Shell by Adair Heitmann

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”

-Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things

Creativity and wellness message for today: Delight in hidden messages and the blessings of small things.

Create When No One is Looking

(c) Adair Heitmann

One of my favorite authors, the Kentucky born Barbara Kingsolver says:

“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”

Creativity and Wellness message for today: Just do it! Write, create, paint, dance, just do it!

2013 in review: Thank You

Three cheers and Happy New Year to my readers, followers, friends, and fellow artists and writers, creative types all! The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Check it out! I just had fun on the “Crunchy Numbers” page by clicking on the pictures and scrolling through them to find blog posts that way. Here’s to a great 2014!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Making Art Fun: Step 9 – Stop When Done

stop-signHello to all my amazing followers! Thank you for joining me on this creativity and wellness journey. Participating in the 2013 Sketchbook Project inspired me to write down my 9 steps in making art fun and in keeping your creative spirits going. As a seasoned artist, I’ve had my ups and downs in the art world.

Like fine wine, as I age, perspective seeps in. I notice the challenges of working, raising a family, and sustaining a multi-decade, long-term and committed relationship. Keeping up with family, friends, volunteering, and still claiming time for my professional art and writing is a steep order. Yet, I find happiness in inspiring endeavors. Seizing the day keeps my inventive juices ripe and flowing.

Like in baking a cake, you have to know when it is done. Some people use their sense of smell, others, set a timer, or stick a toothpick in the center. We all have our techniques. It’s the same in any innovative project.

Today, I’ll finish this series of posts about making art fun. I’m done! I know it because I’ve said everything I want to, about this specific topic. Being able to share what I’ve learned with you, has been a pleasure. Now I’m satisfied about wrapping this series up, and I am anticipating what I’ll write about next time, here, on my blog.

You can click on each link below to read the last 8 posts in sequence. To recap my barometer on making art fun, and to reiterate, “if it ain’t fun, don’t do it:”
1. Keep it simple
2. Use what you have on hand
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel
4. Lighten up
5. Delete your inner critique
6. Be playful
7. Listen to your inner voice
8. Allow for happy accidents
9. Stop when done

Ding! Ding! My cake’s done!

Creativity and wellness message for today: Trust your own sense of timing. Then share a slice of what you’ve made with others.

Making Art Fun: Step 5 – Delete Your Inner Critic

inner_criticFor the last few months I’ve been sharing hints on how to enjoy your creative endeavors, be they art, writing, photography, or blogs. Today’s thoughts are about deleting your inner critic. We all know what that is and how following its advice can trip you up. I’m thinking a little differently today about my dear old inner critic. I’m aware that most times it shoots me in the foot. Yet there are those occasions when it may have a point. Below are some options on how to handle your own inner critic. Let me know what technique you use and how it works out.

a. Challenge your inner critic – Fight it, debate with it, let it know you are in charge.
b. You don’t have to silence your inner critic – find a way to work side-by-side, co-exist.
c. Consider – Is your inner critic working with you or against you?
d. Personify it – what does it look like, sound like, where does it reside in your body?
e. Choose humor – Say to your inner critic, “So what? Who cares? Big deal!”
f. Give it a new job – re-assign it responsibilities.
g. Delete it – Yep, just press the delete key.  Or I do what I do, say to yourself, “Delete, delete, delete.” It works.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Get to know that voice inside you that doesn’t think you’re good enough. Then choose to not let it run (ruin) your life.

My Blog 2012 in Review

Thank you to all my 2,300 readers and 494 followers!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tips for Newbie Blog Writers

I’m frequently asked for advice on blogging. In my programs, speeches, and recently here in the comment section of my blog, budding bloggers want to know what to do. On this Halloween day, the pumpkins are carved, candy is bought, and the costumes are complete. Today is a good day to share some new thoughts on blogging.

1. Take off your mask. Be real in what you write, authenticity is a good thing.
2. Just do it, start a blog, keep it simple, keep it fun. Don’t do it if it’s a chore.
3. Find your niche or specialty. Write from that perspective.
4. Subscribe to other blogs, learn from them. Many times it’s what you don’t like about someone else’s blog that helps you create one that is uniquely yours.

Just like a teenager going through puberty, I write in growth spurts. My rule of thumb is to publish this blog once-a-weekish or when the spirit moves me. When I don’t have anything to say, I don’t.

Creativity and wellness message for today: Risk trying something new, go out there without your mask.

You Can’t Get Lost

Exactly one year ago today I put my foot in the water and tested the wild world of blogs. I gave myself permission to post entries once-a-weekish. My goal was to inspire you (my readers) to create the life you love as I shared information on how to feel well even in troubled times.

Statistically I’ve written 29 posts in 8 different categories. This year my blog had 1,027 views and readers are now subscribing to it. With this blog I’ve established a venue in which I am accountable to show up, write and publish. That feels good.

My definitions of creativity and wellness, that I originally penned in 1990 hold true today:

* To be creative is to handle life’s challenges from an enlightened perspective. Creativity honors the unknown, it delights in and ignites spontaneous joy.

* Wellness is the experience of balanced, free-flowing energy on many levels — mind, body, emotions, spirit. To feel well is to accept the whole of who you are.

Thank you for tuning in with me on this journey together. Please let me know your comments and thoughts. What would you like to see more of in this blog, less of or stay the same? Thank you to all of my subscribers out there, your feedback lets me know someone is listening.

Take-away message for today: Creativity is like a thread, while you hold it you can’t get lost.