To Nurture Your Creativity, Stop Focusing On Output

Focusing solely on creative output leads to burnout. You will run out of ideas as your flow becomes stagnant. Your inner gremlins will gain a foothold, and it will be difficult to push them back. Worse, you will forget who you are and instead run on who you used to be, and then wonder why it all seems so repetitive and uninspiring.

If this is you, it’s time to focus instead on feeding, nurturing and rediscovering your creative soul. You can think about this in terms of diet. What are you feeding your creative self? Do you even know what inspires and nurtures that part of yourself? Sometimes it’s a throwback or a constant and other times, it’ll be something brand new and surprising.

Continue reading To Nurture Your Creativity, Stop Focusing On Output

On Secrets, Vulnerability, and Untidy things

Hola lovelies,

You know how sometimes you find yourself doing things that seem to be vestiges of a prior set of priorities or a life you had but has now passed – except for this one thing? Maybe it’s a friendship you keep up that’s damned unlikely and doesn’t fit your narrative, or a habit you’ve clung to, or, in my case a couple hours a week of a job that I keep saying I’m done with!

Continue reading On Secrets, Vulnerability, and Untidy things

When It All Comes Together: Creative Homecomings

Hey there lovely people,

Well, it’s Sunday blog post time, and I think it’s high time I share with you the finished song that I started a couple of weeks ago. I posted about it here, where I talked about my process.

The big hang-up with this one was that after I’d gotten all the juicy data about various kinds of cells’ lifespans, I didn’t know how to elevate the whole thing to the level of something of a metaphor about life.  That’s my favorite kind of lyric, a combination of literal and metaphorical. This is how I see life, and it tickles my word nerd and philosophical sensibilities.

Continue reading When It All Comes Together: Creative Homecomings

How to Get Ideas for a Song

Haha, see what I did there? Yeah, ideas to write a song. And ideas that cost a song. In other words, they’re free, kids. All you have to do is

Keep a running list of random oblique inspiration-generating ideas to get you from where you are to someplace else.

In today’s post (Welcome back!), I give you another peek into my creative process. In this case, I use my own random inspiration generator to help me get started with lyrics for a song. I explain the whole thing in the vid. But what I forgot to say was that the building blocks for this are to make it a habit to create something every day. Every single day. Each and every single day.

Continue reading How to Get Ideas for a Song

Why Create? Art + What.

Hello dear reader,

Today’s blog entry is a video I made for you, sharing my creative process on Days 1 and 2 of my personal 30 Day Creativity Breakthrough, which I’m doing to prepare for Reclaim Your Creative Soul, a program I’m putting together to help gifted but struggling creative people reconnect with their creativity, so they enjoy it any way they desire to.

Continue reading Why Create? Art + What.

Reclaim Your Creative Soul. Here’s How.

Hello Dear Reader,

Thanks for reading this far. I know – Low bar, right? What can I say? I’m easily pleased. 😁

I guess I’m feeling just a little bit heady and giddy after the weekend I had with my coaching peeps in San Jose, re-energizing my business, connecting with all the love and support my heart can handle, and learning (and un-learning!) so much that will help me create a life I love.

And that’s what I want for you, too, of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here writing you a big, fat letter, now, would I?

Continue reading Reclaim Your Creative Soul. Here’s How.

50 Book Idea Joggers for Your Inspirational Masterpiece


Dear you,

Today’s post will be a short one. I’m in the midst of a writing and drumming weekend, getting organized for the final stretch of winter, and just wanted to get this out to you for your Sunday vacation from the frenzied pitch of social media and politics.

And do take a break, drink some water, and think about how you can make the world a better place. Essentially, these boil down to two: Ramp up the self-care so you are strong, resilient, rested, clear and grounded. And, bring your ever-loving gift out into the world, because we need it. (Hint: It’s not as hard as resisting it has been, and it’s not complicated.)

I offer today’s post in response to an email I received from a writer who isn’t clear on a topic for a book she wants to try her hand at. I thought it would be fun to share this list of 50 ideas to get your brain going, in case you, too, are toying with nonfiction book ideas.

