Philosophically Speaking


How many times have you heard  it’s all in your attitude? Well for a creative it really is in their attitude.


“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman

“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
― J. Sidlow Baxter

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way”
― Henry Ford

“Our beliefs about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be”
― Anthony Robbins

“Winners Evaluate Themselves In A Positive Manner And Look For Their Strengths As They Work To Overcome Weaknesses.”
― Zig Ziglar

“Our Positivity repels the external negative energy and attract the positive energy.”
― Sukant Ratnakar

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.”
― Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

My words, thoughts and deeds have

a boomerang effect.

So be-careful what you send out!”
― Allan Rufus,

Our outlook determines our outcome. It is true that attitude can make a huge difference.   If you believe in  the law of attraction, then you know well about the boomerang effect.  You attract what you think.

Our thoughts are as powerful as our words. The words we speak put an energy into the atmosphere and we have what we say.  If we say that we’ll never amount to anything – guess what?  It’s true.

Here’s the catch though.  Everything you say begins with a thought.  If we direct our thoughts, then we can manipulate our future.  Controlling those thoughts that were maybe planted by someone else in our past, and changing them by putting a positive spin on them can turn the negative energy around and create a positive energy.

I know, y’all think I’ve fallen off the deep end into psycho-babble land.  I don’t normally get into the existential metaphysical mumbo jumbo stuff – but  in the case of our thoughts and words I am firmly convinced there is some truth to it.

I am not asking you to believe the same as I do. It’s your own choice to  change your future how you see fit.

Instead I want to share with  you common outlook characteristics of the creative mind.


  1.  Creatives turn life’s obstacles around. Think about how many songs, poems, and iconic stories stem from gut-wrenching pain and heartbreak.  Like a Phoenix rising, some of the greatest silver linings  came from life’s hardest challenges.  Great art in any form  is often fueled by emotions.  The deepest emotions are created by tragedy, romance and heartbreak. A new form of psychological therapy for post traumatic stress disorder involves facing their hardships and trauma, to transfer into creative expressions of some sort.  Whether the trauma is caused by loss of loved ones, facing combat, or surviving a tornado or hurricane karma therapy can affect the person to grow in areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, life appreciation, personal strength and creating the ability to see new possibilities in life.


“A lot of people are able to use that as the fuel they need to come up with a different perspective on reality,” says Kaufman. “What’s happened is that their view of the world as a safe place, or as a certain type of place, has been shattered at some point in their life, causing them to go on the periphery and see things in a new, fresh light, and that’s very conducive to creativity.”


“Since my house burned down

I now own a better view

of the rising moon.”

– Masahide

Mizuta Masahide was a Japanese samurai who wrote this simply haiku in 1688 after his house burned down.  His ability to find an awakened awareness after this loss is remarkable.


Creatives tend to have that rebound, or phoenix outlook.


  1.  They fail up – are resilient. Resilience is practically a prerequisite for  any creative’s success.  Doing creative work is often described as the process of failing over and over  until you finally get lucky or something actually sticks. Successful creatives learn not to take failure so personally.

I’ve heard many times about Edison inventing the lightbulb. Edison was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name yet  what we remember him for is inventing the incandescent lightbulb.  Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Resilience   is what keeps a writer resubmitting to publishers after numerous rejections.

  1. They are risk takers. Part of doing creative work is taking risks, and many creative types thrive off of taking risks in various aspects of their lives.


“There is a deep and meaningful connection between risk taking and creativity and it’s one that’s often overlooked,” contributor Steven Kotler wrote in Forbes magazine. “Creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent — these are all by-products of creativity gone awry.”


Yet for the successful creative like Stephen King, J.K.Rowling, Mark Twain, and numerous others they are hailed as brilliant.  What  you don’t hear is the years of mocking and ridicule they took before they “made it”.


