Making art of any kind is difficult, at times. But that’s also why it’s so satisfying.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a novelist.

I’m a writer but I’m also a life coach, working with creatives of all kinds. I’m used to working with people who are well-known, successful. But when the novelist approached me, I was excited.

I’d already read her last book, which was achingly beautiful and said something that felt important…

Sometimes all we need is to choose our next step. Then do it, without distractions.

Does any of this feel familiar?

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, unfocussed. I was starting a lot of things, finishing none, and the Urgent list on my task manager was so long I couldn’t read it. Life felt like an endless series of open loops, all clamouring for my attention.

I was multi-tasking, fire-fighting, doing lots…

Ayana Webb explains how she did it. And how you might do the same by sharing and teaching your creative skills.

The six-figure piano teacher

In the pandemic, at a time when many musicians have struggled to get by, Ayana Webb’s income went past $100,000 a year from piano lessons. An achievement that is all the more impressive given that not a single lesson involved meeting her students face-to-face.

From New Jersey, on the eastern…

What I’ve learned from designers, artists, musicians, comedians, architects, actors, and others — and how it helped my writing

Over the years, I’ve worked with or interviewed thousands of creatives from many different fields — many of them at the very top of their game. As a journalist and as a magazine editor. As a collaborator. And more recently as a coach working with experienced creatives of all kinds…

I’m taking it easy this summer. Here’s why you should, too.

I’m giving it a rest this week.

It’s important to take a break, especially in the summer. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been suggesting to my clients that they try and ease back too, so they’re rested and ready to go in September.

It’s been interesting how relieved many of them have been. Even in middle…

To get to the yes you want, you have to get comfortable with hearing no. A lot.

Get comfortable with no.

You can have pretty much anything you want in life, so long as you’re willing to hear the word no. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands of times.

You need to ask for what you want. To be clear about it, because the people around you aren’t mind-readers. And you then must…

Getting your work featured in print, on the radio, or TV can be a game-changer. But it takes a lot of persistence.

Stacks of magazines.

You have products or a service to sell.

A shop, an event, a course you want to draw attention to. Or you’re a musician, artist, writer, or other creative trying to grow your audience. A mention in the media can change everything.

So you’ve tried. You’ve sent out press releases. You’ve approached newspapers and magazines, even individual journalists…

How Kevin Kelly’s theory gives hope to all independent creators

People at a concert

“To be a successful creator, you don’t need millions. You don’t need millions of dollars or millions of customers, millions of clients or millions of fans. To make a living as a craftsperson, photographer, musician, designer, author, animator, app maker, entrepreneur or inventor, you need only thousands of true fans.”…

We all know this. So why is it so hard to unplug?

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now

A fuse tripped in the house.

My faithful iMac switched off as a result, and…

You don’t have to be lonely. Here’s how to get more connected.

One of the things I love about self-employment: having long stretches of time alone to get into flow with my work without interruptions, pointless meetings, small talk and office politics. After years of struggling to concentrate in open-plan newspaper and magazine offices, freelance life is bliss. Most of the time…

Sheryl Garratt

Writer; editor; coach, supporting creatives to step up and do their best work — and get paid for it! Find me at www.thecreativelife.net

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