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MLK Jr Day 2019

Tonight, my kiddos and I went to a yoga class together. I was grateful the teacher was open to having two young people join us. It was their first real exposure to yoga and I’m glad I had the opportunity to share it with them. Both of my kids are athletes and I am very much an artist. It isn’t often that the three of us share in physical activities. It was a lovely treat.

To teach them at an early age how to quiet their minds and listen to their body. To give themselves the freedom to just be without judgment. To appreciate their own bodies and give it a different way to move. To see their mother moving her very real body with zero shames or self-consciousness as we all stretched, flexed, and breathed.

At the end of the session, we all wrote down things we would like to let go of that were no longer serving us and burn them in a fire. Both of them wrote their intentions down and watched the flames swallow them up.

Neither of them wanted to share theirs. I told them mine anyway. I wanted them to know that everyone has something for the fire.

As they were snoozing in the back seat as we drove home, I thought of the whole evening. We went to a class to learn a practice from a different culture, along with a group of different people from various races and ages. There was a married couple along with me, a divorced woman with her two kids. Both of whom were born in Ethiopia and I am blessed to be their mom. And we were all learned to honor the light within ourselves and others, all while seeking to reach our highest good through intentional action.

It was truly my ancestors’ greatest dreams come true.

Inviting a Muse to the Party

Since committing to increasing my social media marketing, I actually created content calendar for myself. I have blog posts planned and dozens of topics to discuss. Everything was going to run so much smoother.

Still, I was resistant to each one because but I was looking for the PERFECT thing to write about.

I do know, as a writer, that is the absolute poorest way to go about getting this done.

The best way to write is to sit down and write. Period. Trust the Muse will show up eventually. In the meantime, start without her. “Her” because I am thinking of the actual Greek Muses. Though, in the musical version of Xanadu, the muses were women played by both men and women. But, I digress, because I can talk about Greek mythology and the various adaptations of Xanadu for hours.

(Which was seriously one of the best times I’ve had onstage! )

I consider this part of the Process portion of my creative plan. You will have better luck if you make an appointment, stick to your goals, and start working on your creative projects than if you wait until inspiration strikes. If you do, it is highly unlikely you will get much done. You have successfully created resistance from no resistance. That’s a pretty good trick…but it won’t create anything.

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(You tried it, tho)

Inspiration is a funny thing. There isn’t really a way to plan out what or how it will come. You can only set up avenues to welcome and encourage it to show up. It’s like a tiny hummingbird that’s actually made of photons of light.

Create avenues for your creativity to show up and then move forward trusting it will. I actually started this blog post with just that process. I just started typing and trusted it will come together.

It always does.

So get to your keyboard. Get to the studio. Put on your shoes and your music. And BEGIN. The Muse might be fashionably late, but she will show up right on time for the “Creative Flow” to kick in.

I said “Good Day!” :-(

I do a lot of marketing for myself. It doesn’t always feel comfortable and, of course, I would rather be behind the mic or onstage. But, like all behind the scenes tasks that help me pay the bills, if I don’t take the time to market myself, then no one knows to hire me. In order to be able to play, I have to market myself.

Recently, on one of the animation Facebook groups I check in on, there was a post about creating characters. Well, I figure that it was a perfect time to bring up my super fun project from a few years ago #100daysofvoiceover (on Instagram and YouTube!) where I completed a challenge to create a new voice character for 100 days. I always like to bring it out whenever I can since it was pretty dope. Plus, there are videos! I received good feedback when I did it, so it seemed like a nice time to call attention to it. It might peak someone’s interest to check it out and say, “Awwww, yeah! This lady has some vocal chops! These characters are great!”

Ok, maybe not quite like that, but still people would be entertained!

Instead, the response back to my post was dismissive. I won’t quote it but it was like what happens when you say you do voiceover and someone says “Oh, I want to do that! Everyone says I have a great voice.”

It hurt my feelings to be honest.

I’ve been working in voiceovers for a few years now. I am also classically trained actress. I take pride in my work and focus on finding ways to improve every day because I am a professional. This is my passion and my job. And while not all of the characters I created are ones I would use on a regular basis, they are available for me to pull out when necessary. In those brief little snippets, it shows I definitely have range and creativity.

I wanted to write back, “I’m not just some walk in off the street!” I wanted to come up with a snarky response that would earn me a reputation as a savage slayer on social media. Someone you do NOT come for unless they send for you.

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I did not.

Why? There was nothing to be gained from defending my value. I already KNOW my value. And the OP not knowing who I am in no way diminishes my worth.

The thing is, the chances are high that at least one person will click the hashtag and listen to my pieces, and then they would know me, too. The people who read my blog and who watch my livestreams and who refer me to their clients and the countless people who already hired me and will hire me in the future…they already know what I am capable of.

Some times in marketing you put yourself out there and you get a big old rejection, either a nice one or a not so nice one. There will be times that people are dismissive, for a lot of different reasons. There will be times that you might deserve it, like not researching a client before reaching out to them or being arrogant instead of confident in your ability to help them with their problems.

It doesn’t mean you need to stop putting yourself out there. If anything, it means get out there more. Do MORE of what you do. Take MORE creative risks. Fail MORE and BIGGER and BETTER. Make it impossible for people to ignore you.

I read once that it takes 118 no’s to get to a yes and 8 actual conversations for a client to actually buy. Don’t waste your energy getting bent out of shape over because of your Ego. Put your rejections in your No Tracker and keep it rolling.

But don’t stop putting yourself out there. That same person that dismissed you yesterday might very well be looking to hire you on their next project tomorrow!