Is the weather warming up where you live? Here in Chicago, winter is finally loosening its grip, and the air feels fresh.

To me, spring means renewal. Maybe it’s because my birthday is around the corner, but I always feel like starting new endeavors this time of year. This month, I am re-dedicating myself to creativity.

In Creating Space to Thrive, I wrote a lot about exercising your creativity muscles. The book could have been called The Creativity Habit. My plan is to show up on this blog every 2 weeks with practical tips and observations on how you can shift your mindset to create. Why?

Because that creativity shift ultimately changes your thinking, which has a ripple effect on other areas of your life—less stress, more fulfillment—and a happier you.

I hope that’s okay. Remember, you can always unsubscribe if this type of newsletter doesn’t make sense for you right now. I will understand, but I hope you’ll stick around because I want to help you, wherever you are on your creative journey.

Are Your Goals Specific Enough?

Recently, I published my fourth novel under my sci-fi pen name. Finishing a book has always drained me—my creative well usually feels sucked dry. In the past, I’ve needed a week or more to recover before I could start writing again.

However, everything changed a few months ago when I hired a writing productivity coach. He encouraged me to keep showing up every day. And it wasn’t enough just to say, I will write today.

Together, we came up with a specific goal —> I will write 2500 words today holds me accountable and makes me far more productive than when I had a vague goal.

What is one of your goals? How can you make it more specific?

Interview I’m Obsessed With

There’s a new interview with author Neil Gaiman on The Tim Ferriss Show podcast. I highly recommend listening if you’re a fan of Gaiman’s work or would just like to understand more about the creative writing process from one of the masters.

Something he said resonated with me. He sits down to write every day. No surprise there. But he declared that he has a rule. During his “writing time,” he can write or do nothing, and no other activities are allowed—no emails, games, or phone calls.

Create or do nothing. Gaiman goes on to explain that staring at the blank screen, or gazing out the window, gets boring fast.

I love his idea and have started applying it to my creative “deep work” time, as well.

Question of the week: What is your most creative time of day?

Do you create the first thing when you get up? Or, are you a night owl, preferring to work into the late hours like Neil Gaiman?

Writing in the morning is my favorite approach. Granted, I’m not an early bird—a 5 AM morning is a rare thing—but I start my day meditating and practicing dictation warm-ups, then I dictate my current work in progress.

I’d love to hear from you. What are you working on these days?

I hope you have a great week.

Happy creating.