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Starstruck answers: An interview with Author Jill Badonsky

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jill cover real cover with museThe moment I held “The Muse is In: An Owner’s Manual to Your Creativity,” I was starstruck. First off, the book feels really good… fits nicely into my hands, an ideal weight, smooth sexy silkiness, and cool curvy corners. I opened it up and was drawn in… to the colours, the images and oh, the words! Thank you!
It prompted an email to the author extraordinaire, Jill Badonsky:

Subject: F*ck, your book is good.

“Holy f*ck. I am so impressed. Truly all your work has made this into clear, concise, fun, and inspiring teachings that will make such a difference. I think you’ve done what’s needed now: Sometimes reading is exhausting!!!!! But we can enjoy illustrations with teachings that don’t tire our unfocussed overworked minds. By gump, people will soon be able to focus again once they practice these tools. It is really really really f*ckin’ amazing.”

I can talk like this to Jill because.. well, we’re buds.
It was one of my favorite emails. 🙂
(By the way,  dear readers, all the purple responses are Jill’s)

And I am ever so grateful to be acknowledged in this kick-butt book twice. Thank you, Jillybean.
You’ve been an inspiration to me, Janet Whitehead, so thank YOU.

But, like I said, I was starstruck. That’s not always the best thing. By golly, I’m having moments of wanting to toss my work(play)books into the trash – I’ve heard myself say, “they pale in comparison.” What troubleshooting tips would you suggest, and where should I go directly in the book?

Start here: Know that I do the SAME thing. I see the work of others – including YOU- and get slimed by my Ego. This is a normal reaction especially for sensitive creative people. It consists of fears that normally surface in the creative process: The fear of not being good enough, of someone doing it better so there’s no need for you, of someone else beating you to an idea you really would like to share, of never being able to finish your work in a way that is significant. THESE ARE ALL LIES I TELL YA!

Understand that it’s the Beast of Comparison sneaking in your head and talking, also known as the Ego. We have to pass a lot of spiritual tests when we answer the creative call, it’s not always easy. Not being derailed by comparison is one of them. When you figure out its dynamics, you can save yourself time and grief.

When you feel that sensation of envy or comparison, let it be a signal that it’s your ego talking and not the truth. Seeing the work of others can also feel really good- but NOTE: It takes practice. It won’t happen just because you read that last line. I just expect myself to be 5% less envious each time I catch that awful feeling and it becomes a relief.

I also allow that feeling of envy to light a fire under my butt to go back and ask myself “Where can I improve my work?” Make feelings work FOR you not against you. They can do that. The book didn’t start out looking or sounding like you see it now. It really was a disaster. I know that my first renditions, even my fifth renditions usually aren’t going to be as good as the tenth or eleventh. There are exceptions. I did take things out I wish I would have left.Something important to know is that your subconscious always thinks you are talking about you, so if you compliment works of others that you love versus get down on yourself or try to decrease envy by criticizing them or the people themselves, it will feel better AND you will begin to thread the shuttles of the loom that will weave your own masterpieces, you will beam with good energy.

You make the craziest creative connections. These alone are inspiring. How do you come up with things like “Fuel yourself into loving the process” and “The Duhs.”
Crazy? Why THANK YOU. I’m not quite sure how I come up with things. They seem to just be there as a personality trait. I do a lot of free associating and daydreaming, but I think that’s just the way my brain works. It isn’t until people ask me how I come up with these things that I realize not everyone does (although I KNOW that you do too).

It’s brain play, figuring out what things SOUND like other things and also refusing to title pieces with predictability. I gravitate toward the off-beat and I suppose that makes me do off-beat things as well. I had eccentric parents…. well, they had me. Always looking for a way to be defiant helps too.

I love the preface. I mean, really, who has the nerve to do something that simple? Can you tell us how that page came to be?jill Preface2
My editor sent back the whole first draft of my book and said to cut it down by two thirds before she would even read it – BECAUSE IT’S AN OWNER’S MANUAL and is supposed to be concise. The preface used to be three pages of why creativity was important to me, how I used my pathology to be creative, hardships I went through, yadda, yadda.. just like many prefaces I had read before. When I thought about cutting things out I became rebelliously delighted about how different my preface would be from all those other ones I had read. How liberating it was to just throw all that writing out and leave the most important line.
Thanks for asking about that, that’s one of my favorite stories about the book that I seem to find funnier than anyone else.

Speaking of simple, you’ve taken creativity topics, principles and ‘how to’s’ that could fill a set of encyclopedias (if such a thing existed) and simplified them into concise, understandable concepts and simple do-able actions. That’s quite a feat, especially for the creative mind that can have.. ummm…. a LOT to say once it gets rolling. (and sometimes rolling right into overwhelm. Fortunately, I see there’s a troubleshooting section for that) Can you tell us how you mastered taking so much and tucking it into ‘so simple’?
As I mentioned in the last question, I HAD to or my editor wasn’t even going to read it. She kept saying, “Think powerpoint presentation,” which made me groan because I had so much more to say.

Although cutting the preface was fun, making the rest of the book concise and cutting out parts I was attached to and felt were important was painful and difficult. It was a huge lesson in cultivating non-attachment and figuring out what was most important. It took a long time and a lot of sighing. I just had to tell myself there would be a way I could get the rest of the information out there.

Is it okay to have used the f*ck word on my blog? Fuck yeah.

An honour to have you here, Jill. NO! IT WAS AN HONOUR TO BE HERE!!! Thank you Bo!!

Readers, thank you for stopping by!  Twenty comments and I’ll do a draw for the book! Pretty sure if you have questions, we can sneak Jill back here to share more.

You can find more about Jill at

I love this quiz!


About Janet

Artist/writer with a tall ship and mystical twist, Certified Professional Life Coach (ICA), Master Creativity Coach (KMCC), Curator/owner of Writerly Kits, workshop leader and creativity group facilitator trainer. Outdoor enthusiast and Tall Ship sailor. Been through breast cancer and found her own tools of play, lightness, creativity, nature, thinking differently and visualization assisted healing through and after treatments. Ever ever so grateful for all the wondrous people she is surrounded by.

9 responses »

  1. Okay now, I think I have to go buy this book. Love the “Are you Creative” quiz!

    BTW: If I enter this comment 19 more times, would that count as 20 comments for your draw? I win!!

    • Ha ha ha,… I thought ‘wouldn’t it be funny if someone entered 20 comments’.. and rebellious, true qualities of a creative soul. So, then, I thought, if they do, they deserve it! And wouldn’t you know, Linda, you’d come up with that the instant I published the post! Don’t rush to buy the book yet, just in case you win!

  2. 🙂 (that’s comment #2). 🙂

  3. Good idea Linda. Me next…Looks fun!

  4. What a perfect thing to read first thing Saturday morning !!! I luv the synchronicity of life !! Ok, so how long should I wait to find out I won the free copy ?? !! 🙂

  5. It was an honored to be interviewed by this Whitehead Chick. She is fresh and down with the whole inspiration thing. Plus she’s a really good friend.

  6. I don’t need to win the book….I ALREADY HAVE ONE! And it really is effing amazing!

  7. HAHAH! I wanted to write 20 comments too 🙂 Now I’d only have to do it 13 times.
    I asked for this book for my birthday, but I’ll wait in case I win!

  8. Paula's Paradise

    LOVE this book … and I already have a nice stack of ’em that I’m sending out to family and friends and clients (they’re loving it too!) … just wanted to stop by and say FAB interview and add a little cha-cha-cha to the comment count!


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