Latest Posts

Stop Micromanaging Your Creativity

you-rock-sticky-note-graphicLast week’s post on Why You Secretly Want To Fail (Or Why Sharing Your Creativity is Like the Dream Where You’re Naked) unraveled the idea of vulnerability and the personal rejection a Creative faces when their work is rejected. It prompted Tessa Zeng of the gorgeous new site Experiencing Revolution) to tweet Oh, the need to be transparent! Easier said than done 🙂 Very true. It really is easier said than done. Her sentiment and Jamey Burrell at Life as An Experiment Twittering about decision-making got me thinking about how we unlock the ability to put our creativity and lives into action. I use this approached when I was helping people to get ready for the GED exam. Combined wit the right tools it works wonders!

Embracing Empathy “Easier Said than Done” is all largely expressed because we make it all so complex. As human beings and creative innovators, we all have large egos in one way or another. Even the most demure and uncertain of us still think we have something to say. Or we wouldn’t be searching blogs for insight and affirmation and creating our own. In those egos, we wonder how to make it easier. How to make it certain. How to know what we’re saying and doing is as worthwhile as everyone else.

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MY Gram – Inspiring and beautiful woman

6cec47efe7822ac0a64234a6fd0419deMy Gram was an amazing woman. Inspiring, tenacious, stubborn, independent, adventurous…she was a beautiful woman and I loved her dearly. I spent so much time at her house as a kid it’s almost like I grew up there; there is a part of me that will miss her house just as much as I will her. When I was there last week I took some time to walk around, to really take it all in – the familiar smell, the things of hers I loved – and I was flooded with memories, memories that I had all but forgotten, and I wished I could push back the clock and rewind time a bit so I could tell her all the things I never got a chance to say, like how much I loved and admired her valued our relationship.

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Are You Trying To Be Traditional With Your Creativity?


When people are adamant that they’re not creative (which is a fallacy, everyone on the planet is creative), they think you have some kind of secret.
Or are weird. Or went through something wretched in life, so can only channel such pains through canvas. Or that you’re a nut.


I get this a lot, “How do you come up with this stuff?!” from people who insist they can’t create anything. While insinuating I’m an oddball. Even though they’re pouring through genealogy projects and tweaking photos and compiling into an archived presentation. Despite decorating their homes from scratch without knowledge of interior design.

Regardless of the fact that they can create a bookshelf by grabbing some lumber. I come up with taglines easily. Blurbs. Copy on the fly. I don’t need much time to put something together and rearrange the words and rhythm until it clicks. I do it by jotting down the first few things that come to my head and matching the unlike.

Take a sweet, messy, innocent, clumsy baby. What is the most unlike situation you can find? A bar.

But a baby in an adult bar is just weird. (And something hipster parents love to do in Brooklyn, NY). So scale down said bar and have puppets and miniature bottles. It’s also well done with meticulous detail. With well over 3 million hits (to date). The puppet playing keyboards at the beginning. The balding waiter who turns and reveals a stringy ponytail. Throw in a padded bra and a fanny pack and it’s like you’re at that touristy cabana bar you stumbled into and watch a train wreck unfold before your very eyes. Taking two unlike things can also rapidly diversify your creativity and potential income. Here are some examples: (more…)

One Week in Tuscany, How to Get the Most Out of It

Tuscany, a place to relax and unwind. Join me as I share how to get the most out of your stay in Italy. This destination is a frequented topic in our Travel News section. Stay connected with me and give me some comments below. Enjoy!

There is a region in central Italy that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world each year. Its luxuriant hills covered with olive groves and vineyards, thick oak woods and combed by the hard work of farmers can be seen on pictures, paintings and wine bottle labels worldwide.

I am talking about Tuscany, of course, where you will also find plenty of culture, relaxation, joy of life and great food. Florence alone attracts a great many of all those that set foot in Tuscany each year. The cradle of Renaissance, as the city is often called, is a must see during your tour of the region…or is it?

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What Would You Create If It Was Your Last Day?

I’ve been wondering why I even want to create anyway. Aside from the fact it won’t leave me alone at night and it consumes me. Why else? I love it. It’s fun. It’s interesting. But why else? What’s beneath the surface? Over the years, I’ve  learned I keep setting goals and cresting the mountain top of those goals only to find I haven’t reached my goal at all. Instead there’s a dense jungle with jangled footing and a hazy mist. Why am I here? What am I looking for? I was in the office kitchen staring blankly at the teas when it struck me that creativity is so important to me because I want to see the world in a different way. A better way.

