one of my weird creative habits

One of the weird creative habits I’m aware of is something I’m doing right now:

Posting info about a new course on Friday. Usually Friday afternoon in the USA, when I don’t think anyone is paying that much attention to their email.

I call it a weird because it seems…well…somewhat odd to me.

Why would I go through all the trouble to bring something new into the world and then hope that no one really pays attention?

Hint: Four-letter word that starts with an F.

No. Not that one.


It makes total sense from a vulnerability stand point.

On the other hand, the part of our brains where fear resides from doesn’t respond to good sense or logic. It simply flees or fights.

When I first learned that about the reptilian brain, something relaxed deeply within. There was no reason to feel bad about not being able to talk myself out of fear.

My weird Friday Afternoon Launch-When-No-One-Is-Looking Habit is way to be at peace with the fear.

To allow myself room to have imperfect launches and allow my reptilian brain to freak out, while I go ahead and press send anyway. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a good enough solution.

In my own perfect universe, there would be a genius marketing maven working with me behind the scenes to take my ideas, translate them into flowing sales copy, and then cue up the campaign so it arrives on whatever perfect day and hour you’re supposed to send these emails and posts out.

Since I live in no such universe, (or haven’t met Marketing Maven yet) and aim to Have No Fear of Imperfection, you’re getting this on Friday. Or geez, even Saturday (hello over there in Oz!).

This is what being a working artist looks like a lot of the time: imperfect, messy, disorganized in the marketing department. Lately, there is peace with that, too.

What matters most to me is making the work than selling the work. Sales matter, of course. But I simply do better and feel happier when I allow the majority of my creative energies to flow into making rather than marketing. Does that makes sense? I’d love to hear how you deal with this.

Another way to make all of this easier on my lizard brain is by putting out draft versions to you, my beloved readers first. If you have questions about the course or find errors, please let me know.

There aren’t even pretty pictures on the page yet…geez, even the buy buttons aren’t done, but it feels good to put things out and get feedback while they are in process. Creating is less lonely that way.

I’m boldly guessing that some of you (who are *ahem* caring enough to look at this whenever, thank you), care about this work and want to help me make it better, whether or not you care to participate at this time.

Oh, the new online course is called The 7 Creative Powers, and by golly, I’ve used all of them to bring this work to your inbox or RSS feed today. Which strikes me as kind of funny right now.

If you’re just skimming this:

1. The 7 Creative Powers (draft copy, open for registration)

2. What I said about Vulnerability

3. Happy Friday (or Saturday)

4. Thanks for reading this. It makes me happy to know you’re there.

Bonus: Share one of your weird (or not-so-weird) creative habits.

Paying attention to and learning what our creative habits are (whether they serve us or not) can help decide us do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t. With compassion.

17 Responses to one of my weird creative habits

  1. Marilyn October 3, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    AHHHHH! Resistance, Fear! My 2 biggys. I spend way to much time looking up artists & creative people online instead of getting up and doing. In my journals pencil in ideas, quotes, words to ……….. and yes here I am again on the computer. ………… I am working on making my Mantra “Do it NOW!” I’ll get back with you later to let you know how that’s working out for me! lol!

  2. Christine Mason Miller September 30, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    One of my favorite weird creative habits is to put off the thing I feel most called to do.


    • Lisa Sonora October 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Christine: Yeah – this always gets me, too. I’ve been wondering what, besides RESISTANCE, this is really all about. Somehow, I feel there is something more…

      Anyone please feel free to chime in on this.

      When it comes to what we feel most called to do, why do we put it off or avoid it?

      For me, this concerns my painting, and I feel determined to make a breakthrough. 🙂

  3. Elaine September 28, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    One of my weird creative habits is not to tell ANYONE what I’m working when I first start. I’m a writer and when I first have an idea, I don’t like to tell anybody about it. I like to get as much down on paper before discussing it. I don’t want to be influenced by any outside opinion before getting my raw emotions on a page. This can be difficult at work sometimes because my editors, obviously, need to know what I’m doing. I’m possessive that way. I look at it like a little newborn that I want to protect from the world until it’s had some time to form and mature.

    • Lisa Sonora September 30, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

      Elaine – Yes! First thoughts and first drafts need so much care and protection. Good for you. I think this is a really intelligent creative habit!

  4. Julie September 28, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Good SUNDAY morning, Lisa! Thank you for going so deep and identifying and sharing your vulnerability! I totally understand needing that thing to help me push send. I’d like to pass on the name of a wonderful business/marketing coach, George Kao. Maybe not today, but put it in your rolodex!

