All posts by Emmeline Chang

If Your Inner Critic Is on Overdrive

When you write or do your art, does your inner critic kick in?

Do the critical voices say, “This is such a cliché,” “You really need to redo this,” or “You’re nowhere near as good as so-and-so. Maybe you’ll never get there”?

If so, you could be a Perfecter.

The Perfecter has high standards and can do incredible work when they revise. But, their self-critical voices can keep them from creating in the first place.

Are you a Perfecter?

And if you are, how do you quiet the negative voices that keep interrupting you?

You can take this quiz to find out if you’re the Perfecter–and you’ll also get a ritual designed to handle your critical voices. 

P.S. If you want to go even further–and get support so you can do your art regularly and easily–email me and ask about the Artist in Action program.

What will get you past YOUR creative block?

What will get you past YOUR creative block? 

If you have trouble writing or doing your art, do you sometimes wonder WHAT will get it going again?

Part of it has to do with the TYPE of “artistic manager” you have. We all have an internal “artistic manager”: the part of you that shapes how you approach creation and art.

Each type of artistic manager has its own strengths–and weaknesses. So, it needs its own approach to move through obstacles.

I made a quiz to help you find out what type of artistic manager you have–and give you a “custom solution” for your type of block.

If you want to take the quiz–and get a creative jumpstart ritual customized for your type–go here.

The Cave of Rest–and the Way to Truer, Deeper Work

I’ve been sick again for the past week–a deep, liminal time of resting, listening to my body, and reflecting. 

I feel like I’ve descended into a cave on a journey of transformation. So much is coming from this experience for me to share. 

At this moment, I want to highlight one thing: the role of rest. 

I used to have an attitude of “pushing through”–after being sick, I’d get up and go as soon as possible, priding myself on my toughness and productivity. 

It was the same constant push-push-push and go-go-go energy that also led to deep issues with procrastination and an inability to do my creative work.

Whether you’re sick or well, the principle is the same. There are periods when your energy is high and periods when your energy ebbs. 

Honoring and supporting yourself through this ebb and flow can make all the difference in your long-term ability to create–and your creative success.

You’ve been through those high energy times: you’re inspired, work is flowing, you’re channeling a golden flow of creative truth.

This happens in the middle of projects–and almost always at the end, when that final exhilarating creative flow takes you through the completion of your novel, screenplay, or painting.

What happens next?

When the tide reaches its peak and begins to withdraw, what then?

When you finish a piece–or a come out of a period of high creative energy–do you push yourself to go on to the next thing? 

Do you grudgingly take a day or two off (spending it on social media or reading the news or catching up on your “to do” list)? Or, do you listen to your body and spirit–and give yourself what you truly crave?

How you rest affects your next period of creative work–and the level at which you’ll be able to create.

When you push through, you drain your creative energy. That can lead to effects like

  • An overall feeling of pushing, scarcity, and need–which makes it hard to receive inspiration (and also subtly repels people and opportunities)
  • “Crashing” and being unable to work–and instead engaging in avoidant behaviors like surfing the web aimlessly
  • Withdrawing from your creative work and other people–and then feeling guilt and shame and fear over not working 

(“Here you are, procrastinating again–you’re never going to get anywhere if you keep doing this!)

  • “Drying up”–feeling uninspired, dried out, unable to come up with good ideas no matter how much you push

On the other hand, if you allow yourself to land gently, to rest, to renew, you refill the well. 

You replenish your body, which is the channel and vessel through which your creative work comes.

By caring for the vessel, you open for deeper, truer creative work.

We, our bodies and minds and spirits–and yes, our creative work, are part of a rhythm. 

Ebb and flow. High tide, low tide. Day into night. Dark into light. Creative breakthroughs, creative rest.

When we trust ourselves to rest, when we trust that rest will once again make way for creative work, we trust ourselves as creative beings. 

We open to a deeper rhythm and we allow in a deeper level of creativity and flow.

Honor the rhythm of rest and work. 

Honor yourself as a creative vessel.

And let the divine flow through.

A note on writing this: I have been in bed for most of the week. I’ve tested the bounds of my energy here and there, doing a call, going out for a bit, listening very carefully to my body. I’ve allowed myself to read and sleep. I’ve avoided the desire to “push forward” and “do something.” And today, the inspiration arose and this message came. It was meant for you.

