What magic will jumpstart your creative work?

Take the quiz and get a Creative Witchery™ ritual tailored for you!

Get your magic!

Category Archives: Uncategorized

No more starving artists

I’ve never liked the phrase “starving artist.”

Here’s what I believe: As an artist and creative, you deserve to make money.

Being paid well is not “selling out,” “exploiting others,” or “being an evil capitalist.”

(In fact, if creative people AREN’T paid well for their work, then only the wealthy and privileged can be professional artists.)

The money you receive is an expression of how much you choose to ask for your creative work–and how much others are willing to pay you.

It is an energetic exchange that measures how you and others perceive the value of what you are offering.

(How you actually BRING IN the money is another topic for another day. But the first step is to let go of the starving artist paradigm–to believe it’s possible to make good money, and to choose to make money.)

By the way, it’s possible to have a “starving artist mindset” even if you have a high income or a lot of assets. In fact, most of us have it, whatever our level of wealth.

The starving artist mindset is the belief that art and money are in conflict. It can take a lot of forms: the belief that you can’t make money as an artist, that commercially successful work isn’t “real art”, that art is “pure” so you shouldn’t want money for it, and so on.

When you let go of the starving artist paradigm and get paid well for your creative work, here are a few things you also let go of:

  • Squeezing in time for your creative work around your day job, taking care of your kids, and all kinds of household chores… and being too exhausted to do any of it well
  • Feeling like you constantly have to choose between your creative work and the rest of your life–and feeling stressed and guilty no matter which one you choose
  • Believing that even though you have money, it isn’t “worth it” to invest in your creative work–so that you subtly resist things like working on your novel, making your film, hiring a band, or working with a coach to produce the high quality work that will take your career to the next level
  • The deep-down horrible belief that you’ll never finish your creative work and you’ll die with your potential and talent still locked away inside you

Now, letting go of the starving artist paradigm *doesn’t* mean the money starts rolling in overnight (though in a few cases, that is all it takes).

It does mean you stop squeezing the life out of your creative work with an “I don’t have enough” attitude–and open to more.

You open to give your creative work time and energy–so it can stop existing as a pipe dream, and start existing as a real thing in the world.

You open to invest money in your creative work–doing it, working with teachers, working with coaches–so you can create incredible work and incredible success.

You open to being seen–to putting your work out there so you can win awards, sign clients, get exhibited, get optioned for films… and so you can move people and change their lives.  

So, will you stop living like a starving artist?

Will you go for the creative success you want?

Swimming hard (please don’t do it on your own!)

The other day, I watched my younger son in swim class. There he was, swimming as hard as he could to get from the wall to the island, struggling to stay up, sinking, coming up for a breath, turning to the teacher for a breather, then throwing his arms forward, kicking and kicking until he finally reached the island.
 
I was so proud of him and his little body, swimming so hard and with all his might.
 
Maybe you are like my son.
 
There you are, working with all your might to do your creative work (in the face of your internal resistance, your fears, your perfectionism, all the things you have to do for your kids, your job, your family…).
 
Sometimes flailing, sometimes coming up for air, working with all your might to get where you want to go.
 

 

But, you don’t need to do it on your own.
 
Would you throw your child into the water and expect her to swim?
 
(Maybe your grandparents learned the “old school” way, but isn’t it nicer and more helpful to teach our kids how to swim–and give them support and guidance as they do it??)
 
The same is true of your creative work.
 
Why make yourself go it alone? Why make it hard for yourself?
 
I’ve heard clients tell me, “I want to work with you again, but I’m embarrassed. I feel like I should be able to do this on my own.”
 
I want to offer a loving reframe: There is no SHOULD. There’s only what leads to a worse life or a better life.
 
I’ve been working with coaches and mentors myself since 1997. Often I work with three or four at a time. I do this because I want to live the best life I can. I invest in support to help myself do that.
 
I could go it alone, but that would be a waste of my precious time and life energy.
 
