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Visionary Alchemy: Your Guide to Creative Transformation

At the beginning of 2023, I decided that I would focus on my own projects: fiction writing, painting, and anything else that the Muses inspired. I vowed to go full Hermit-mode with my goals… which meant taking a break from producing zines, books, or blogs about practicing creativity. It was time to take my own advice.

But four months into the year, I realized I missed sharing those shorter-term projects and regular updates. And I was tired of the fleeting nature of Instagram stories and my social media-induced short attention span. I longed to get back to not only encouraging others to find their creative magic but have an outlet to share my own artistic processes and toolkit.

It’s time to get visionary

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A sparkly curtain inside The Color Factory in NYC

23 Questions for 2023: How to Leap Forward into Your Bright Future

New year, new you — right? While there’s no “right” opportunity to plan for the future, the days leading up to the new year are an ideal time to plant the seeds for something new for the next 365 days.

But don’t discard the past entirely. You might want a “new you,” but you don’t need to reinvent yourself because the calendar changed. Digging through the gems (and the dirt) of the last year can actually help you envision a brighter future for 2023.

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Answering the Call of Creativity

Creativity has always been the focal point of my life. I spent many of the rainy afternoons of my childhood (and even some of the sunny ones) writing stories and drawing pictures. By high school, I had filled my class schedule with art electives. Even in my free time, I attended fiction and screenwriting workshops outside of school.

Much later, armed with a master’s degree in creative writing and a love for the academic world, I had embarked on what was then my dream career: teaching college-level writing classes.

Yet by my late twenties, everything stalled. My teaching career had hit a dead end, with nothing resembling job security in sight. Commuting to different campuses and grading stacks of papers every weekend left me little time for my own creative pursuits. And those low adjunct wages meant I was barely scraping by. In other words, my dream job had turned into more of a nightmare.

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The Artist's Way and my Morning Pages journal

Living The Artist’s Way: Discover and Recover Your Creativity

If you’re a creator of any kind, by now you’ve probably heard of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. A bestseller for about 30 years now, The Artist’s Way is something like a 12-step program to get in touch with your creative side.

It was one of those books I’d heard about for years but didn’t think I’d be interested in. I already know how to be creative, I thought with some cynicism. What could you possibly learn about being creative from a book? A pretty harsh take from someone who made an entire ’zine centered around creativity, I know. But I take it all back now. I can honestly say that reading this book gave me new tools for my creativity that I didn’t think were possible. In fact, that ’zine got its start as a result of the work I was doing as I moved through the process. 

What is The Artist’s Way?

The Artist’s Way is divided into 12 chapters (plus intro and epilogue), meant to be read as one chapter, or lesson, per week. The chapters all deal with recovering parts of your creativity, with journaling prompts, activities, and opportunities to slow down and observe your process.

There are two primary activities that Cameron will call on you to do each week: daily morning pages and a weekly artist date.

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Introducing The Muse Manifesto

Your muse is pushing you to take action and live your boldest, most creative life.

It’s time to listen and make those ideas manifest.

Introducing The Muse Manifesto

The Muse Manifesto is a digital magazine for anyone daring to live a creative life. The inaugural Winter 2022 issue is centered around making the new year your boldest and most creative year. It includes nearly 70 pages of reflection exercises, rituals, and new routines to implement in 2022.

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a very pink sunset (no filter)

Self Care for Creatives: Science-Backed Practices for Mind, Body, and Spirit

Taking care of ourselves is essential at all times. Unfortunately, it’s easy to let our good habits fall by the wayside. Yet as creatives — artists, writers, performers, and other types of innovators — we need to have some way to take breaks, stay grounded, and give ourselves the support and encouragement we need.

I wrote this post with creators in mind, but self care is for everyone. And with May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to recognize how we’re feeling now and year-round. Paying attention to what’s going on for us mentally, physically, and emotionally is an excellent start.

If you already have these practices, this post will give you evidence that you’re on the right track. And if you’re not sure where to begin, here are some ideas to get you started. As a disclaimer, the advice in this post is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or condition, so if you have questions, please talk to a doctor or other professional.

Here are a few ways you can get started on practices for mind, body, and spirit (and why experts say you should, too):

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Melponeme, Greek Muse of Tragedy

What to Do When You’re in a Bad Mood

This Saturday, I woke up in what could best be described as a “funk.” It had started sometime during the week as a kind of low-grade irritability. But by Saturday, I was in deep. I felt tired, unmotivated, and somewhat unhappy, and for seemingly no reason. 

We’ve all been there at some point. When you’re in this situation, you have two choices:

  1. Stay there and go down that spiral
  2. Pull yourself out of it

The first option is easy. And yes, sometimes we need to sit and be with our feelings, without judging them. Toxic positivity — that gaslighting “Ignore your problems and just be happy!” mindset — never helps anyone. (And I don’t mean this about dealing with the big things — grief, depression, or trauma. This is the inexplicable bad mood that hits you out of nowhere. If it does persist, it’s important to speak to someone about it.) 

But as creatives, we can’t stay in this state forever. So the second path to change our mood is far more difficult. And it was what I proceeded to work through the rest of the weekend.

How did I manage to get through it? I wondered the same thing and began to examine my weekend. I then realized that if I could turn things around for myself that quickly, there had to be something I could share with others to help them do the same.

So here’s my list of the action steps I took this weekend. I hope that if you find yourself having an “off” day, you can use these tips to get back on track:

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The world's largest kaleidoscope in Mt. Tremper, NY

Curated Creativity: 5 Must-Watch TED Talks for Transforming Your Vision into a Reality

Artists, writers, performers, and other creators across disciplines have big dreams. But creative blocks and other obstacles can hold them back from turning their vision into reality.

Whether you’re a creative pro or enthusiastic amateur, you may have asked questions like:

  • Where should I put my attention if I have multiple interests?
  • Which sources of inspiration should I follow?
  • How can I gather up the courage to put myself out there?
  • Whom can I ask for help and support?
  • How do I create something that can change the world? 

The TED and TEDx Talks I’ve compiled below will answer these questions and inspire you to embark on your creative journey. Here are the five impactful lessons these artistic innovators have for creators of all kinds:

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