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I first fell in love with Amy Poehler when I fell in love with Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) on Parks & Rec. Leslie Knope is a city official for the Pawnee Parks & Rec department and she is enthusiastic, honest, optimistic, proud, and kind. A true role model. Then I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants where she dedicated an entire chapter to her best friend Amy Poehler where she described her as a hilarious and talented badass who stood up to the boys in the writing room. I went from loving Leslie Knope to admiring Amy Poehler. 

Kathleen here, and lately I’ve been into reading memoirs of funny ladies, who seem too young to be writing memoirs. I’ve read Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Having Fun Without Me, Kelly Oxford’s Everything is Perfect When You’re A Liar, as mentioned Tina Fey’s Bossypants. But Amy Poehler’s Yes Please kind of changed my life. I practically highlighted her entire intro describing the creative process of writing a book as pretty much torture. In fact, I hadn’t even finished the introduction of the book when I texted all of my girlfriends and told them they had to read Yes Please immediately. 

So today I want to share with you few big nuggets from the introduction alone of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. (The rest of the book is really great too.)

So recently, and it could have something to do with all the memoirs I’ve been reading, I’ve decided I want to be a writer. A REAL writer. But with that I decided I also needed a masters degree in creative writing and a log cabin to write in – essentially, I came up with a couple of big roadblocks for myself to procrastinate becoming what I imagine a real writer looks like. 

In just the first page, Amy Poehler is in-your-face-honest about how hard writing a book is. “Everyone lies about writing. The lie about how easy it is or how hard it is. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. … The truth is writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not.” 

And Amy Poehler definitely didn’t write her book in a log cabin in Big Sur. “I wrote this book after my kids went to sleep. I wrote this book on subways and on airplanes and in between setups while I shot a television show. I wrote this book from scribbled thoughts I kept in the Notes app on my iPhone and conversations I had with myself in my own head before I went to sleep. I wrote it ugly and in pieces.” 

TAKEAWAY: Being creative is not dependent on your surrounding circumstance. It’s up to you to be creative in spite of all the other work you have to do, or the family you have to feed. Being creative doesn’t always look like a perfect vignette you can share on Instagram and that’s okay. It's easy to forget that while the outcome usually looks effortless and beautiful the journey itself is sometimes a total unphotogenic mess. 

Amy Poehler is creative because she actually likes making things and making people laugh. She didn’t start her career with the intention of becoming the next big thing or launching a six-figure business – she was just trying to get a laugh from her friends. She’s also not overly concerned with approval or perfection, and tries really hard to create without self-consciousness. But sometimes being creative is hard – anyone who makes a living doing what they allegedly love knows this. So I love when Amy Poehler says this in response to the inner-critics, the gremlins, and the creative resistance we all butt up against from time-to-all-the-time: 

“How do we move forward when we are tired and afraid? What do we do when the voice in our head is yelling that WE ARE NEVER GONNA MAKE IT? … Well, the first thing we do is take our brain out and put it in a drawer. Stick it somewhere and let it tantrum until it wears itself out. … And then you just do it. You just dig in and write it. You use your body. You lean over the computer and stretch and pace. You write and then cook something and write some more. You put your hand on your heart and feel it beating and decide if what you wrote feels true. You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing. That is what I know. Writing the book is about writing the book.”  

TAKEAWAY: We’ve all read enough self-improvement books to know that life is the journey and not the destination, but Amy Poehler summed it up for me in a way that shifted my entire perspective around being present and tackling perfectionism, procrastination, fear, and uncertainty in my own business. My new mantra is “The doing is the thing.” 

When Amy Poehler goes on to describe the kind of person she wants to be – the person who wrote really honest and vulnerable piece on the life of a creative – because it’s also the kind of person she wants to hang out with. She says this: 

“I have realized that mystery is what keeps people away, and I’ve grown tired of smoke and mirrors. I yearn for the clean, well-lighted place. So let’s peek behind the curtain and hail the others like us. The open-faced sandwiches who take risks and live big and smile with all of their teeth. These are the people I want to be around.”

TAKEAWAY: I want to be friends with Amy Poehler. I want to be a big open-faced sandwich who takes risks and lives big.

Amy Poehler’s book surprised me in the best way. She shed and shared the complex layers of who she is with humor and sincerity. She made me laugh but she also made me think. She inspired me to create, and write, and be who I am (a mom, a creative, a boss) – which are many of the things she is too.

Need more guidance on being a creative expert? Check out my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions – it’s $40 for four weeks of content that will help you dig deep so you can uncover the good stuff and make decisions about what’s next. 

Our ECourse Dream Customer Catching: Embrace Your Expertise and Attract What You Track is now open for registration. We share more secrets for attracting dream customers by getting narrow with what you offer. This ECourse will be in-session from December 12 - 21. Learn more and see if it’s a fit here. 


The one thing the designers, developers, coaches, photographers, and even yogis that hire Braid Creative have in common is they all want to write more. But they don’t know where to begin, how to carve out time for something like blogging, or are plagued with self-doubt when it comes to hitting publish. 

