Bob Baker's Artist Empowerment Blog

Creative Headaches: You Need the Eggs

About this post: If you've been reading my stuff for very long, you know that I'm an optimist and a possibility thinker. I definitely feel that's the most empowering way to live your life. But as my "realist" friends often remind me, life isn't always a bowl of kiwi.

There can be a lot of heartaches and frustrations and disappointments along the way. I don't deny that. I just don't dwell on it, since there are so many other experts around who are eager to tell you how hard it can be to pursue a career in the arts.

I preach mostly about the good, but for a change of pace, let me take a stab at dealing with the bad and the ugly. Here goes ...

At the beginning of the movie "Annie Hall," Woody Allen's character, Alvy Singer, tells a joke about a guy who goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." The doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" And the guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs."

At the end of the film, the joke comes full circle when Alvy ties it into the roller coaster ride of a relationship he's had with Annie (played by Diane Keaton):

"I guess that's pretty much how I feel about relationships. You know, they're totally irrational and crazy and absurd, but I guess we keep going through it because ... most of us need the eggs."

Funny stuff -- and more true than many are willing to admit. The same sentiment can be applied to the business of music, writing, film, art, etc. Can you relate?

Have you ever been frustrated by the actions (or inaction) of an agent, editor or gallery owner? Ever felt like pulling out your hair over a stubborn director, publisher, singer or guitar player? Ever been disappointed by the amount of money you spent or made doing something arts-related?

Of course you have. And you probably wondered if it was all worth it. You may have even considered chucking the whole thing and accepting the idea that you're not cut out for this business.

Then what happened?

Most likely, you worked your way through it and found the ideal final member to round out the band. Or finally displayed your work at the big art exhibit you've been dreaming about. Or got the book written and published. Or landed the big article in the local newspaper.

And it was then that you felt fantastic and realized the journey was totally worth it. The ups and the downs. The joys and the frustrations. It's what you have to go through to reach meaningful goals and enjoy your passions.

And that's true whether we're talking about romantic relationships, creative success or just about anything else in life that's worth doing.

So get busy pursuing your goals and taking on the challenges. Because, admit it ... you need the eggs!

30 Minutes to Creative Success

You have creative passions, right? Artistic urges that need to be acted upon. But it's possible that you're not nurturing your talents (and yourself) as much as you could be. Can you relate?

Here are some ideas to help you nourish your creative soul, taken from Roger Haeske's article "Technique to Unleash Creativity and Self-Discipline." I've been doing a similar practice off and on for many years and find it extremely helpful in the pursuit and achievement of my goals.

Here are Haeske's core ideas mixed with some of my own thoughts:

Set aside a time each day for personal development. This can be difficult for many people with busy schedules, but if you can carve out a regular slot every day (preferable 30 minutes first thing in the morning), you will be rewarded immensely.

Make time to read or listen to motivating materials. Feed your mind with positive, empowering ideas. Listen to self-development CDs or tapes while you drive. If time is really tight, spend the first 10 minutes of your half hour personal development time to absorb this material.

Spend 10 minutes visualizing your goals. A clear picture of what you want in your mind is one of the most powerful tools you can use to reach goals. Visualization can set into motion a whole series of events that pull you toward your mental picture.

Write down your goals, dreams, desires and ideas. During your daily 30-minute sessions, put pen to paper and capture your thoughts. The act of writing adds a tangible reality to your intangible thoughts and aspirations.

Repeat present-tense affirmations of the goals you want to achieve. Act as if the things, people and states of being you desire already exist. The best affirmations also include a present-tense action verb, such as "I am enjoying my first gallery opening as a respected abstract artist."

Have a plan, but don't get too attached to the steps. It's important to be clear about what you want, but you won't always know exactly how you're going to get there. Yes, you should take action, but don't become so focused on the steps that you ignore other opportunities that might present themselves along the way. Be flexible with your action plans. Which leads to ...

Cultivate a mind that's open and prepared to receive. Opportunities and abundance abound. It's just that some people recognize that fact while others don't. Brush aside thoughts of scarcity and limitation. Operate from the assumption that good things are happening to you -- and all you have to do is take notice, accept life's gifts, and enjoy the ride.

Your mind and spirit are like the operating system of your life. Make sure you're using the most powerful, up-to-date, and virus-free system available.

Using Your Creativity in Meaningful Ways

With this post I want to ask you to use your creativity in an important and meaningful way. You are certainly aware of the news coming from Louisiana and Mississippi regarding Hurricane Katrina. Of course, you can visit these pages at and FEMA to learn about ways you can help alleviate the loss and suffering -- if you haven't done so already.

Things are improving, but there's a long road to recovery ahead. So think about how you can help further. Present a concert or art sale or other event to raise money. Consider ways you can donate or use your talents to make a difference.

Example: Anne Leighton is a writer, poet, animal lover and publicist who embodies this attitude. On her web site, she encourages support of Habitat for Humanity in Biloxi, Mississippi, and chapters of the Humane Society in the Gulf area. She is also the author of Using Your Art & the Media to Comfort People, a book that clearly speaks to the philosophy of using your talents for the good of all concerned.

So ... Write a song, poem or article. Host a displaced family. Travel to the affected areas and volunteer. Call someone you know in Louisiana and Mississippi and ask what they need. Be creative and make a difference!