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Tag Archives: performers

Mira’s List – grants, fellowships, and more

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A blog well worth visiting..

Ahhh, the show is almost open, the books here any minute..

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Computers need naps too

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Imagine my daughter’s surprise when she popped in one day awhile back and a lovely blanket was covering the computer. 

“Mom, what the ?” she commented, with the ‘look’ that says, “oh, what is my strange mother up to now?”

“It’s taking a nap, dear.” I answered.

Sometimes, the computer dons a sweater.  That’s when it wants to go out.

At Christmas time, it dresses festively to suit the occasion.

It’s common knowledge that computers can be a very enticing distraction from doing other things.  A couple emails leads to hours of exploring.  A word game leads to more word games.  A youtube video  leads to more and more videos.  A quiz leads to another quiz.  And of course, your fairyland on facebook always needs some attention – and you feel good about that because you are saving the rainforest.  

And if you are one of those people who have signed up for a lot of free resources, you could spend your entire day going through the newsletters.. and that’s just to delete them!   (If you are in that arena,  here’s a hint: pick two to five that you do read.  Unsubscribe from the rest.  Sure, there are some that you know you’ll want in your life someday.  You could mark those sites as favourites for the future, or simply know you will come across it again when you do need it.)

In my particular case, the computer is central to much of my business: 

  • I maintain an online console for my clients and me.
  • I coach both in person and by telephone, and clients are most welcome to communicate via email between sessions. 
  • I manage my website, my blogs, my marketing and graphics.  
  • I twitter, I facebook, I belong to networks of coaches, I attend forums and webinars related to creativity, life coaching, business coaching, marketing.
  • And be darned if the computer isn’t a big part of publishing a book!  (a whole new area for me!  Book will be out in a couple of weeks! whoo hoo)
  • And of course, I write work(play!)books.

Yup, my computer is key to my business. 

Do you know how easy it is to be doing something else nearby and think, “oh, I have an idea..” and suddenly be immersed in doing ‘something’ on the computer.  Or be doing my taxes, and get inspired to write  a post about napping computers?  (Yup, this post is an inspired escape from boredom!)

And that, dear readers, is why my computer takes naps or goes out.  Sure, I could just turn it off… but 1. I’d have to save everything, finish everything, or remember to reopen everything AND that takes time!  2. I could just as easily turn it back on.

But if I whip back to the computer to do a quick email, or pay a bill, and I see that it is napping.. well, I smile  (in fact, I laugh) and know it’s supposed to be sleeping for a little while.   I’m even more respectful when it ‘goes out’ .. usually that means I REALLY need a break, and threw the closest thing possible over it’s sweet little head.  er.. monitor.

Does your computer need a nap?  Do you have a blanket?  Give this little trick a shot.  If there’s one thing I do know, using humour and ‘lightening up’ methods to change habits is a lot more fun than more traditional ways that, darn it, just aren’t working.

“The Perfect is the enemy of the Done.”

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I feel like my life is an ongoing learning curve that occasionally does huge leaps – kind of like my blog stats on days that Jill Badonsky stops by.   Creating sculptural illustrations that would become a book was a challenge, but who knew the process of getting the book ready for publishing was such a challenge too?   Seriously, there are a billion options and ways to produce a book from photos of Clay Illustrations.     My wise and kind and very resourceful photographer and self-publishing expert, William McAusland, ( ) shared this with me: “One thing I have heard from successful creative people is to keep in mind that “The Perfect is the enemy of the Done.”

Ya, I know that.  I help people all the time to know that.  Perfectionism can sometimes stop a creative being from ever creating.  But it was a brilliant reminder on William’s part – because now the book is DONE.  Yay!   Well, one more run by my daughter – who, with her Masters in Communication Design, is the best editor I could even imagine.. then it’s off for publishing.  Phew.


"Page 3- The Wizard" The Demise of Noshud Hafta by Janet L Whitehead ©2009

2:54 am. Glazing the evil one

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Glazing, gold firing, immersed in the story ….   I LOVE this project!  Soon to be revealed.  It began with a  story “The Demise of Noshud Hafta” I wrote in 1994.   Although I didn’t realize it’s power at the time, this story was the beginning of getting to where I am now.  It’s a story of an artistic little ‘leprechaun of sorts’, and the evil Noshud Hafta.   The current project?  Each page of the story is being created in clay. .. then photographed and published as a book.   Yup, each page is a sculpture.

Back at it.  or gee, maybe I ought to go to bed. But I LOVE this project!

{Book, title, artwork copyright Janet L. Whitehead 1994, 2008, 2009.}

Deadlines cause creation

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There is a cure for all of the barriers we, the creatively inclined, have.  It ends procrastination, percolation, self sabotage, and avoidance.  Excuses will stop. You know the ones:  “I have to clean the house’, “I have to feed the baby” (okay, that’s a pretty legit one), “I have to do my taxes”, “I have to just check these emails”, “oh, Grey’s Anatomy is on.”  It’s amazing what a creative can do to not create.  

The cure?  Book yourself an exhibition.  Book an art show and sale.  Book a book signing.  You may still procrastinate.  And you will rightfully percolate the thoughts, ideas, techniques, concepts for quite some time. But eventually, you will look at the date and say, “Oh shoot, I have to do it now.”   Yup, deadlines stop all the self talk, tests, and general meanderings.  If you leave it too long before you start, you’ll even miss Grey’s Anatomy willingly.   Because once you give yourself permission to just get it done, you immerse yourself in the process of creation that you love, and you wonder, once again, why did I leave it so long?

Sure, there are other ways to get creating or doing whatever it is your heart truly desires.  Coaching helps to find your best way to be creating or moving forward in any area of your life with less stress, more gentleness, less self sabotage, more joy…  But, if coaching is not an option right now –  a surefire cure is to book the event where your work will be shown.

Be audacious.. book a show.    Trust me, I know all about this. Have you noticed I haven’t sent out a newsletter this month?  Yup, working on a deadline!

“The higher the salary, the messier the person”

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From Life Learning Magazine, March/April 2007 –  Thank you, Coreena, for sharing!

    “When my office gets particularly messy, I just quote the cliche that a messy desk is the sign of a creative mind.  Fortunately for me, there is increasing evidence that disorder is, indeed, “the detritus of a creative mind” as columnist Penelope Green wrote in the New York Times late last year.  In their book ‘A Perfect Mess:  The Hidden Benefits of Disorder,” Eric Abrahamson and David Freedman show that moderately disorganized people and institutions are frequently “more efficient, more resilient, more creative and in general more effective than highly organized ones.”  And probably more successful too.  They cite a survey that found that the higher the salary, the messier the person:  “Sixty-six percent of Americans making $35,000 or less are self-described ‘neat freaks,” whereas only 11 percent of those earning above $75,000 claim the same.”

    Abrahamson and Freedman are at the forefront of what one might call the “anti anti-clutter movement.”  They are encouraging people to invite confusion into their lives in order to be more creative and productive both personally and at work. In an article in Inc. magazine, they advise us to “be inconsistent, pile up, blur categories, make noise, bounce around, get distracted.”  Sound like any kid you know?”

Doesn’t this scream out at you:  “Be more creative, make more money, hire a housekeeper”? It does me.

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