Posts tagged Creativity Quest podcast
Embrace Your Full Throttle Creative Life
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What do you do when everything falls apart? That time in your life when you lose your career, your house, your sense of purpose and your self esteem?

If you’re Matt Buchman, you hop on a bicycle and head out on a round-the-world bicycle trip. And then, somewhere along the way, you get a book idea and you start to write and your first novel is born.

Matt joined me on Creativity Quest to talk about all of this - along with the creative openness that led him into writing a wide variety of genres, from Sci Fi to thriller to romantic suspense to straight up romance with a few other side trips along the way. You know that thing wise publishing people say about picking one genre and sticking with it? Matt is evidence that you can follow your creativity wherever it wants to go and be successful - he has 60 books in print and is a full time writer.

Also? Quilting. Who would have guessed, right? But it’s on the list of his creative outlets.

It’s taken Matt over twenty years to get to the place where he felt he could properly tell the story of that fateful bicycle adventure, but you can now pre-order Mid-Life Crisis on Wheels. Also watch for his thriller, Drone, coming soon.

Listen to the podcast below or at any of the following podcast outlets:

Scratch and Sniff Inspiration: a conversation with Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor
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The most awesome thing about hosting a podcast is that I get to hang out with my guests and talk about creativity and writing. And one of the primary things I brought away from my conversation with Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor is that I need to write books that require really fun research.

And I mean really fun, as in hanging out on the Cote d’Azur, visiting French parfumeries, and even taking perfume making classes! Clearly I write the wrong kinds of books. Research for Everything You Are took me to Seattle, where I got lost (briefly), sampled many different coffee roasts, explored the lobby of a hospital, and took a long walk in a park. All of this was fun, but not like hanging out in France and learning how to make perfume.

Of course, writing historical fiction requires a lot more research than I usually get into, and both Heather and Hazel are meticulous and professional about the research they do for their books, so immersion on location is necessary. In this case, with Meet Me in Monaco, a novel that unfolds around the events of the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier of Monaco, the decision to structure the book around a special fragrance designed for Grace by a struggling perfume maker is nothing short of brilliant.

As a side note, the quest of the character Marie to create an exquisite perfume that will not only fulfill her personal desire for the ultimate fragrance but also save her floundering business reminds me very much of how it can feel to be an author. For Marie, inspiration often comes from the scent of everyday things: a leather jacket, tobacco, a field of flowers.

Smell may be the most powerful of all the senses for evoking memory and emotion, and the use of fragrance in Meet Me in Monaco has served the book well, eliciting endorsements like this one, from Kate Quinn, NYT bestselling author of The Alice Network:

A fragrant French bonbon of a book: love, glamour, perfume, and paparazzi all circling around the wedding of the century...”

We joked about the book being born of “scratch and sniff inspiration,” which I honestly think we all could benefit from. Next time I’m stuck in my writing, I’m going to go on a sensory tour just smelling things and see what happens!

You can listen to our conversation on my Creativity Quest podcast at any of the links below. If your favorite podcast app isn’t included, do a search - chances are good you can find and follow Creativity Quest on your favorite podcast site.


Rogue Ideas, the Gin Club, and more, with Author Barbara Claypole White

When an idea shows up - and it's not the one prescribed by your career - what do you do? Author Barbara Claypole White made the courageous choice to write the book that was talking to her, rather than the one she thought she should be writing.

This lively episode of Creativity Quest is available as either video or podcast—take your pick! I’ve included the Soundcloud link, but you can now subscribe to Creativity Quest on most of your favorite podcast apps!

You can find Barbara on Facebook:
Follow her on Bookbub:
And find out anything else you want to know at her website:

OH - and check out her books, of course! Here's an Amazon link:

Self Talk Radio: How the Inner Critic holds us back

The inner critic.
Being hard on yourself.
Maybe even "being a realist."

Whatever you call it, negative self talk is a prevalent behavior that's been coming up a lot lately with writer friends, coaching clients, and even popped up as an issue of concern on a podcast I was listening to yesterday.

I'm going to guess that it affects you too. I know it certainly affects me. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could be our own best cheerleaders, encouragers, and motivators, rather than our biggest critics and demoralizers? Imagine how many creative risks we might take, how many new things we might explore, how much more good we might do in the world?

The first step to solving any problem is understanding it, so let's tune in to Self Talk Radio KERRY, a station that is playing continually in the background of my consciousness, usually without my awareness, and see what's playing.