If you’re thinking of writing a book – an inspirational book, a book that shares your life and your life’s message –

Maybe you’re only thinking of writing this book because every other person, once they get to know you, says, “You should write a book!” Maybe secretly you agree with them, but really don’t know where to begin.

Maybe you want to write a book because you’ve always wanted to write a book. It’s bucket list material.

Maybe you’ve written other things, and now you want to write something for the soul, from the soul.

Whether you’re a practitioner, a Mom, a retired nurse, or just a general gad-about looking for your next thing, you can write a rockin’ good book.

– The first step is a topic. Topics come from everywhere. They float in behind dreams and are overheard in the grocery store over fish, or apples. Keep your inner ear tuned and an idea will come to you. Meanwhile, take a look at this list of 50 ideas, for starters.

Download the pdf here.

50 Book Idea Joggers

From Your Current Work with Clients

What advice do you routinely give your clients?

What self-care and follow-up routines or activities do you routinely recommend?

What homework do you give?

What kinds of things do you have people do to prepare for their first meeting with you?

How can people get the most out of working with you?

What are the fundamental concepts/beliefs/systems/knowledge that inform the work you do that you’d like clients to know about when they start out with you?

How about the ones you don’t need clients to know about but which nonetheless greatly inform your work?

What unique processes, methods or systems have you developed that have gotten results for your clients?

What do you do differently than your colleagues who are doing similar work, and how did you evolve those ways, and why are they different, unique, better and worth sharing?

What can you teach others to do that would help them get better results in their work or personal life?

From Your Life experience

How did you get to be who you are today?

What challenges have you faced and overcome?

What were the low points?

What successes and triumphs have you had?

Who have been your allies? Your enemies?

What have your internal enemies and allies been?

What lessons have you learned?

What mistakes would you avoid this time around?

What advice would you give someone following in your footsteps?

What do you wish you’d known then that you know now?

What mistaken ideas took you down detours and how did that help you ultimately?

What’s the most surprising thing about where you are today, compared to where you started out?

Have you ever had unseen help? Describe what happened.

What do you think you’ve travelled this particular path?

What purpose did your suffering and struggle serve ultimately?

What do other people think you should write about and are they on target?

What strengths have you developed as a result of your hero’s journey?

What old concepts have you left behind?

If you could sum up your greatest wisdom, learning or way of living/working as a result of your healing journey in a few words, what would they be?

Who have your challengers been?

Who have your allies been?

Tell about the time you almost gave up and the breakthrough that followed

What are some pitfalls you can warn others who are on a similar path about?

What are some of the weirdest choices you’ve made, and where did they take you?

A Contemporary Issue or Problem That You Can Help Solve

What’s your unique take on the root cause(s) of this problem?

What’s your unique take on solutions(s) to the problem?

What can individual people do to address or solve this?

What societal changes need to happen to address or solve this?

What legal or governing changes need to happen to address or solve this?

What mindset shifts would help address or solve this?

What common pitfalls in thinking, policy or individual behavior need to be avoided in order to implement your solutions?

What are some examples of how someone would put your ideas into action?

What have others tried and failed at in addressing this problem, and why have they failed? What fundamental did they miss?

Topics That You are Crazy-Nerdy Interested and Expert In

What things do you spend a lot of time thinking about and as a result know more than the average person?

What are you crazy-nerdy interested in?

What off-the-wall things do you know more about than most people?

What are some things you’ve done that no one else has done, why, and how would it benefit anyone to know about them?

What are your secret or guilty pleasures, including physical, sexual, intellectual, trivia and strictly fluff?

What would you have on your desert island and why?

Talk about your super powers and how you got them.

Bonus Idea

What’s the one self-help, how-to, inspirational, investigative or personal growth book that’s not out there that you would read in a heartbeat?

Till next time, keep breathing and be good to yourself. Your gift is SO needed!

With love,


© 2017 Phyllis Capanna. All Rights Reserved.

Your Book: Get Started by Learning to Break Some Rules

Let’s forget for a moment the inevitable blank page. It’s the blank page that scares you, isn’t it, when you think about finally sitting down to tell something?


Well let me scare you a little bit more.

