Creative but not creating?

If you’re creative but not creating, I happened upon a letter written to you – hope you don’t mind me reading your mail –

A Letter to Creatives Not Creating

Darling, you’re an artist.

Yup. You are.

Even if you’re not writing/painting/photographing right this minute. It’s in you. Like it or not, you were born with it.

Maybe right now you’re hustling at your 9-5 but your soul is shouting, “SAVE ME!”.

Maybe you want to go big with your art but the STRUGGLE IS REAL! This shit is hard, and you just can’t make a living doing JUST this.

Maybe you have a big dream but you’re too damn scared to do it (it’s ok, you can admit it).

Well, darling, I love you, but you’re WRONG.

You CAN do what you love and make money.

Yup, I said it. And I can say it because I’m doing it. And you can too.

Step 1: Stop saying you can’t.

Like, yesterday. You CAN. And you will.

Look at all of the people who HAVE done it, who ARE doing it. They are your sign that it’s possible. Take that jealousy that you’re feeling and decide right now to turn it into fuel.

When art is in you, your job is to let it out. Let it [the f] out.

Step 2: Figure out how.

Maybe you need a bridge job. Maybe you need to learn about marketing. Maybe you just need to get in the flow.

What you definitely need is to figure it out.

You need to make making it happen your mission.

You only get one life. ONE. And you get to make up how it goes. You are not a victim of your circumstance. You are not your student loans. You are not another person who put her dream on hold to work in a cubicle.

You are the writer. You are writing the story of your life right this minute.

How do you want your story to end?

Make your art.

With love,



Creative Prompts for August

Feel you want to write or draw something, but just not sure what to tackle, today?  Or want fresh warmup challenges?  Sketchbook Skool have given a challenge a day for August!

What do you mean – it’s a little bit late telling us this, August has started already?!  Do I hear dissension?  Verily, I raise a quizzical eyebrow.

But wait – let’s find the positive – you can start today and choose either the prompt for the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of August.  Oh look – the challenge against today’s date is “First” – so that takes you to the first anyway!!

Right: pencils sharpened, favourite writing pen aloft, knitting needles at stun-ningly gorgeous, or whatever creative tools you wish…… and GO!


The absurdity of writing/not writing poems

If writing a poem seems absurd – still, why not?  Perhaps it’s equally strange not to write? Our encouragement to write, today, is from Nobel poet, Wislawa Szymborska of Poland

I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.

These few lines are taken from her poem, “Opportunities” – and a lovely example of her (more…)

Humour me

I was thinking today about a very good friend who is simply in a difficult set of circumstances.  She is immensely capable, resourceful, witty, hardworking and completely unself-pitying.  But is in a long-running set of adverse circumstances which would put the frighteners on any optimist.  In all this greyness, where is the colour?  And a phrase came to me:

“Follow the thread of laughter”

IMG_5251.JPGLike the legend of Theseus finding his way out of the maze after fighting the monster – by following a ball of thread given to him by Ariadne, who loved him – I think that genuine humour, in the greyness of difficulty, stress and bone-weariness is a relief of light.

To be able to laugh, even briefly, is such a gift.  In the middle of a sad story or pressured time, to find the wry comment, the one-liner, the ruefully hilarious simile, the self-deprecating remark – brings a genuine laugh, a release of tension.

This is something I can do for my friend.  Send a card that appeals to a shared sense of humour, tweet a comment, write a letter, fire off a facetious text.  Throw out the ball of thread that promises lightness at the end of the tunnel, another emergence into the light.   And to help ourselves, sometimes seek out a humorous book or TV series.  For myself, when social media becomes saccharine, sentimental and unbearably “cute” I treat myself to a slightly astringent dose of humour such as an episode of TV humour: “Black Books” or “Blackadder”.  Or when recovering from flu, in that one day of blahness, when the body and mind feel like porridge, a good dose of radio comedy or smart witty panel games just brings back that zzhuzh and sparkle of life.  The promising sound of laughter.

Created to create (5 mins)

That’s how this guy, Dave Herrity, describes us in this brief advert for his book, as he shows us a creative exercise from his writing:


“Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand” is a book of devotional meditations and exercises designed for personal spiritual growth and innovative community building. Through 28-days of poetry, prayer, writing practice, contemplation, and personal reflection.