(NOTE: When I wrote the first draft of this I included stuff other people have said and kinda made stuff up. This is the honest transcript, because I want you to know that whatever is going on in YOUR head, you are not alone.)

What makes you think you can pull this self employed thing off? You'll be crawling back to the day job before a year is up.
Getting a little big for our britches, aren't we?
Maybe you used to be able to write, but you certainly can't write now. Nobody is going to read this shit.
I don't know what you were thinking to start this podcasting project, because you know you'll just get bored and drop it and nobody will ever listen anyway. All full of ideas, but you never finish anything.
You know you're going to fail, so why bother to start...

Yikes. Okay. That was helpful.... NOT.

Know this. If your private self talk station sounds anything like this, you are not alone. Pretty much everybody I know deals with this type of self criticism on a regular basis.

Recently, I was lucky enough to go on a cruise with Cruising Writers, hosted and run by Christina Delay, my business partner for Creative Wellness Retreats. I facilitated a group for the writers on the cruise about our inner critics that turned out to be surprisingly powerful, even for me. We all took a few minutes to download the negative self talk going on in our brains (something I'm going to invite you to do in just a few minutes.)

One of the writers stopped writing, looked up at me, and said, "This is so mean."

Well, yes. It is mean. And it got meaner.

Because the next thing I asked them to do was to choose one of those things they were saying to themselves, and then deliver that line to somebody else in the group. There were actual tears, here, my friends. Not from the person the line was delivered to, but from the deliverer. Things they had been saying to themselves unconsciously for years made them cry when said out loud to another human being.

I would never look at another human being on a journey and say, "You're totally going to fail at this," or "Your writing sucks, dude."

This isn't being a realist. It isn't tough love. It's mean and hurtful and not helpful.

Imagine the damage done by having this kind of toxic garbage playing in your subconscious day in and day out, year after year after year.

Now, are you ready for the good news?

You can change it! You can convert the Self Talk Channel into a motivational channel that will encourage and inspire you rather than dragging you down. I'm going to give you the steps of a simple practice, drawn from Kaizen-Muse coaching, that you can implement to start this transformation.

1. Awareness. Start tuning in to that negative voice so you know what it's saying. Much of its power comes from the way it runs in the background, influencing you while you're busy doing other things. Take five minutes to free write the critical messages. Don't stop to think or analyze, just scribble them down.

2. Draw a big heart around them. Write a message like, "This is normal, I accept that everybody does this." Or, "I am not alone with this." Or, "Thank you for sharing." (Do this step, even if you want to skip it. It's important. It takes some of the energy away from the critic.)

3. Reframe. Look at those things you've written down and see how you might turn them into encouraging messages. Imagine you are delivering them to a friend you love and believe in. What might you say then?

Try focusing on a positive aspect. For example, I'm converting "You know you're going to fail, why bother to start?" into "You're awesome for starting this project. I love your energy and enthusiasm!" That feels so much better. It gives me energy to keep going, rather than fulfilling an expectation of failure.

Or, reframe the negative into a positive question. Like this:

"Nobody is going to read this shit," becomes "What if this grows into an awesome book and my readers love it?"

Again, this question makes me want to keep going. To keep writing. It gives me permission to grow the book, to develop it into something good even if it isn't awesome yet.

4. Say nice things to the woman or man in the mirror. I got this one from the podcast I was listening to yesterday - LOA Recon with Jeannette Maw. What you do is say nice things to yourself, every day (or as many days as you remember - no beating yourself up for missing!) while looking in the mirror. I think Jeannette mentioned a magic number to aim for - like 40 days, or something - but anything you do will help.

One important rule: You don't get to beat yourself up for your negative self talk.

A funny thing happens when we start in to change this pattern. We start beating ourselves up for beating ourselves up, in an ongoing endless cycle. Funny how we're like that, right?

It's taken a lifetime to develop this pattern, so don't be surprised if it takes some time to shift it. Hey, if you’re reading this, you've already taken the first step! Now, where can you find a few minutes to do the exercise?

I do have some more resources for you to take this work deeper. I made a little video, and my 2nd episode of the Creativity Quest podcast with Authors on the Air Global Radio Network is on this topic and will be up later today. If you missed the very first episode, on Becoming the Fear Whisperer, you can listen to that here.

I'm also offering coaching calls where we can work together to create an individualized plan for transforming your self talk radio station into positive motivation.

Reprogramming this one thing makes such a powerful difference, my friend. Undertaking this work is one of the most important steps you can take toward being your best, most creative self--which in turn makes the world a better place for all of us.

Happy Creating!