Today i’m going to do something a little different for my One blank Sunday. Instead of talking to you about my book process, i’m going to give away all my personal secrets that have ¬†drastically change how i approach and live my creative life. ¬†i hope you find something in here that will revolutionize your’s too :).
 
Let’s dive right in.
 
1. Saying NO. Saying no to the things that do not align with my purpose has been so important + impactful in my life that i dedicated an entire Missives for Creatives to it. Here’s your new litmus test for everything:
 
Is this {opportunity, project, invitation, thing} in line with what i want to do NOW and my mission to ________________? If the answer is no, say no. If the answer is yes, say yes.
  
By saying no, you say yes to so many other things. 
 
2.¬†Making difficult choices.¬†Perhaps the hardest + most heartbreaking decision i’ve had to make this year is cutting waaay back on my performances. i want to be just as an amazing writer as i am a drag artist and that will require the same laser sharp focus that i had the past 20 years in my drag career in my writing one.
 
So i’ve said no (see #1) to a lot of performance opportunities to make space for my writing life.
 
A shifted focus means a shift in¬†priorities. You can do it all, you just can’t do it all at one time.¬†
 
3. Showing up . . . daily.¬†Like everyday. Even the days that i’m just not feeling it – which happens more than i care to admit. Still, ¬†i make the¬†choice¬†(see #2)¬†to show up. Because what i’m really trying to do is create a habit of creating. How do we make things habitual? We do it daily and we make it nonnegotiable. (One of my favorite books on the habit of creativity is Twyla Tharp’s¬†The Creative Habit. Read it.)
 
Make your creative work as nonnegotiable as the work you do for other people aka your job. Commit. Do it. Repeat. 
 
4. ¬†Do the work.¬†Showing up¬†is only half the battle. While i’m there in front of my computer or creative space, i have to actually do the work – not pretend like i’m working (which i’ve become stellar at). i pretend to work in a variety of ways: Googling how to be a better writer and reading every article that comes up (instead of actually writing), perusing social media “for just a second before i get started,” and then an hour has passed, ¬†plan out my course of action instead of acting – the list goes on and on.
 
Doing the work means showing up AND opening up Pages AND writing for at least 30 minutes no.matter.what.
 
Do whatever it takes to do the work. Because your dreams are nonnegotiable. 
 
5. Put my work + myself out there.¬†This has by far been the most difficult for me. Pressing publish or hitting send on things that i’ve written is a constant struggle. But i didn’t become the drag artist i am today by performing only for myself. i grew because i kept putting myself out there to a wider audience. The same has to be true for my writing.
 
So i’ve queried publishers, pitched myself to various magazines, started back up my own magazine GAG, shared excerpts of my books, and i’m doing the work . . . publicly.
 
If you ever want to get anywhere, you have to step outside your home and either walk, drive, or fly publicly to reach your destination. The same is true about our work. 
 
6. Meditating + mindfulness. i have a VERY over active mind. i have a hard time focusing aka i’m a habitual multitasker. i like being this way but i also know that in order for me to ever finish what i start, i have to be able to silence all the other distractions. Meditation and mindfulness have helped mute the many voices, projects, and ideas that run rampant in my head so i can (finally) hear myself.
 
Find and do whatever it takes to build your focus muscle. 
 
7. Reading AKA immersing myself in other kinds of art. While most of the time that means reading, it also means watching a movie, getting outside and walking, attending a drag show, or having a nice dinner with my partner. Some of my best work has come from being submersed in others.
 
Find the things that fill you up so you can empty yourself onto the page (or stage, canvas, melody).
 
8. Gratitude.¬†It has become a daily practice since January. Every night before i go to bed, i write down 5 things that i’m grateful for in a very special book:
 

 
It’s so worn that you can barely read the writing but the cover says, One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book. It’s so easy to get lost in life and all the things we don’t have, haven’t accomplished, or still have/need to do that we look past the grandeur of blessings in our life now.
 
My gratitude list reminds me daily that while i may never be as creatively rich and famous as i want to be,  i already am where i once dreamed of being. And THAT is something to always be thankful for. 

_________

There you have it. All the things that have revolutionized my creative life and productivity.
 
Tell me, what are some of yours?
 
Love, light, + creating,
 
b
 
P.S. Speaking about creative productivity . . . check out my new shop, excerpt 1 from my book My Life in Drag, and a excerpt of the new (and much improved) How to Be a Drag Artist.