If you never take a risk and only stick to the safe path, you’ll live an unsatisfied life of  the same daily rut until you die.  Well at least that is my creative take on it.  Life is to be lived, experienced to the fullest not for cowering in the corner of the what ifs.


  1. They see opportunities. They can see the bright side of things, and brilliantly come out of troubles in unusual ways. It’s said that the mother of invention is necessity.  Witty inventions come when faced with a problem.  The solution doesn’t occur until one is presented with a problem to solve. Every problem presents opportunity.


  1.  They don’t like rules and boundaries. Many popular creatives in history have been labeled as rebels.  In the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, Barbosa said the Pirate’s code is more like . . .guidelines.  many creative feel this way about rules and boundaries.


Rules are  set to  push the boundaries.  Boundaries are set to  gauge what you push beyond.  A creative mind looks at boundaries like a velociraptor views the perimeter fence, something to get beyond. If a creative followed the rule – stay inside the lines, the Mona Lisa would never have been painted.  The Cysteine Chapel would be covered in tiles.


  1. They don’t like numbers. Creatives are brilliant and can really amaze you at times, but try to let them do the math and you will be surprised by how much they dislike numbers. Don’t put a creative in charge of the bank account, that’s not a smart idea.  Accounting is a bad career choice for a creative.  mathematician – also a bad idea.  Scientist – bad, bad idea.  For these careers you need someone with  a logical mind that isn’t going to invent facts.  Creatives are not only calculator dependent,  they often have trouble  with that part of cognitive thinking with weights and measures as well.


An interesting point to note, creative often are drawn to  either evens or odds.  Or in creative terms – symmetry or asymmetry.  Some artists work in pairs, their work always balanced.  Others work in odds, the asymmetry carrying  out a realism aspect that subconsciously appeals to our sense of belief and order.

Do any of these apply to you?  Can you recognize  these characteristics in yourself or  others in your life?

Previous posts in this series can be found here:

The Creative Mind  (

2. A Mentalist (

3. Time Bandits (

4. Expressions http://

5.  Head Games

 Write on my friends, write on!  Let your creative juices flow!



First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate’s code to apply and you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.

Captain Barbossa, Pirates of the Caribbean

Remember back in grade school when your teachers told you to color inside the lines?  We had seasonal cute pictures, often coinciding with  the upcoming holiday.  (I’ve always been looking forward to the next holiday!) One specific example comes to mind.  My followers that aren’t in the US will have to put on your imagination caps here, but I think you’ll get the gist.  The teacher passed out pages of turkey feathers to color just before Thanksgiving.  The pieces were numbered, and each little space was numbered, corresponding to a color.

The exercise was about following instructions.  The turkey feathers were supposed to be brown, yellow, orange, and red in a graduated scale.  I wasn’t a good rule follower even back then.  No, in 2nd grade my turkey was black.  Everything was black.  I even stole my friend’s black crayon because I ran out of my black.  What can I say?  It was an angry time of my life. They didn’t send us to the counselor to see why we didn’t follow the rules. They didn’t ask what was going on at home, or why I was rebellious.  We were expected to be good little boys and girls regardless of how dysfunctional our family was, and abuse was something that was swept under the rug not talked about with your teachers.  I lost my recess and had to stay in to redo my peacock.  Oh yeah, it was supposed to be a turkey.  Therefore, I had to miss more recesses.

The teacher never cared to find out why I didn’t want my turkey to look like everyone elses.  My 2nd edition was more or less a peacock with brilliant blues, greens, and pinks.  I even cut its wattle off to make it look more ‘peacocky’.  By the third time I had decided the teacher was just mean, and I was tired of missing recess.  I scribbled as fast as I could and colored each segment its appropriate color, cut them out and glued them together in record speed.  I still got an F.  I believe the note to my parents was something to the effect that I refuse to follow directions.  Whatever!