    • Lisa Sonora September 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      Julie – thanks so much.

      One thing I also feel vulnerable about is that I used to do marketing for a living… my MBA is in marketing … and for 10 years I had my own firm in San Francisco that promoted green and social businesses.

      So…I love the business and strategy of marketing, even thought I don’t want that to be my full time job anymore.

      What’s hard for me is, as an artist, to do for myself what I can so readily do for others.

      So I probably need someone who wants to be my marketing person, more than I need a marketing coach. I think. If that makes sense. 🙂

  5. Loralei September 27, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Aaah, fear… that has been popping up everywhere for me lately, since I publicly declared that I have both a fear of failure, as well as a fear of success (because both have daunting outcomes, you know)… and, as a result of fear, one of my weird creative habits is to ensure that I have less than the time I really need to make enough journals to have an amazingly successful market.. and then I lower my expectations dramatically, so that I don’t totally feel disappointed in myself.. Working on getting over that just this weekend, in fact, after making a personal declaration last night.. Thanks for sharing xo

    • Lisa Sonora September 27, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Hi Lorelei – What you are describing called “Structural Tension” – and I touch on it in The Creative Entrepreneur. It’s not my idea, its from systems thinking – one of those geeky things I loved about business school – and that’s helped me so much in regards to understanding why this pattern is so pervasive among all of us, not just artists.

  6. Amy Maricle September 27, 2014 at 4:22 am #

    HI Lisa:

    I love following your journey here. As an art therapist who is just getting started sharing the healing powers of art via workshops and classes in my business, you are a wonderful source of inspiration and pointers on how to do this. I am still in the in person version of the work, but hope at some point soon to convert things into online offerings as well, as you have. It’s funny because, I am about to launch a new class and was going to rush to send out the notice yesterday afternoon, but I decided that no one would see it Friday and to wait until Monday. I really love your vulnerability here and I know that it’s part of what helps empower people to be vulnerable enough to create and take risks in their art. You are leading by example.

    One of my weird creative habits is looking up ideas on Pinterest first for inspiration and at times copying it to see if I can do that awesome thing that inspired me.

    Thanks again,


    • Lisa Sonora September 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Amy – Thanks for sharing. I love teaching in person, and it took me a very long time to start bringing the work to an online format.

      That “wait until Monday thing” is so interesting… or… “wait until next week”. Yeah.

  7. Susanna Grace September 27, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    Hi Lisa
    Saturday morning over in Sheffield, England! I’m new to your work (and world) but loving it with a capital L. I missed the Creative Journaling ecourse deadline (due to supporting my Mom through her terminal illness and passing) so have bought your book The Creative Entrepreneur and am truly savouring that. One of my weird tips is to stimulate my other senses, especially if I’m creatively blocked. So I will play music while I draft copy or go into the back yard and really use my eyes to absorb shape, colour, form or maybe do a Qi Gong energy tap. My sense of smell is also hugely important, and those neural pathways link straight to the reptilian brain and bypass the modern frontal lobes. Somehow this sensory stimulus shakes up the stuckness and centres and connects me. I think it also works because the activity stops being a ‘head’ thing (I must get this done, I have a deadline etc) and becomes a ‘whole of me’ thing. Sending love and gratitude over
    your way xx

    • Lisa Sonora September 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Susanna – Welcome! Thanks for sharing your creative habit. Great ideas…

  8. Tabitha Beck September 26, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    Thank you for sharing–it makes me feel better to know I am not the only one working to make peace with my fear by doing things … oddly …

    My one weird creative habit–and one that is most recent–is actively seeking to find ways to work with things my toddler does, say, in my art journals…and finding out when I let the little snot do his thing–and then I do my thing, either w him or afterward–I really REALLy like a lot of the results that pop up…

    And this morning–while watching kids’ cartoons w him…I saw the greatest and most simple flower shape…and then I spent all day re-creating that shape over and over in my journal…

    Inspiration is everywhere. 🙂

    • Lisa Sonora September 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Tabitha – what a great inspiration to combine two challenging things: artmaking AND mothering! wow.

      I am so glad to hear from you and others how you are working with odd / weird creative habits to overcome fear.

      We are on to something…

  9. Serena Aika Pruess September 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    One of my creative habits is to write down little doodles and words then go back into my journal and write and draw into great detail what I was thinking back when I made the little reminder line. Not sure if its normal or not lol

    • Lisa Sonora September 27, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Serena – great to hear your process. The pattern I’m seeing here in responses is: the way we do things is totally unique. Just like we each are as humans. I love that.

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