Toe Dipping

Blogging Again

It’s time to dip my toe in the blogging waters once more.  There is a difference this time. I’m doing it very quietly.  I’m not publicising the fact that I’m blogging again.


Because I want to sidle back in gently, without a big fanfare.  Probably because it’s been so long.  Also because I don’t want to feel under any pressure.

This time, I’m not going to spend hours and days writing and agonising over posts.  I’m going to write them and publish them.  If there are occasional typos, or the grammar isn’t perfect, so be it.

My dream is to be able to blog in the same way I write in my daily journal. Easily. Without thinking.  Just flowing the words out onto the page.

I wonder what it’s like to blog and not feel under pressure?  I’m going to find out.

GDPR Compliance.  Yawn.

Today is the big day when the new GDPR Compliance regulations come into force. Despite the yawn, I think it’s a good thing and is the main reason I am here, called to my own WordPress site to try and figure it all out and fix anything I need to.  It’s taking more time than I’d like, so hey, why not write a blog post while I’m here?

(Thought I’d have a little experiment, using headings in this blog post.  Can you tell? 😉 )

GDPR in Plain English

I find it all totally mind-boggling if I’m honest.

Although, I’m grateful for this article for WordPress users from

Also for this one from, specifically for anyone with an author website.


Anyway, that’s it for now.  This is my first post in a long time so it’s brief.  I don’t mind if the Search Engines don’t approve, I want to stay under the radar for a while.  That way, those PLMs who do find me, are meant to find me.  What are PLMs?

People like me: Writers, Artists, Heart and Soul People.

If you’ve found this blogging-again post . . . Welcome!  But it’s unlikely.  Maybe I’ll see you later, dear PLM.  Hope so.

Sending Love.




















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Day 30: The Story of the 30-Day Blog-Anything Project Part 2

Welcome to Day 30, the final day of the 30-Day Blog Anything project – hurrah!

The flags are out and the fizz is uncorked.

Thank you for your support, encouragement and companionship on this journey – I love you for it.

And now, as promised, here is Part Two of yesterday’s story.

The Story

Part Two:

So I’d decided to take action.  Lisa Sonora Beam’s book The Creative Entrepreneur had inspired me to commit to blogging for 30 days and to create something of my own as a result of the 30 days.  I did not know exactly what – but now I do (read on to find out.)

Thinking that I could do something is one thing. Actually doing it is another.

‘Maybe I should have a Goal Book?’ I thought.  A handwritten journal with illustrations of my own, like Lisa Sonora Beam’s Creative Entrepreneur journal.

The Creative Entrepreneur is a guidebook with questions and exercises to work through. Lisa describes processes to use within an art journal, using it as a  creative business tool – for creative people.

I loved the idea of such a journal – combining art with writing.

I was reminded of an idea I’d had years ago.  It was an idea Lisa actually did.  The idea was to share my own personal journal-journey in ‘episodes.’

Lisa actually did it.  Then she put the episodes together into chapters and into her book called Sketchbooks.

I wrote in my diary: Other people have ideas and implement them. . .

(then immediately wrote)

Don’t go there Claire! That is not a story I want to tell or have be my reality.

I explored further in my written journal, toying with the idea of creating my own free 30-day project and follow-up paid for product. At this stage I had no firm idea of exactly what to create for either the freebie or the paid product. But I was beginning to feel inspired and a little excited.

The Creative Entrepreneur book was being sent from the USA and was due to arrive in a month’s time.

I could not wait that long! I found an old blank sketch book.  I would create my Goal Book, now.

On 14 March, I began my Goal Book.

I didn’t like that name.  So, I called it my Art-Biz Journal.

On page one I wrote the names of creative people who currently inspire me, (including Lisa Sonora) with a brief description for each person.

As an after-thought I added my own name to the page.

Then I wrote “REMEMBER to also place yourself on your altar.”

It felt good to have my name on the same page as people who inspire me.

Metaphorically, I’ve only just realised what I’d done – put my name on the same page as people who inspire me.

I hope those who see my art journal will also be inspired in some way.

Because my art-biz journal is what I have chosen to give away as my freebie.  Not the original of course!  But a copy.

That was not my initial intention.  I had various ideas for the freebie, all along similar lines, each idea getting more involved and more complicated than the last.  At this rate it’d take months to produce.

I initially thought the freebie could be a combination of my art-biz journal and my personal diary – both revealing the behind the scenes stuff, with my comments added (as a result of lessons learned!)

I thought I’d share all the back-room stuff of what was going on in my head throughout this 30-Day challenge.

If I shared my journey and lessons learned, I hoped it might help others – people like me. People who were trying to create something dear to their hearts and were sometimes struggling.

