Thursday, November 3, 2011

From the lips of one of the most inspirational women I know...Lesley Riley!

Lately, I've been stuck. In my mind, the world has just become so overwhelming that I feel like I can't come up with a creative idea or the words I need to say to extricate the negativity from my life. In addition to that, it's starting to effect my health. (Not in a terrible, tragic, life threatening sort of way but, my hair is falling out more than usual, I'm not sleeping and I was sick for a week...etc.)

Today when I got out of bed, I checked email, like I normally, do and was THRILLED to discover that Lesley Riley was in my inbox with just the words I need to turn this life around! (Now if only I can implement them.)  For any of you who may not have had the pleasure of knowing Leslie, I want you to know that she is one of the kindest, wisest, most talented, beautiful women I know.

Below I would like to share with you Lesley Riley's wisdom.

Got Nothin'

I'm at a loss for words. Truly. I got nothin'. This could be a result of a full day of coaching artists? Perhaps it is due to the 100+ pages of content I've written over the last few weeks for the Artist ASAP class. Or, could it be all the editing I've been doing for my daughter as she completes her college applications essays? I'm drowning in words, phrases, sentences and am having an affair with my thesaurus.

Yet here I am. I am showing up and sending you this newsletter because I made the commitment to do it every other Wednesday. If nothing else, I am setting an example and letting you know that I will do what I say I will, no matter what.

You know, now that I think of it, I just need to listen to and apply the advice I give to my clients, my children and my friends when they get stuck - take action. Just do something, anything. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece. It doesn't even have to end up being anything. The important thing is that I do something.

Nothing will ever happen if I sit around thinking about what to do or worry and complain about the fact that I've got nothin'. Yet, isn't that what we all tend to do when things aren't going well? Crazy!

Hey! I just realized that there is one thing I've got that I can share with you today. It's an extremely valuable piece of insight that I know to be true - the answers you are looking for will come to you when you are taking action. A perfect example is that if I didn't sit down and begin writing this today, I never would have realized that I do in fact have something of value to share with you.

Logically, I knew that I probably had something to say, but it wasn't logic that I was operating from when I sat down to write. Call it what you want - the inner critic, artist block, resistance, lizard brain, fear - I had succumbed. But by showing up and doing the work I won! I beat that gremlin. And you can to. Just show up and do the work, whether you feel like it or not. Your best self, the true you, can do it if you just give her a chance. Don't let that other fraidy cat self ruin your day.

PS I feel so much better and stronger now. I did it! I finished my newsletter!


Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit

From her bio:  Best known for her Fragment series of small fabric collages, Lesley is also an internationally known quilter and mixed-media artist with a passion for photos, color and the written word.  She has taught extensively in the US and as far away as Italy and Australia. Her art and articles have appeared in numerous publications and juried shows.  In her current position as Contributing Editor of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, Lesley showcases new talent and mixed media art.  Her first book, Quilted Memories, brought new ideas and techniques to quilting and preserving memories.  Lesley's second book, Fabric Memory Books, combines fabric and innovative ideas with the art of bookmaking.