What it really takes to get started filling blank page after blank page is wasting paper, using up pens, being selfish, amounting to nothing and wasting lots and lots of time. These are the sins you have to get used to committing every single day.

I use these words deliberately, because they are the right words, and because you have to become desensitized to the very things that have kept you in check, kept you from making mistakes, kept you from costing anybody anything, from wasting, from looking bad and from failing.


Creativity is wasteful. And being willfully wasteful means being willing to make mistakes and to throw things out if they’re not right. Being true to a vision means starting over again and again. It means approximating. Failing. Giving up. Trying again.

To fill that blank page, to ruin its perfect blankness, you have to be willing to fail utterly, miserably and totally. Failure has to lose its sting and hold over you. Perfection has to lose its appeal. The blank page is perfect. Perfect doesn’t get you anywhere.

What gets you somewhere is courage. Perversity. Stubbornness. Frustration. Desperation.

Creativity means living in the reality that there’s a never-ending supply of words, concepts, colors, modes of expression, truths, stories, moments, time (and pens) with which to make your statement. It is an act of faith.


What really stops you is that you don’t believe and trust that a never-ending supply will be routed to you, that the invisible pipe-layers of creativity will notice and make sure the plethora opens to you.

Filling the blank page means doing it anyway,  even if they forget you, even if no one listens, even if the plethora dried up and nobody told you. It is finding it within yourself to be more than you think you are, to be the supply if you have to.

Uncle Bob used to tell the story of his father sitting on the back step opening watermelons one by one and tossing them aside it they weren’t just right. You know what happened to that pile of watermelons Uncle Bob’s father threw aside? They rotted and became dirt. Which grew more watermelons, or tomatoes, or squash, or peppers. Or daisies, or grass. Which fed people and bees and birds and creatures, which by now have all died and become dirt and have fed others and on and on and on.

This is life. To create recklessly means to be part of the great, messy, sometimes rotting cycle of life. Underneath the pavement, where the dirt is. Underneath what’s underneath.


Messy, reckless, heedless, wasteful, sloppy, selfish and useless. Whether they’re aware of it or not, this is the portal each creative person passes through on the way to producing the finished product you consume. You consume it whole, and it goes down easily. It’s perfect. You assume it was born that way.

But know that it wasn’t.

Quickly, or effortlessly, consciously or un-, or bit by bit, every person who’s ever created something has had to say it’s okay to break the inner rules of decorum in order to get something down, in order to begin.

Are you willing to be messy, reckless, heedless, wasteful, sloppy, selfish and useless? Are you willing to waste time and risk failing? Are you willing to do something courageous and difficult, lacking faith, evidence, experience? What matters is the impetus to create, to tell something. It doesn’t matter one iota whether you succeed on the first try or the millionth, or never succeed at all.

But today’s lesson is that you will never get to either one if you don’t allow yourself to begin.

Exercise: Get out a blank piece of paper and several pens. Unlined paper is best, but lined will do. If it’s lined, turn it 90 degrees so the lines go up and down. Now sully the paper. It doesn’t matter how. Words, lines, doodles, shapes, scratches, blobs. Mess up the whole thing. Make it awful. Make it utter trash. When you’re done ruining it, ball it up and throw it away.

Caution: You might fall in love with what you’ve produced. It’s entirely up to you what to do with it in that case. I have no advice for that. You’ve entered the most sacred and private, personal and quirky place of all. If this happens, take time to be with the experience. Because what you keep from that is no longer on the page. It’s inside you. Forever.

The two reasons I advocate writing every day are so it becomes easy to waste the paper, time, ink and effort, and to strengthen that holy bond between creative impulse and creative effort.

Stay tuned for lesson two.





Photo credits: All except the pens are from, and if you click on the photo, the name of the photographer will be in your browser bar. Photo of pen graveyard: Phyllis Capanna.

Say “Yes!’ to telling your hero’s story and serving your clients in an even deeper way! You’ll receive my Healing Arts Entrpreneur gift package, digests from this blog, helpful free downloads for your business, and be the first to know about my new Must-Share-Your Message Healer’s Book Creation Program.