I don’t want to see it full of thick unease, glazed expression, lack of fulfillment, void of color, and strewn with pain. I want to see vivid, sparkling evidence that we’re all in control of our own destinies. That we can design our life any way we want.

Without creativity, there’s none of that. Without creativity, we just reach out to the first thing that comes our way that can offer some kind of answer. Whether that answer is comfort or stability or fulfillment.

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Several Ways to Climb a Mountain

Back in the fall, before the snow fell, Boy 12, Boy 7 and their 7-year-old cousin hiked up into the hills near our home. (It’s a mountain range, really, not just a hill. But since they weren’t going far, “hill” gives a truer impression.) Their destination was “the tree house,” which is not a tree house at all, but a pair of rope swings—how the spot got its name I’ll never know. Kids are liars, all.

There are two rope swings tied to a large Cottonwood tree. You sit or hang on the stick tied to the end of the rope and then swing out over the steep trail you just hiked to get there. The tree is on a relatively level spot on an otherwise steep hill, so when you swing out, you’re a good 10 meters from the ground at the apex. Boys, being boys, love it. Even I love it, and I get scared on a Ferris wheel. So the rope swing is a true test of my outer limits. This cheap thrill can be yours for the cost of a steep 20 minute hike up the mountain.

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Don’t Sell Out. Opt Out

Last week I quit my job and said yes to a life of new possibilities. I can’t wait to share all the details with you this week in an upcoming post. The experience inspired me to work on a video project on what I see ahead for all of us. When I say “Don’t sell out” it has nothing to do with accepting or quitting a 9 to 5 job. It’s all about saying yes to possibilities instead of saying yes to only one possibility. And instead of opting into the epidemic of Creatives being 2x at risk for traditional unemployment, I’m opting into a new future where such employment is only one strategy available to us.

Lead Through The Foggy Maze You Already Navigated Yourself
The most ingenuous, most creative marketing campaigns are the ones that are so simple in idea, yet so profound in impact. It’s stirring. It makes us think. It makes us angry. Or exhilarated. It makes us want to do something at that moment of impact. But most importantly, it advertises a service we already need. Like public transportation.

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Sweet Chaos

Noise, noise, noise. Life these days is so filled up with busy noise, of children, husbands, house, TV, or just things around us.

Sometimes I feel suffocated by the noises and want to escape for just a moment. I get desperate to just have some silence. To have a space to myself that I can sit and think for a few minutes without interruption. To have some feeling of peace.

Well, a few days ago, I got the chance to have that time.

I was on a plane for several hours by myself. The plane was especially quiet. I had read my magazine and was just sitting looking out the window when I realized that something didn’t feel right, like I was missing something.

And of course I was. My family. I really missed them and their NOISE.

I realized that even though my life feels crazy sometimes, I love the beautiful sweet chaos around me.

I just hope I can remember that feeling when they’re driving me nuts!

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The Split: Exciting Things Happening at Your Favorite Blog (No, I mean this one)

My friends, the time has come. The Freelance Rider has gotten bigger than my britches.

So, based on some very good advice, it’s time to separate my blog from my business website.

The blog will be moving to www.thefreelancerider.com in the very near future. I’ll set up a redirect from this page and, in general, make it as easy and seamless as possible, but please bear with me if there are any technical glitches in the process.

Of course, all of the wonderful content that you see will be migrating, as well, and you can still count on the same insightful posts that you’ve come to expect. I’m also going to start featuring guest posts, so get those pencils ready.

I’m really excited about the move, and I think that giving the blog its own space will help it grow even more. It’ll also give me a chance to do a few awesome things that I’ve been wanting to do, like a members’ only cage fight arena! Or maybe that was my other other website…

So, here’s the fun part for you guys: user feedback!

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How to Apply to a Job or Write an Email That Actually Gets a Response

I am one of those people who thinks jobs are irrelevant to making money, despite having a full-time job. I also believe in financial diversification, multiple streams of revenue, freelancing, and self-employment. I’ve had staff jobs, long-term freelance jobs, sold ebooks, gotten paid to participate in focus groups,transcribed amateur wrestling interviews, held temp jobs, and made money through traditional publishing routes. I seem to be one of the few that jobs are sometimes fun. Or teach you things. Or give you a place to stop and rethink where you want to go. Or offer a useful way to learn how to launch your own business or harness skills to take to your freelance endeavours.

Regardless of if you want a job or a freelance life or are still just figuring your life out; you need writing skills to get there. It doesn’t matter if you’re not interested in being a writer, you still need them. If you can master a traditional job application via email; than you can master the query letter, guest post pitch, or anything else.

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