The Power of You, Living Full Out

Some thoughts from watching women artists at an alumni event:

As I watched these women perform with soul and passion, I was reminded how powerful it is to put ourselves out in the world, full out.

I’m pretty good about facing my fears. It’s a professional standard for me. 

When I transform my own blocks and fears, it lets me hold my clients to the same standard–so they can face their big fears and get big results. 

And yet.

When I saw these women perform, I could feel the ways I was still holding back. 

Subtle fears of failure. Subconscious assumptions about what I can do. Moments where I turn away because I’m afraid of failure.

With these women, I felt the power of passion and boldness.

They weren’t perfect. They were willing.

Willing to step on stage and put their energy out into the world, BIG. Willing to step out in life, BIG.

The same is possible for each of us.

If you’re afraid, if you’re holding back, if you’re thinking “I’m not good enough” or “What if I fail?”, remember this:

There is power in who you are. There is such power in being ALL of who you are. Bold. Proud. Out loud.

Let’s do it.

The Key to Breaking Out as an Artist

Wouldn’t you LOVE to get past being an “emerging writer”… and finally emerge? 😉 

Or stop being an artist with so much (unrealized!) “potential”–and have success instead?

Wouldn’t you rather be the songwriter with a breakout hit or the author with a Pulitzer prizewinning book?

So here’s my belief about breaking through:

You might think you need more talent or technique or time working on your craft…

…but maybe what’s REALLY preventing your breakthrough is some dynamic within you.

Maybe your internal desire for harmony keeps you from bringing out the drama in a story–so that you write beautifully written books that don’t compel your readers.

Maybe your avoidance of failure keeps you from taking the big creative risk with your music or art.  

Maybe your intellectual approach to life keeps you from diving deep into the heart-searing truth… so your films appeal to professors but never pull in big audiences. 

(Do you tell yourself you’re not a “commercial” artist and that true art doesn’t sell? The truth is, there are plenty of artists who are critically AND commercially successful… so if you wouldn’t mind big checks coming in, read on. 😉 )

The truth is, when your creative career is still in the same place despite years (or decades!) of honing your craft and technique, there’s almost definitely something bigger at play: a persistent dynamic within you.

Think of this dynamic as a rock inside you. 

It’s built up over time because of your beliefs, emotional patterns, family or cultural stories, ancestral trauma lodged in the body, or vows carried in your professional or spiritual lineage. 

These are the “ecosystem” and landscape that created this rock inside you.

Unless you change the ecosystem that created the “rock,” the underlying dynamic (your lack of success) will continue. 

And unless you change the ecosystem itself, it doesn’t matter how many insights you have in therapy or how good you feel after a workshop: whatever keeps you from breaking through as an artist will reassert itself.

(You’ve experienced that, right? You’re alight with insight, your mind and heart blown open. You’re at the top of a mountain, breathing clear fresh air and seeing so far. Then a month later… nothing much has changed.)

But it IS possible to change your internal ecosystem–quickly. 

One of my clients was having trouble creating, dealing with a lot of self-doubt and procrastination. 

In a one-hour session, we completely shifted that. She let go of what was holding her back and connected with her “creative edge.” 

Just based on that one session, she started producing much more–and getting published regularly in The New Yorker. A year later, her book came out. It’s been over five years now, and she’s still going strong.

If you want to finally break through as an artist, the Creative Witchery Success Activation is designed to help you do just that.

It reveals why you’ve unknowingly plateaued or blocked your creative potential…

…transforms the core block that keeps you from doing your highest level work for more profit and recognition,

… and opens you to channel the work that leads to the big publications, prizes, and money.

I’m running a special on the Creative Witchery Success Activation ($200 off until 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday January 15), so grab yours now.

I can’t wait to celebrate your breakthrough success with you!!

P.S. To get $200 off, put in SPECIAL as the coupon code. It’s good till Wednesday January 15 at 11:59 pm ET. After that, the rate goes back to normal. 

(Still an amazing deal, because a big artistic breakthrough is worth SO MUCH… but wouldn’t you rather have $200 off? 😉 ) Book it now.