If it’s hard for you to do your creative work, that’s because there a bunch of stuff in your way. Fears. The constant sandstorm of your “to do list.” Staying up late so you’re too tired to do your creative work in the morning before you’ve got to get the kids to school. All of it.
 
You COULD spend another five or ten (or twenty!) years pushing against all that.
Or, you could get a coach–and spend those years doing your creative work. 
 

You could enjoy your work. Have a successful creative career. Give your creativity to the world as a gift.

Will you choose your creativity?

Will you choose yourself?

Will you choose a better life?

Would you give a Valentine to your creative work?

It’s Valentine’s Day, so to honor the energy of the day, I want to ask: “Do you love your creative work?”

Do you love every character and see their full humanity (even the minor characters and “villains”)? Do you love the sounds, the melody, the harmony? Do you love the movement and colors and textures and shapes? Do you love the people you work with?

Do you see the unique beauty and brilliance of your creativity?

Do you appreciate how your creativity is a gift to the world?

Do you give it your best, even when you don’t feel like it?

Do you give your creative work focused time and attention, just as you would give your family members?

Do you invest money so your creative work can reach its full potential, the way you would with your child?

Do you care for yourself as a vessel of divine creativity?

No judgment if you  answer no to any of these questions. Your answers just reveal where MORE LOVE and MORE LIFE can come in.

With love and compassion for your imperfections, you can take action.

How will you give love to your creative work?

 

Why some people do their creative work… and others don’t

Who are those people, those shining magical people who “get to” do their creative work?

Here’s what you might think:

They’re people who are born into artistic or literary families–they have connections and they grow up believing it’s possible for them, so they go ahead and they succeed.

They’re people who have more money–from their family, from a high-earning spouse, from a flexible day job.

They’re people who have more time–because they don’t have kids and family responsibilities.

They’re people who are more talented, hard-working, or driven.

Whoever they are, they’re not you, right?

Here’s the truth: You know who gets to do their creative work?

People who do their creative work.

That’s all. That’s it.

Everything else is just stories.

*

I know people who come from poor families who’ve published books and made careers as writers (and people who come from wealth who languish, not doing their creative work).

I know people who have children who’ve made it. People who are primary breadwinners who do it.

Yes, even people with very little talent.

People who make generous livings from their creative work and people who make almost nothing (but have still achieved success in their field).

The one common denominator in who gets to do their creative work? PEOPLE WHO GO AHEAD AND DO IT.

*
So, what if you try to do your creative work, but things keep getting in the way?

There’s something you’re missing: some belief, some support, some guidance, some action, or some way of doing things.

Sure, some people can “just do it.”

But, here’s the truth: If YOU could “just do it,” wouldn’t you have already?

The fact is, if you’re someone who ISN’T doing your true creative work, it’s because there’s actually a lot in your way.

To get to your true creative work, YOU have to tunnel through layers of family beliefs and admonitions (“people like us don’t get to do what we love,” “get a real job,” “be responsible”), stare down worries about money and financial stability, get past fears about letting other people down, AND handle all the logistical challenges of your everyday life.

And then after that there’s the oh-so-simple matter of doing your truest, most profound, most moving work.

*

There’s nothing wrong with you: you just need guidance and support.

I have a program designed to help you do your TRUE creative work—and take a major leap in your creative career.

I’ve thought deeply about what it takes to do your true creative work. How to help you go deep to find the truths buried inside your work—the truths that will move people to tears, keep them turning the pages, have them recommending your work to everyone they know. The truths that will make your work a masterpiece that changes the world and lives on long after you’re gone.

I’ve taken a long, close look at the obstacles people face. I know how to unearth what’s REALLY in your way and help you move through it.

I’ve also discovered a very powerful process to help you download “divine guidance” for the exact steps that will catapult your career to a dramatically higher level.

Instead of slogging through a “to do” list that’s supposed to help your creative career (but is actually just busy work that tires you out and doesn’t get you much further), you’ll uncover what I call your “magic carpet”: the actions that will truly change your career.