Fast forward a couple of years, we had our turkey pictures with more details.  This time we were expected to follow the general guidelines, and color our turkey in a realistic fashion. Apparently grade school teachers are not fans of surrealism, or even abstract art.  Such narrow views in life encourage rebellion in the hearts of troubled kids.  Trust me, I know!

I personally thought my turkey rocked, but the teacher was of a different opinion.  “Why can’t you simply follow the rules like everyone else?”  The exaggerated sighs of her frustration did little to soothe my rebellious nature.  Of course my smart mouth got me in even more trouble, when I stated that my turkey was unique.

It wasn’t like I was really a trouble kid.  I got straight A’s.  I just didn’t conform to the general consensus.  One of the times I had to miss recess, my 4th grade teacher actually asked me why I was angry. I didn’t answer, and when she came over to my desk and saw that I was crying she backed down her tone.  Mrs. Williamson was the first teacher to ever look past bad behavior to see a hurting child inside.  There are often reasons behind the behavior.

Fast fast forward to the present and there are still guidelines.  As adults we aren’t graded on what color our turkey is, or if our turkey is cut exactly on the lines or not.  As a cartographer I had to have precise lines, and follow SOPs (standard operating procedures) that were in a document nearly the size of the federal budget.  When you’re charting the geo-coordinates for missiles, you must have pinpoint accuracy.  As you can imagine, it was restrictive to my creative nature.

As a writer I can flex my creativity and dash the rules as I see fit. Grammar rules always seem to have exceptions.  I will admit, that as I’ve gotten older my rebellious nature has been channelled into specific areas.  In real life I’m a rather conservative law-abiding citizen.  I believe in playing by the rules of life, with the exception of speed limits.

In my fiction however, there is only one rule that is hard and fast, and that is with suspension of disbelief!  I can believe there are ancient mages that can weave powerful magic.  I can believe that there are shape-shifting dragons.  I can even believe that a magical mirror exists that can transport someone back in time.  What I can’t believe is an independent strong female character that puts up with a cheater repeatedly, allows herself to remain in an abusive situation, or one that surrenders herself to a complete jerk.

I just read a paranormal romance, set in modern times and the female lead was supposedly a strong-willed independent woman.  By the tenth chapter, she caught her man with two other women in the act.  Really?  I know people in real life are cads, but in a romance we read to escape.  Lose his sorry butt and move on lady, there are better men out there.  This was one of the few books I did not finish.

I’ve already stretched my reader’s imagination by creating a world of dragons and magic.  But even non human characters tend to display human characteristics.  Believable characters have good points as well as bad points.  For instance most strong-willed people are natural leaders, but they aren’t good listeners.  They see their own goals but often don’t weigh the consequences of their decisions. A strong-willed independent woman is not going to put up with a cheating liar!

She also wouldn’t be content to just let him walk away without extracting the pound of flesh due to her.  The manner in which she would extract her revenge can be quite interesting.  He’ll pay, you can be certain of that.

In real life we have to choose our battles.  I choose to follow the laws and stay out of jail.  I choose to cut myself some slack for not being supermodel thin.  I choose who I give my affections to.  In a fictional world, we can break the rules and never get caught.  We can extract our pound of flesh from the liars and cheaters, and the ones who have crossed our characters.

In real life we have to deal with nosy neighbors, judgmental peers, and backstabbing coworkers and wait on karma to pay them back.

There are certain aspects of life that have to be flexible, more like guidelines.  I plan my grocery shopping from a list which is made from a planned menu.  Just because it says we are having fajitas on Thursday doesn’t mean we are actually having fajitas on Thursday.  One day between Sunday and Saturday, fajitas will be served because I bought stuff to make fajitas.  It’s a guideline.  This logic is fuzzy for my logical thinking husband.  It creates chaos in his supposed well-ordered life.

HA!  Which proves my theory: boxes are bad.  Even rule followers yearn to get outside the lines and experience freedom.

Are you a rebel or a rule follower?  Are you selective in which rules are guidelines?  Let me know what you think.

Write on my friends, write on!