holding you back, get your truest creative work out into the world, and take a BIG leap in your career.

What kind of leaps are we talking about? Going from the hidden talent who makes other people shine–to seeing your own work live, in film festivals and on TV. Getting an agent. Getting a book published. Appearing regularly in The New Yorker.

That big leap is different for everyone. You know what YOU want. So get in touch. We CAN make it happen!!

TRUE CREATIVE SUCCESS is a high-level program for ambitious creative people who are committed to big, exciting results. If that’s you, email me and let’s talk.


Thanksgiving and the magic of gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is a holiday where we connect with what we’re grateful for—blessings, successes, people we love, and more.

The energy of “thanksgiving” isn’t just for this one day–it’s actually a powerful energy we can connect to all year round… and it can help us create what we want in our lives.

There’s magic in gratitude: what we focus on expands, so when we focus on what we love about our lives, we bring more of that into our lives.

Here’s how to use gratitude to create what you want: Give gratitude for what you truly desire (but which hasn’t yet appeared in your life. This may seem counterintuitive (how can you be grateful for what you don’t have yet?), but here’s why it works.

  • When you’re grateful for what you want to create, that focuses your mind on it. You begin to feel that it’s possible. You visualize it.
  • Being in gratitude and celebration shifts your energy from one of negativity and “lack” to one of abundance and joy. That’s magnetic–people are drawn to that. Partners, helpers, friends, co-creators, and more will appear.
  • Also, the energy of gratitude allows you to see the serendipitous support from the Universe: Where you might once have been closed off and fearful, you will begin to see opportunities, support, ideas, and more.


Let’s work magic with gratitude!

  1. Think of what you want to create in your life. Imagine it’s already here.
  2.  Give thanks for it in writing. Literally journal your gratitude as if your desire has already come to fruition. (“I am so grateful and happy for exciting new ideas for my novel. I am so grateful and happy to have so much time to write. I am so grateful and happy for my inspired, flowing writing sessions. I am grateful and happy that my novel is done. I am so grateful and happy to have found the perfect agent. I am so grateful and happy that my novel is being published with a six-figure advance. I am so grateful and happy that my novel is so well-received in the world.”)
  3. See and feel the energy of having your desires come true. Give thanks for it.
  4. Now, as you go about your day, continue to give thanks. Stay in a state of gratitude and joy.
  5. In this state, notice the openings and opportunities that appear. Act on them. And keep giving thanks.


Joy, love, and magic to you,



P.S. I’m grateful for you, my community, my clients, my colleagues and friends. I’m grateful for your creativity, your commitment to yourselves, your strength and vulnerability, and the magic you work in your lives.


How extra effort on Election Day leads to personal breakthroughs

There are times when your actions really matter. Times when it’s essential to make the extra effort and go the extra mile.

Today is one of those: Election Day. It’s a day when many small actions will add up to have one big impact on our nation and our world.

It’s also a perfect chance to practice the skills that will lead to big breakthroughs in the rest of your life.

Here’s how taking action on Election Day helps you create breakthroughs: When we have a big dream or desire, it requires action to turn that desire into reality. Taking action, though, often brings up fear.

“What if I do it wrong?” “What if I’m not good enough?” “I don’t know what to do.” “It’s too late now.” “It will hurt too much if I try and fail.”

If you want your big dreams to come true, you must CHOOSE to take action in the face of those feelings and thoughts.

Creating what you want in life requires you to step out of your comfort zone–to BE WITH THE DISCOMFORT and KEEP TAKING ACTION.

This is where breakthroughs happen: when you notice where you usually stop… and choose to keep going.

That’s what this Election Day asks of us: Whether you’re hopeful, stressed, afraid, energized, or any number of feelings, now is a time for action.

A time to ask yourself, “Where can I make the extra effort? Where can I go beyond where I usually stop?”

If you don’t usually vote, vote. If you don’t usually help to get out the vote, do that.

You can take baby actions: reaching out to friends in a swing district to make sure they vote, 20 minutes of text banking or phone banking at lunch, 30 minutes to drive people to the polls. All those actions add up–just as baby steps add up when you’re doing your creative work or creating the life you want.

If it’s unfamiliar or scary, just acknowledge the discomfort and continue to take action.

As you take action, you’ll notice your energy shift. You gain momentum, and you feel your own power. The fear recedes because you know that instead of stewing in your fears, you are doing something.

Succeed or fail, you will know that you stepped up to be the creator of your own life.

So today, go beyond. Notice where you usually stop, and choose to keep going.

Step into action.

Step into power.

Step into your life.


Text and phone banking link: https://www.momsrising.org/take-action

Or find your local candidate and check their website to see what you can do.