IMG_8853During the month of July, I am challenging myself to use my Creative Rx Video Affirmation Series every day.

The point is to break through any blocks I may have and reaching my full creative potential.

That’s what Creative Rx is for. It’s a simple tool you can use to replace negative thoughts about yourself and your creative work with positive, supportive thoughts.

It’s such a simple idea. I’m not sure why no one else has ever thought of doing affirmations this way!

Of course plenty of successful people have suggested the use of positive affirmations. But I have simplified the process and made it a lot less corny, so you don’t have to feel so self-conscious about it.

Why? Because over the past 14 years of teaching I’ve learned that every writer needs to be vigilant about keeping their creative house clean. And your mind is your house. Whatever is in your house is the result of your deep-seated beliefs. And these can only be addressed with a gentle, steady approach.

Is it time to clean up your thinking? Would you like to have a more positive, contagious attitude?

You can turn on your videos at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, whenever you are feeling discouraged or low on energy, or even while you eat your lunch.

The time of day does not matter. What matters is that you pay attention to your response to the videos.

Do you feel at peace with the messages you are getting?

Do you believe they are true?

Do you want to argue or have a debate about them?

Do you want to say, “Yeah, but…”

Once you get to the point where you can peacefully affirm what you see and hear in the videos, you have probably made a big internal shift.

All of those lingering doubts and cynical thoughts that are just so insidious and sabotaging can be replaced with positive, self-trust and creative inspiration.

At the end of the day, there are really only two kinds of people. There are the people who say yes to themselves and there are the people who say no to themselves.

Which kind of person do you want to be?

Purchase Creative Rx for a very low price and you will benefit from using the tool for a lifetime.

And why not join me this month in watching or listening to the ten-minute video series every day during the month of July?

If you do, you will have a whole new mindset by the time August arrives.

Summer is usually when we step back from work a bit, and this makes it the perfect month for upgrading our attitude.

Hope you can join me!

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Katz Family At Disney

Luckiest photo opp ever. We just happened to be where they were planning to pose for photos on during out last night at the park.

We just returned from a family/dance trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

This is the 60th Anniversary of the park and Disneyland is really going all out to celebrate their Diamond Anniversary, including special events in California Adventure Park.

To be honest, if my daughter’s dance team had not been planning to perform in one of the parks and at Downtown Disney, as well as taking a dance workshop there, I doubt our family would have made the trip this summer.

I am not sure if simply knowing it was the 60th anniversary would have been enough to compel me to go. But now that we have gone, I think skipping a visit during the Diamond Anniversary would have been a mistake.

Before we left, I remembered how much I was inspired by Disneyland the last couple of times we went. But on this visit, I could not help feeling that every creative person really needs to go to Disneyland at least once in their lifetime to reap the rewards. And the Diamond Anniversary Celebration is an extra-inspiring time to go.

Nobody invited me to write this post to promote Disneyland and California Adventure Park. This is purely my opinion as a longtime creative. If you are also a longtime creative, here are a few reasons why you might want to attend:

1. Creativity needs inspiration. There are probably a handful of exceptionally creative people, in my opinion, who maximized their creative gifts in their lifetimes. For me, Walt Disney was definitely one of the most creative and visionary men who ever lived. And any creative person attending the 60th celebration will catch the creative wave that Disney created and feel buoyed up by it.

2. Walt Disney was a creative visionary and a business person. I have been teaching creatives to become more professional since 2001. Disney did not combine the two skills perfectly all the time, but I have yet to meet anyone who does. Most creatives I know can stand to expand their professional skills. But you can’t help but think of your creativity as a business after a trip to Disneyland.

3. It’s fun to feel like a kid again. Taking your family to Disneyland is a lot of work. No matter how large your family, there is no way to avoid some of the logistical stress that accompanies any cross-country family vacation. But you know what? About fifteen minutes after you enter either of the two parks, Disneyland or California Adventure, you will forget about everything except how much fun you are having.

4. We live in cynical times. We compartmentalize things. We intellectualize. We justify feeling stuck by calling it “being a responsible adult.” But in doing so, we cut off our access to the magic that might otherwise seep into our everyday lives. At Disneyland, the staff is trained to turn up the magic. And this is a feeling you cannot help but catch and enjoy during your visit.

5. You are probably stuck in the ways that you think. No matter how much I already appreciated the way Disney used to think, and no matter how much I have always been inspired by previous visits to Disneyland, I am always struck by just how eye-opening the experience is each time. And to make matters better, I notice and appreciate new things every time I go.

6. Disney was global and multimedia before it was easy to accomplish either goal. Today, we can go global in the touch of a few buttons on a laptop. What would Disney have accomplished if this had been the case for him? And yet, despite the challenges in creating a progressive, evolving business model, he found ways to make it work. Check out this two-hour documentary on Walt Disney, below, for more background information.

7. It all started with a drawing of a mouse. Then Disney animated the mouse. Then he produced a few short films with the mouse. Then he produced Steamboat Willie. Then he kept doing more smart things with the mouse like adding merchandising and launching The Mickey Mouse Club. Eventually Mickey Mouse earned Walt Disney an honorary Oscar. All of this took time, of course. None of it happened overnight. But nothing happens overnight. And when you visit Disneyland, you will see for yourself what sustained commitment and consistency can produce.

Maybe you are cynical. Maybe you think Disneyland is kid stuff or a giant marketing machine.