But I soon realised that combining relevant parts of the two journals and writing the blurb to go with it, was going to take time to piece together.

Eventually, I decided to go for an easier option for the freebie.

Easy in terms of physically putting it together into a pdf or e-book. Not easy in terms of sharing it.  It’s personal.

But whilst honest sharing isn’t always easy it is something I’ve got to do.

Don’t worry friends and family it’s all about creating stuff not skeletons in the cupboard.

But it will show a side of me that you won’t see on the blog.  As will the book.

So I am going to share the art-biz journal as-it-is. With all my false starts and messiness – and rainbows!

The art-biz journal is a place for the seed of an idea.  The initial inspirations and tentative plans.

Some ideas you may not pick up and run with.  But the journal is the place where you get them ALL down.

Coloured pencils, paint and collage

Using colour and being arty in the journal pages makes it more fun and visually appealing.  You want a journal that contains your business plans to be fun to use.  If it’s dry and boring you won’t want to work in it.

I love using my art-biz journal but I especially like how it is moving me forward.  I can see how I am progressing.

My aim and intention in sharing my art-journal – and in creating the book –  is to encourage anyone on a similar creative journey to know they are not alone.  There is no problem or challenge they cannot solve – and the journal helps with that.  As does self-care and self-love of course.

Abraham-Hicks:  You are your own worst enemy or your own best friend.

The art-biz journal is a fun way of progressing your business ideas and goals. Even if you’ve been stuck for years.  If something is important enough to you, you will succeed. In your journal you will discover what is important to you.

I was inspired by Lisa Sonora Beam’s creations, her work, her book.  Her book has inspired me to create my own book.  My wish is that my book then inspires others to create their books or products.

I even drew a little diagram of how that might happen in my second art-biz journal.  (The first one filled up fast!)

The art-biz journal I’m sharing as a freebie is rough and ready.  It’s messy and raw and real.  It’s all the things I was hoping the 30-Day blog-anything challenge would be. Real. Authentic. And with a product created as a result of it.

I got what I wanted, but in a roundabout way.

What I didn’t realise is how the 30-day blog challenge, the art-biz journal and my personal diary, would all meld together to create something else.  Funny how these things work out.

I’m eager to get to work.  I hope you enjoy the art-biz journal when it’s ready.

I’ll be sending it to you next week.  By then, the planet Mercury will no longer be retrograde.  Better safe than sorry!

You’ll need to sign up to the newsletter – so I know where to send it!  I promise I won’t bug you, and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks again for everything.  I couldn’t have done it without you.  And I promise  – no more daily emails!


Lots of Love


POST NOTE 9 May 2017

The freebie in the end is not the whole art-biz journal, it is a fraction of it.  I was going to publish the journal pages without explanation. But without explanation the pages would have made no sense.

Also, taking over 100 photos of the art-biz journal and editing them into a book is no small task! (I know, I tried it.) So instead, I created a freebie with:

  • an introduction to the Art-Biz journal
  • a selection of journal pages with the meaning of each page created, and
  • a brief conclusion.

I think combining art pages and writing into the freebie is a better idea than simply art pages alone.  After all, that is what the Art-Biz journal is all about – combining art and writing and using both sides of the brain to take your ideas and inspirations forward.

My Art-Biz journal is a sacred container for my business ideas.  It’s a tool that is working very well for me – like no other!

Without my Art-Biz journal I would not have:

  • undertaken (and completed) my 30-Day Blog Anything project
  • created my Art-Biz Journal freebie
  • begun speedily progressing ideas for further creations
  • felt as eager and excited as I do, working not just in, but on my business

Work is becoming far more fun – I think that is key to success

The Art-Biz Journal has literally transformed my working life.  I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges next.  I am working on my new book and am excited about that – and about what’s after that!

Lastly, I love learning lessons as I travel along my path and I love not giving myself too much of a hard time when I make mistakes.

One thing I have surely learned:

It’s best not to tell others that you will create something unless it’s almost (or already) created.  The creative process is a funny old thing, and what seems like a fabulous idea today may prove unworkable or uninspiring tomorrow. Keep your ideas about your creations to yourself – until you’re absolutely sure what you want to do, or until your creation is almost created.

If you want to download the Freebie, Art-Biz Journal – a book for writers, artists and PLMs, simply subscribe in one of the boxes to the right (or below).  You’ll get the link straight away.



Art-Biz Journal freebie



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Day 29: The Story of the 30-Day Blog-Anything Project Part 1

The Story – Part One:

On Sunday 12 March 2017, I wrote in my journal:

Have been playing with some ideas around my blog and how I blog.  I am considering giving myself a 30 day challenge – not because I want a challenging struggle.  But because I want to do an experiment and see what works for me.

