Join the 4 Chicks this year to stay focused on the next SMALL thing!
Now that it’s one month into the new year, are you moving closer to your creative goals? Perhaps, like the recording artist Rihanna, you may be asking yourself “What Now?”
If you “just can’t figure it out,” you’re not alone. For 2014 I’m challenging my 4 Chicks—and you—to ask yourself this same question as often as possible: What now?
But instead of screaming it in reaction to events happening around you, stay calm and query yourself for an answer. Something very specific and very small. What’s the next immediate, tangible action you can take?
Here’s one: Join my 2014 What Now? Challenge. To celebrate and share your beautiful little victories, feel free to check in with the Chicks one of the following ways:
- Subscribe and comment here on the blog.
- Like and post on the 4 Chicks and a Muse FACEBOOK page.
- Tweet the Chicks on Twitter. #WhatNow
The Muse loves the holidays! Parties and gifts and lots and lots of cooking provide endless outlets for creative ideas. Let your creative inspiration shine and sparkle all around you this month. Are you waiting for inspiration? It’s here!
During this kickoff season of notoriously unhealthy eating, focus on FLAVOR in your work as well as your diet. Forgo fatty fillers that add nothing to the content of your creation. Limit the sugary sweetness that in excess dulls the palette and even makes one nauseous. Instead, savor the FLAVOR! Spicy, saucy, tangy or tart; rich, deep, succulent or simmered–that’s the stuff feasts are made of.
If you’ve ever been at a very high elevation–skydiving, hang gliding, mountain climbing, skiing–you know that feeling of airy quiet where it seems the words you speak, or even your breaths, echo in your head; where the air is so thin that it takes all your stamina just to get enough oxygen (especially if you live as we do in the humid south).
Soaring to new heights requires a lot of energy and focus, and, understandably, it’s sometimes easier just to keep your feet on the ground. But the rewards are at the top, so even though it might be a tough climb, it’s worth it!
Share with us how you’re soaring this month!
Susan Adams, Dallas, TX; cc-by-sa 2.0
Happy Labor Day!
Summer has just about come and gone, but weep not. I, the Muse, love all seasons. Each season brings its own sights, sounds, and activities.
Today, savor one last day of the lazy days of summer. Once you’ve enjoyed the diversions of summer, it’s time to BOUNCE back into school, work and, of course, new creative endeavors.
What new book, painting, pottery, dance, film or other project do you have in store this month? I’m waiting…
Unexpected twists in plots and life are good; they provide helpful opportunities to react in new ways, changing us.
This month the Muse challenges you to TWIST! Interesting characters, in books as in life, never travel forward in straight lines. They face obstacles and conflicts. They make detours and even u-turns. Just when they solve one problem, another bigger problem arises, making them feel like they’re just moving in circles.
But with each iteration around your problems (or those of your fictional characters), heightened stakes come with heightened potential for growth. What first presents itself as an unfortunate turn of events might actually be the very thing that propels you closer to your goal.
So embrace the TWIST! Combine things in new ways like Chick Vivi, whose debut young adult novel, Olivia Twisted, comes out this fall. Or stretch yourself like Chick Eva, who’s tackling her final exams for health and nutrition school.
Whatever you’re facing, imagine yourself as the heroine or hero in your own story. Persevere through challenges and even losses, knowing that you’re becoming more fascinating and more dynamic with each TWIST.
Flare – it’s all about the fireworks this month, my friends. And with true flare, here are some (albeit silly) phrases to get you cracking:
- Let your art POP this month!
- Don’t let your energy FIZZLE.
- Let your ideas BURST from your fingertips
- Go in (or out) with a BANG!
- Shine forth and prosper (sorry, the new Star Trek movie was awesome)
- And above all—SPARKLE, people! SPARKLE!
Wherever you are in your project, make every moment, every word, every stroke count! Be heard! Be seen!
It’s summertime! Time for sun and fun. And cooling off in the ocean, the pool, the lake. Wherever your favorite watering hole may be.
Rafi B/CCA 2.0
Whether you’re lazily dangling a foot off the dock, sitting in the calm morning surf, or swirling in slow circles on a plastic float, it’s all good. But nothing is more freeing than leaping into the air and flying for the length of a of heartbeat, until splash, your hands hit the cool water. It’s time to DIVE into summer and into your art.
What will you DIVE into this month?
Imagine yourself in your own personal boat on a long winding river. Like others around you, before you and behind you, you want to move through the waters of your creative project, right?
You could just float on the surface and see what happens. Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you might be carried somewhere downstream, where most people end up. Or you might drift sideways back to the bank not far from where you started. Then you could just stay still out in the middle and wait, hoping that those nearby alligators don’t decide you look like lunch.
But NO! You are not like most people, my friend. You are strong. And you are one of my creative Chicks! That’s why this month I, the Muse, want you to muster your strength and power ahead. I want you to PADDLE!
Whether the waters are still where you are now or full of currents trying to pull you backwards, I want you to propel yourself forward. Only then can you view the dramatic waterfall instead of plunge down it. Stroke by stroke, push your creative muscles. Even when you’re tired and sore—especially then—just keep paddling!
The spring weather is gorgeous, you’ve done some digging, and now it’s time for the seeds of your creativity to sprout! This might represent the project that you’ve started that begins taking on a life of its own. It could mean that you’ve outlined your book and are now ready to jump in and start writing. It could also be a sign for you to start reaching out to form new relationships that will fertilize your creativity.
Whatever SPROUT means to you, just remember to keep the weeds out. You know who/what they are. 😉
I look forward to seeing what my Chicks…and you…are growing this month!