I could talk about blogging for days – there’s a lot to cover on the topic. But today I’m going to keep it simple and share the most powerful piece of advice I’ve got for getting your blog on. 

As a creative entrepreneur I’ve worn a lot of hats. From designer, to creative director, to accountant, to janitor. But it wasn’t until I put “blogger” in my job description that I started taking it seriously and stopped feeling bad about dedicating time to writing instead of designing, accounting, and even cleaning. 

Now that “blogger” is in your job title you need to make time for writing. Include writing and blogging on your daily to-do list and block off time for it in your calendar. Give yourself deadlines and rough out an editorial calendar. And don’t make it the last thing you do (unless you feel most creative at the end of your day). 

Extra credit: the next time someone asks you what you do say “I’m a blogger. I write about _______, _______, and _______.” Try it on for size and see how the conversation unfolds. 

• See how internet-awesome-maker, Sarah Von Bargen, launched her creative career with a blog.  
• But remember, you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to. There are alternative ways to show up and be seen.
• Brené Brown shared with us her two biggest tips for creative bloggers here.

And on Friday I’ll be sharing more on what it’s been like to take a summer break from personal blogging (and the surprising lessons I’ve learned so far) in our exclusive behind-the-scenes Letters for Creatives. 

If you want to get more clarity and focus for your blog check out our Braid ECourse Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How to Buy You. It’s now open for registration and will be in-session from July 18 - 27. Learn more and sign up here. 

Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks.


We work with a lot of creative entrepreneurs who see the value in blogging, but not every creative likes to write. These “I-hate-writing” creatives can get pretty conflicted about this truth about themselves, and it’s not unusual for us to be working with a creative client who will matter-of-factly, but clearly uninspired about it, say “well... I guess I need a blog,” because they do recognize how blog content can help shape and share their expertise, which in turn boosts their business and bottom line. In fact, that’s what our ECourse Shape Up Your Content is all about (it’s in-session right now, but will be back around in a few months if you missed it this time). 

Kathleen here. I believe blogging is one of the most powerful tools for not only shaping your life but also exploring your expertise, and connecting with your tribe. I would not have been able to quit my day job (and convince Tara to quit hers) if it hadn’t been for what started as a little blog about my life. So yeah, I’m pretty passionate about blogging. However, if you don’t like to write, you’re going to muster up all sort of low vibrating emotions such as guilt and anxiety over the self-imposed feelings that you should be blogging – especially when you see all of your peers hitting publish like it’s no big deal on the daily. Nothing kills creativity like bad vibes. And bad vibes are never good for business.

There are alternatives to blogging when it comes to generating content that helps you find your focus, narrow in on your niche, and cultivate community. Look at other online platforms you can rock like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn, just to name a few. Where are you already hanging out? For example, if you already have 1,000 Facebook friends but feel like you need a formal blog to share your content you are missing out on a huge opportunity to connect where you already are. 

With a newborn baby I haven’t had as much time to post to my personal blog as I used to. So instead of just posting an image to my Instagram. I’ll actually write a couple sentences to share what I’m up to or what’s on my mind. I’ll even ask questions and engage my Instagram followers for conversation in the same way I do on my blog. This is an example of microblogging. It’s a super low-pressure way of connecting with your tribe in a very little amount of time. You could even use Tumblr or Pinterest as a microblog by writing more meaningful captions on inspiration you’re collecting rather than leaving it blank. 

One of the reasons you might be hesitant to blog is because you’ve put external expectations on what blogging looks like. For example, you might think a blog has to be super wordy and published every day. But you don’t necessarily have to be a prolific writer to have a blog. You could just post photo-essays that share behind-the-scenes glimpses of what you’re working on once a month. Or you could record an iPhone video blog (also known as vlog) once a week – (I love how Gabrielle Berstein does this). Or maybe hosting a podcast is more your style – your blog can simply share the show notes that redirect your reader to your podcast. There are so many opportunities for what blogging can look like for you – don’t limit yourself with what other people are doing.

I hear this a lot with my one-on-one creative coaching clients. Writers who really do want to blog but have about a million excuses why they shouldn’t. If you’re making an excuse you either A) really don’t want to blog or B) you’re not being professional. And both of those things are okay, just recognize them for what they are and move on. My advice here to you would still be to just not write and stop beating yourself up about it. Spend your energy making something else. But if you’re a glutton for punishment how about you just force yourself to write for 10 minutes a day every day for a week? Block off time on your calendar, set alarms on your phone, shut down your email and close all distractions – start writing and hit publish. 

You might also like these Braid posts: 
• GAAAHHH! Don’t Make Me Write
• My So-Called Social Media
• Capture, Shape, and Share with Instagram

Our Braid ECourse Personal Branding: Blending Who You Are With What You Do shares a lot more how to when it comes to being who you are on your blog – both professionally and personally. This is by far our most popular Braid ECourse and it will be in-session from May 16-25th. Learn more and register here. 

Or check out our DIY Coaching for Creatives email series. It’s insight delivered straight to your inbox over the course of 4 weeks. 



Braid Creative & Consulting is branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. The Braid Blog is where we share weekly insights and resources for creatives.

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