If I blog every day for 30 days and allow myself to blog about anything, then I might discover what really floats my boat, feel freer, and find my blogging peeps or PLMs (people like me.)

I do not need a huge crowd. I just want to connect with People Like Me who can resonate and identify with what I’m sharing – because it’s similar to what they are experiencing too.

That’s all. I don’t want much.  It will be very interesting to see what I discover about blogging and about openly sharing my daily thoughts.

One idea I had was to share what I’m writing in my journal. Not word for word, but the gist of it. I think that might work. I shouldn’t be stuck for ideas.

How wrong could I be?!

It was a great idea and it probably could work, but not under the pressure of a write-something-every-day-for-30-days blogging challenge.

But I went ahead with the 30-day challenge and we’re now nearly at the end, tomorrow is the final day. I’ve learned so much.  I could write a book.  Now there’s an idea.

Later that evening I wrote in my journal:

So, what if I took a different tack in my life for a while?  What if I just did what called me, whatever that was? What if I just played for a while – with writing and with art.

What if I did not need to sell anything, unless I made that a creative goal.

That could be fun. To create and sell – something.

To create and sell my first creative thing. And then the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh – and on and on.


And with that thought, the seed of an idea was born.  I wanted to create something to sell.  It might be a book or a course, but whatever I created, I did not want it to take years to create.

I’m still committed to writing the big book – Septimus and Gran.  But it’s going to take me some time to get that completed and just as I want it.  I need something out there sooner than that.

That very same day I also wrote in my journal about someone I found via Pinterest who inspired me.  She was an artist and writer and her name was Lisa Sonora Beam.

I saw that she had a free course but I did not sign up.  It was a 30-day journaling course.

I could do something like that,” I thought.

She had the free course and then a paid-for course, called the same thing, but with added video showing how to make journals.

I could offer a free course and a follow-up-paid-for course,” I thought.

I looked at her books in her online shop.  One book was comprised of clips and comments and illustrations from her journals.

I could do something like that,” I thought.

She had another book, The Creative Entrepreneur.

I need that book,” I thought.

So, I bought Lisa’s book but did not sign up for the free course – yet.

Neither did I buy her book Sketches – yet.  It sounds silly but I didn’t want to be influenced. Because what she’d done was similar to my own idea, I did not want her work to somehow influence mine.  Like a two-year old kid I wanted to do it all by myself!

But I ordered Lisa’s book The Creative Entrepreneur. This was a guidebook or instruction manual I definitely needed.

But whether I signed up for the free course or bought the other book or not, Lisa S. Beam had already inspired me.  To action.

Thinking that I could do something is one thing. Actually doing it is another.

I will tell you Part Two of this story tomorrow.  I will also reveal what the Freebie is going to be.

Lots of Love




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Day 28: A journal is different to a blog

candleEvery day, usually hours before the sun, or anyone else is up, I light a candle (at least one) and write in my journal.

Before dawn, the world is quiet.

My mind is clear, open and ready to receive new thoughts and ideas.

Writing in a personal journal is very different to writing a blog post.

A journal entry is the workings of an unedited mind, flitting from one subject to the next, like a butterfly.

Most people’s minds work in similar fashion, they just don’t always write it down.

Recently I came across a journal entry I’d written in early March 2017 (a typical example of butterfly-flitting.)

Reading the entry back, I realized there were several topics there that I could probably make into a number of blog posts.

I once said –  and still believe:

“Even if I write something really rubbish, it might inspire someone else to write something better . . .  so I can never really go wrong.”

Whatever anyone writes, is going to inspire someone in some way.

The person I voiced this too was surprised.  He called my thought a ‘positive-negative.’

But I truly believe something good always comes out of everything, even the seemingly bad-stuff.

As writers, all we need is a starting point.  Someone else’s blog post, a book, a conversation or comment.

Or our own, un-edited rantings or ramblings, can be molded into something of value.  Something that will hopefully become coherent and meaningful to the reader.

We’re all searching for resonance.  We all want to find our tribe.

Writers start with a draft post or manuscript.  We then edit that rough diamond (over and over) until we are happy – or happier – with it.

One thing I’ve learned is more is not best.

I wrote so much more in my original draft of this post. But I think you’d nod off or lose the will … if I’d included it.

So, I’m leaving it there.

Just to let you know, I spent all day writing this post and I’m still not happy with it.

It’s tiny.  It was about ten times the size and I chopped it.  Sometimes you can write too much. This is probably too little – not enough.

Gosh this 30 day blog post challenge has not been easy!

If I didn’t need to get a blog post out today I would not post this.

The Search Engine Optimisation tool I’m using is giving the green light and telling me:

Readability: Good

SEO: Good

Are you kidding me?!

Sometimes you can’t trust an App.




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