You’d be right. It’s both. The price to get to Anaheim and enter the parks and keep your family fed and rested is high.

But as a creative business person, you really can’t afford to not go and experience it for yourself, whether it’s your first time or your tenth.

Besides, your kids will love you for it.

If you like, enjoy this two-hour documentary about Walt Disney produced by The Walt Disney Family Foundation. It’s called, Walt, The Man Behind The Myth.

You don’t have to be a die-hard fan to get inspired by Walt Disney and Disneyland.

You don’t even have to go on an anniversary year, if the timing does not work for you.

Are you planning to go to the Diamond Anniversary celebration? Why or why not?

Why not share your favorite memory or inspiration from Disneyland in the comments?

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Monthly Writing Accountability Dream TeamToday is the last day to register for the next round of my Writing Accountability Dream Team.

The next coaching video and worksheets will arrive in your inbox on Tuesday, July 7th.

Here’s what folks are saying so far…

The video is really cool!

I like the flexibility.

The worksheets are enormously helpful!

Learn more here.

Hope you can join us!

 

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In Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience, editor Samantha Waltz does an excellent job of collecting stories by talented writers on the challenges and triumphs of the stepfamily experience. Here’s a description of the book:

95 million adults have a step relationship, according to a 2011 report. That’s 95 million unexpected experiences; 95 million unique perspectives; 95 million laughs, 95 million tears, and 95 million new families.

Blended explores stepfamilies from the inside out through the perspectives of thirty writers who know what it’s like first hand. Sometimes funny, often poignant, and always deeply personal, the stories in Blended capture the essence of stepfamilies in all of their weird and wonderful varieties. The journeys range from the first encounters between new step-relatives, to marriages, honeymoons, daily experiences, and divorces. The diverse voices in Blended reflect the realities of today’s world, in which yesterday’s ideas of family structures and types just don’t cut it anymore. Parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins: all of these relationships change when families are melded into one, and the writers of Blended help explore the truth of what these new relationships look like, and, especially, feel like. Blended offers something for everyone: laughter, wisdom, empathy, and guidance, and, above all, the knowledge that you are not alone.

I am sure that anyone who has ever been a part of a stepfamily will feel like there is finally a book that captures the essence of the stepfamily experience. A variety of points of view is key to the success of this book, as is the fact that the contributors are each skilled and seasoned writers.

The courage to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is what you will find in these pages. I especially enjoyed the back-to-back essays by married writers Kerry Cohen and James Bernard Frost. And any writer would admire the brave self-disclosure in Jessica Page Morrell’s essay. But it was Samantha Waltz’s opening essay that really struck a chord with me. She talked about the naiveté of the new stepparent and the way things don’t always turn out the way you’d expected, but somehow they still turn out.

Here’s an excerpt from Waltz’s essay that I particularly appreciated. There is no doubt in my mind that readers will enjoy the quality of writing and insights in this book, whether they are part of a stepfamily or not.

A stepparent can also become the target of a stepchild’s displaced anger with a mother or father. Unfair? Of course. A difficulty that can be overcome? Sometimes, but not always. The stepparent has usually done nothing except stand in the line of fire.

And then there is the power of the mythology about evil stepmothers and wicked stepfathers that has existed since before the Brothers Grimm. Family problems feel clammy on stepparents’ skin and they aren’t sure what they’ve done wrong or how to proceed, but they must somehow prove themselves the good guy over and over…

Read more at Brain, Child

If you have read Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience, feel free to share your responses here. I’d love to hear them.

Happy summer reading, everyone!

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Squeeze The Most Out Of Summer: Productivity Tips For Writers

June 15, 2015

Summer presents a unique work challenge for writers of all stripes. For those of us who make our living with our words, summer does not necessarily herald a huge block of time off. For many of us, summer means increased challenges making time for our writing and therefore for meeting our deadlines. On the one […]

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Introducing: Writing Prompts For Summer Stories, 200 Words & 7 Ways To Make The Most Of Them

June 11, 2015

Have you ever wished you could have all of your writing prompts in one place so they could keep you writing all summer long? Well, look no further. I’ve done all the prep work for you! Writing Prompts For Summer Stories is a collection of 200 seasonal words that will prompt a myriad of nonfiction […]

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Oh No! What If You Missed The Launch Of My Accountability Dream Team?

June 9, 2015

Good news. This is not one of those you-snooze-you-lose situations. You can still jump into my all-new Accountability Dream Team any time this month, as long as you sign up by the 28th. Check out this page for all the info and then register so you won’t miss the next recording. If you are wondering […]

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Publishing Is Play When You Focus On Service & Micro-publishing

June 3, 2015

I had a second coaching call with a new client yesterday, and I could not help noticing how much fun we were having. Also the time flew by. We were so immersed in what we were discussing that the call just went by in a big whoosh. Fortunately we were still able to get a […]

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I Am Sad To See My Challenges Go: But…Last Call For Participation!

May 19, 2015

June 1st by 9 pm PT is the very last day to sign up for my writing and creativity challenges in their current form. I have loved creating and offering these challenges. Even though they have each been a lot of work, they were all labors of love. Thank you to everyone who plans to […]

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What We Can All Learn About Creative Empowerment From The Film Pitch Perfect

May 14, 2015

What I like about the film Pitch Perfect is that it’s about women trying to compete in a man’s world, failing, and then ultimately changing the game inspired by one of their own. Often we are so busy trying to conform our strategy to what’s worked in the past that we ignore the beckoning finger […]

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