So how’m I doing in my quest to re-invent my life, follow my evolving Blisses and create the life I really, really want?
Oh, my goodness, what a week! My birthday week, in fact, which was filled with all sorts of goodies and wonders.
It started with the first day of the #CustomerLove challenge on Monday, and wow, what a difference that challenge has made!
The mere act of consciously thinking about how I can love my clients has had a profound affect on me. Given that my overarching goal in life is to help people be more creative and live happier lives, running my business from the #CustomerLove perspective only makes sense.
I’d been wanting to offer something fun and helpful to my Living A Creative Life peeps. Something that would allow me to interact more directly. But exactly what that might be hadn’t quite crystallized.
An accountability support group that gets people working right now on their Important Thing.
The Sandbox Sessions were born, and lo and behold, people started signing up!
Maybe this internet thing has some promise after all…
Thriving Artists Project
Lee is co-creator of Question the Rules [affiliate link], one of the courses (along with Chris Guillebeau’s Empire Building Kit [affiliate link]) that most inspired the Thriving Artists Project, so I used my time to ask his advice on how best to proceed with this enormous undertaking.
I told him what I’d done so far (a whole bunch of interviews, plus surveying my list to see what they want).
Lee’s advice: Ship!
And you know what? He’s right. My dreams for the course are grandiose, but better to have a finished course on a somewhat smaller scale than no course at all!
Plus, as Lee pointed out, once I have an actual finished product I’ll be able to offer it as a bonus for affiliate sales, and I can give away individual interviews as a bonus goodie for anyone who signs up on my mailing list.
This is how creative marketers think, and if you want to make a living from your creative stuff, you’ve got to be creative at marketing too.
Next up: editing and annotating the interviews. Then creating a membership site from which to distribute them.
Which Lee had advice for too. In fact, he said he’s almost done with a course that takes you step-by-step through this very process.
Sign me up!
It was my turn to be interviewed on Tuesday, when Dennis Charles invited me for a second time to be a guest on his BlogTalkRadio show, Build Your Career With Passion.
I’ve been enjoying playing Terry Gross, but I have to admit, playing Terry Gross’s guest is just as fun.
I’ll get another chance on Tuesday, when LaVonne Ellis interviews me for #CustomerLove.
Ladies of Jazz
I celebrated my actual birthday not by throwing a party, but by performing in a theater with three other jazz singer/songwriters. We call ourselves the Ladies of Jazz, and in the three concerts we’ve done since July we have garnered new fans and basically had a blast.
We’ve also learned that we really shouldn’t book venues that seat more than about 30 or 40 people. At least not yet.
Our first gig was standing-room-only, maybe 100 people. I sold 8 CDs, and we turned a nice little profit.
The next two gigs drew significantly smaller crowds, and left us in the hole.
As any performers out there know, building up a loyal fan base does not happen overnight.
Ah, well. Live and learn. At least we had fun, and so did the lucky folks who made it out to see us.
Anyone out there have a house concert space or other small venue? Onward ho!
Public speaking… for 5th graders
Like the concert on Friday night, the crowd was enthusiastic… though not as large as one might have hoped.
And in fact, half of the audience was made up of the 5th grade class.
When you know you have to entertain 5th graders, you’ve got to be kinda light on your feet, ready for anything. The key to averting disaster, I suspected, was to focus on the 5th graders and everyone would have fun.
I was right.
Here’s what the Adult Ed Coordinator had to say:
I can highly recommend Melissa Dinwiddie as a speaker and as an artist. She spoke to a multi-generational audience at Etz Chayim which ranged from 5th graders to adults. She tailored the talk to match the diverse ages in the audience and kept everyone engaged in what she had to say and show. She delivered a very positive program about how art and creativity enhances and beautifies Judaism. Her Ketubah artwork is stunning and she presented it in an historical and personal context which fascinated the audience. I’m delighted that Melissa brough her Ketubah art and creativity message to Etz Chayim.
Chairman, Adult Education
Not a bad review, eh?
20 years ago (okay, maybe 25 years..) I would never have guessed I’d love public speaking so much. Turns out I’m just a big (kosher) ham.
Dancing with the Ideal Daily Template
I confess I haven’t worked on a piece of art in weeks now. But I’ve been writing every day.
Will this work for me in the long run? No. I do want to get back to making art.
But for now, my priority is to get 365 Days of Genius launched by Jan 1, and that means a lot of writing! Blog posts up the wazoo, plus dozens of creativity lessons for a free e-course that will launch the same day as the site.
It’s a helluva lot of work, and although according to my original Ideal Daily Template, I spent my mornings playing ukulele, making art and then writing, I figured out a long time ago that if I want to get something done it’s best to do it first thing.
So I’ve adjusted my Ideal Daily Template to write first thing.
Before playing my ukulele, before leaving my bedroom, before turning on the computer.
And guess what: it works! Even if it feels like all I’m going to get out of my pen today is “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” after an initial Morning Pages-like brain-dump, ideas start to flow and gel.
54 days and counting. If I’m going to launch by Jan 1, making art may have to stay off the IDT for a little while longer.
But that’s the great thing about the IDT: it’s infinitely adjustable!
And to sum up…
God dang it I love my life!
As Fiona Purdy and I were saying in today’s Thriving Artists Project talk, the money situation isn’t exactly where we want it to be yet, but we’re thriving emotionally.
And that, people, is what it’s all about.
Happy Birthday to me, indeed.