These are actions and opportunities that ALREADY EXIST in your world—but are invisible to you now because of your own blocks, fears, or limited perceptions. When you remove the blinders, you’ll find the simple actions that let you take huge career leaps. You avoid the long, arduous route and soar straight to your creative goal.

In TRUE CREATIVE SUCCESS, you’ll bring out the TRUE work your soul is calling you do. You’ll break through the obstacles holding you back. You’ll get your truest creative work out into the world. And you’ll 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. Working with celebrities and leaders in the field. Appearing regularly in The New Yorker.

These are real results that real clients have achieved.

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.

“People like us” don’t get to do our creative work

“People like us don’t get to do our creative work.”

There it was. The belief lodged inside me like a knot, blocking everything.

My parents came from Taiwan, a country that was saving and sacrificing and working hard to climb to prosperity. They chose practical work. My father was interested in history but became an engineer.. My mother was musically and artistically talented but chose chemistry and later computer science. Coming to the US as immigrants made them even more practicality- and security-minded.  

“People like us” don’t get to do our creative work.

That unconscious belief had shaped all my actions: How I chose to support myself. The way I froze up when an editor expressed interest in my manuscript. The tiny daily choices about how I spent my time.

Even though I’d achieved a certain level of success (MFA from a top writing program, “prestigious” literary magazine internships, successful writing biz, VP at a Madison Avenue agency), when it came to writing and my writing career, I was always pushing a boulder uphill.

(Yes, you can have this unconscious belief EVEN IF you have a creative career, and EVEN IF you’re successful.)

This belief can put a huge roadblock in front of your real creative work–and the kind of success you really want.

If you UNCONSCIOUSLY believe “people like you” don’t get to do your creative work, here’s how it can show up:

  • You give most of your time and energy to your creative day job or your “commercially viable” creative work.

(It’s the safe thing to do, since you’re not going to be successful at your true creative work, right?)

  • You procrastinate about doing your true creative work.

(It’s scary to keep facing down the belief that you won’t succeed with it; so of course you avoid it!!)

  • You sabotage yourself when opportunities come up.

(You freeze up when you get the chance to show your manuscript to a well-known editor, present your work on a big stage, or meet an industry leader you admire.)

  • You hold back in subtle ways even when you do pursue opportunities.

Maybe, while others gush with excitement about their own work, you hesitate to say too much because you’re afraid of being a braggart. Or you don’t go all out when you perform. Or you say, “Oh, I’m not ready,” when someone offers you a big break.

  • Without knowing it, you signal to the outside world (agents, editors, curators, buyers, readers, audiences) that you’re not ready for success.

 

The good news is, you CAN transform this unconscious belief.

(And, if you’re reading this and relating, then your soul is sending you a message: IT’S TIME.)

Those unconscious beliefs are NOT THE TRUTH. They’re just fears passed down by generations of ancestors. Leftover furniture from lives that aren’t yours.

In my program, True Creative Success, we uncover those unconscious beliefs about what you get to do as a creative person–and replace them with the TRUTH: That you love to do your creative work. That it’s fun. That you are a powerful creator. That your creativity is a gift to the world.

And when you GET those truths, deep down, magic happens.

Instead of the pressure to give all your time to your day job or commercial work, you’ll have breathing room–and easily find time and space to do your own creative work.

All that self-sabotage? Replaced by SEEING those previously hidden fears for what they are… and the courage and ability to CHOOSE your creativity instead.

The procrastinating perfectionism? Replaced by the simple joy of just doing your work.

The subtle holding back? Replaced by a simple, pure ability to share your enthusiasm for your work.

Plus: A new level of success finds you–because instead of subtly signalling (without realizing it!) to the world that you’re not ready and don’t believe in yourself, you show up.

It’s no longer a big deal to be enthusiastic about your own work, or share it widely, or reach out for opportunities: it’s just a natural outgrowth of who you are and what you do.

You let your love and talent and creativity be the beacon they are. And you draw in the success.

Is it your time?

If you’re ready, email me and let me know.