Creative Juices: Monday Begins on Sunday

Monday blues. Case of the Monday’s. I’ve even heard it said that “Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.” It’s a cute and clever statement, yet some actually believe this. Why waste 1/7th of our lives?

As whole and complete creatives our Mondays must begin on our Sundays with a basic three-fold plan: mind, body, and spirit.

+Sunday mind. Creative people read, listen to podcasts (here’s a good one on Ideation), and chat with other creatives at the local coffee shop. Whatever the case, striking that balance between mind, body, and spirit is rarely achieved without feeding the mind. This past Sunday I read a number of other blogs on creativity, watched a bit of the always inspiring CBS Sunday Morning, and snagged some time to write. Food for the mind.

+Sunday body. A jog. A walk. A ‘wog’ if you’d rather walk-jog. At any rate, a simple twenty minute something to fuel our week lets our bodies know that we care about them. When the weather is nice, like it was yesterday, I’ll clip off a few miles on our local rail-trail. Isn’t it amazing? (Find a trail like this near you.)

Rails to Trails Haven. Sad the railroad is gone. Happy it's used for a good purpose.

+Sunday spirit. Our spirit’s often neglected because it’s an intangible, unlike the mind and body. Sometimes used interchangeably with ‘soul,’ our spirit was created to commune and communicate with God. It’s maintenance is simple: get feed, feed others. My church is amazing–the teaching fantastic. The sheer joy and celebration of life is a banquet for my spirit. We leave knowing we’re loved, full of purpose, and desire to give that love away. Nothing like a healthy dose of gratefulness and thankfulness!

As I sit here now, in the early Monday morning pre-sun hours, I’m looking forward to today and to this week. My mind is charged, my body is refreshed, and my spirit is energized.

No more ‘case of the Monday’s’ thanks to a great Sunday.

How do you prep your mind, body, and spirit to supercharge your Monday?


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10 Reasons Your Current Job is Creative. Really!

In a couple hours, I will don my costume for the day. I call it ‘business casual.’I will sport a professional, corporate look.

I shall spend the morning and afternoon teaching sales methodology, basic manners, paperwork procedures, and a few ‘closing’ techniques.

Ladies and gentlemen: I am a corporate sales trainer.

Yet, I still consider myself a creative. Are you in the same boat? You’re waiting tables at the diner. You’re answering phone calls in a cubicle. You’re picking up endless messes from the kiddos.

We are all creative.

Today, our jobs are creative because like every prolific artist:

  1. We will influence the way people see something.
  2. We will share joy.
  3. We will connect rather than just exist.
  4. We will employ our mediums, whatever they may be, to communicate our ideas.
  5. We will think as creatives think.
  6. We will bring life to our workplace.
  7. We will entertain.
  8. We will believe that our work is good.
  9. We will help.
  10. We will contribute.

Time to put on that costume now, and I’m thankful. Thankful that it’s my choice to see this day as an artist does.

How do we, as creatives, change our thinking to make our jobs more than a mere paycheck-generator?

Would love to hear your tips below in the comments!


This post brought to you by Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job. Jon Acuff (read his blog here) put to words what I’ve only felt and thought for many years. I highly recommend it.

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Give Life to Ideas and Creativity by Killing the ADD/OCD Demons

I sometimes get distracted easily.

To write, create, or ideate I’ll often need to get away. Do you ever feel this way?

So, off to the coffee shop I go. My favorite writing nook vacant, I now inhabit this space:

Now I can write. Finally no distractions. Fast forward about an hour. Here’s the rundown…
  • Checked the four other posts I’m working on and added a scant thought or two to each.
  • Texted my wife twice.
  • Consumed some soup.
  • Watched a youtube video.
  • Sipped the coffee.
  • Talked with some friends who sat down and surprised me.
  • Posted on said friend’s Facebook wall.
  • Checked Facebook . . . a lot.
  • Looked around aimlessly to try and avoid completing this blog post. 
I’m for serious on that list. Those things actually just happened. To make matters more unproductive, I just wrote it all out and am still yet to (actually) begin this post.

Luckily I’d already started a blog post about short attention span disorder (SASD). I don’t know if it exists in the medical books, but I know it exists whenever my creative juices get flowing. It’s as if our subconscious doesn’t want us to contribute and share our gifts and talents. Could this be true?

Not for us it’s not. Relinquish Your ADD/OCDemon. Say ‘yes’ to focus and ‘no’ to distraction.

What are we looking for in the distractions and false accomplishments anyway? The main reason we run from our ideas is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of risk.

A challenge:

1. Take ten minutes to write out that idea you’ve been working on for work, home, or school. Turn the iPhone off. No distractions.

Example: I want to think of a new way to start the meeting at work, the class at school, or the decorating project at home.

2. Write out at least three entirely different ways you could accomplish your idea. Write out the really dumb ideas too. Nothing is off limits.

3. Pick one from the three, do it, and drop me a note to tell me how it went!

What ideas do you have that you need to share today?

The Writer’s Toolbox, an Exercise in Creative Bravery

My wife, ever the cheerleader (thanks babies!), bought me a wonderful gift that I didn’t bother to even open. How rude. Yes, but the time had to be right. Tonight’s the night!The gift, The Writer’s Toolbox, by Jamie Cat Callan, is both a book(let) and several simple inspiring exercises to get the brain jogging into the land of twists, turns, conflicts, descriptions, and plots.

Today’s exercise: using the sticks!

1. Draw a “First Sentence” stick.” Write for a few minutes.
2. Draw a “Non-Sequitur” stick. Write a bit longer.
3. Draw a “Last Straw” stick.

Here’s what came out… my ‘sticks’ sentences are underlined.


On Tuesday, Margaret told me she liked the little oranges with the seeds better than the ones I bought.I hated her for that.

Her distaste for anything ‘unnatural’ drove me to commit mind murder, the likes of which I’d not experienced since grade school. Kenny Malich, not Margaret, was the object of my half-rage then, but it felt the same now as is did back at Glen Heights Elementary in Canton.

We were celebrating Thanksgiving. My parents made me a pilgrim-like collar out of four sheets of thick black construction paper cut to form a circle around my neck. Sticking out awkwardly from my shoulders, the collar looked like a umbrella missing a few strands in it’s DNA. I pulled my socks over my pant cuffs and half way up my calf to further compliment my colonial-ness. There’s a shadowy memory of a hat and an odd belt buckle, but I can’t be certain at present. My costume, though complete, was anything but authentic, real, and natural.

Kenny was an indian. Oh yes, he got it all. He had the moccasins, the war paint, and even a hatchet. So cool. They were all the read deal too. Even the hatchet.

So why did I hate him and why did Margaret’s comment about the seeded clementines set me reeling back to childhood?

“You could make a living doing that kind of thing.” I suppose I could, but I had never thought about it, until then.

Produce aisle. Frozen for who knows how long. Holding oranges. I didn’t even know if I was blinking. It could’ve been five seconds or ten minutes. From the looks of my meager audience, my journey to elementary school and back to my seeded clementine selection had transformed me into a stick-figured mime.

I should’ve passed a hat and collected a few bucks.

“Yeah, well, woulda coulda shoulda ya know.” It was the first thing that came to mind. I would’ve felt more comfortable walking out of the grocery store half naked.

Maybe she felt that way because of the oranges, maybe she just didn’t like me because I forgot to pay her back for one too many lattes. Perhaps she even felt the same way I did about Kenny.

The past seems to be sinking down on all of us Margaret.

Got the creative juices going!
Try it. I dare you.