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Attention All Creatives: Blogging is Mandatory! [VIDEO][BlogHer Conference 2011]

If it’s not online, it does NOT exist.

Say it with me.

If it’s not online, it does NOT exist.

Whether you are an artist, musician, comic, producer, composer, or freelance whatever, staking out some prime online real estate is a mandatory line item on the budget.  Telling quick and regular stories about your journey gives your audience another way to engage with you and your voice.  These days, people expect to get the type of transparency and personality behind the entrepreneur or creative that is promoting their talent or product.

From free services like Blogger, WordPress and Livejournal to full-blown search engine optimized (SEO), branded, self-hosted masterpieces with e-commerce and community forums, the world of blogging BOGGLES the mind.  What is a creative to do?  There are so many components!  Blogging is where writing, technology and commerce meet.  Where can I find the unholy union of grammar geeks, tech heads, and small business self-starters? Particularly if you want to learn all this in a mostly female setting?

ENTER: The BlogHer Conference 2011

My dear friend Sandy of The Inspiration Habit and I set out on a mission: discover how we can become lady blogger champs. Why blog?  Self-expression, building community and possibly a small business?

I got excellent advice on taking my websites and writing to the next level. I also met a bunch of awesome bloggers.  Since sifting through faceless business cards is the last thing I want to do after meeting tons of new people, I captured video of them.  Check out their websites after the jump!

AND you can find them in person on this new video where they answered the question:

Thank you to all the awesome people I met at the conference and those featured in this short video!  Loved hearing your answers about what living a life of creativity means to you!

What types of conferences for creatives or entrepreneurs have been helpful for you?  What types of meetups locally have really nurtured your creative life?  Tell me about it!  Comment at the end of this post!

BlogHer 2011 Conference New Friends Roll Call!

Kelly @ 3 Boys and a Dog –

What’s life like for a mother of three boys and a pooch?  You find out here!

Lisa @ Yours In Bridal – 

Lisa presents information for vendors who work in the bridal industry!  Not just ANOTHER blog for brides to be.  She’ll give you the inside scoop.

Cindy @ Splendid Little Things – 

This is the destination for “the modern woman’s take on home economics.”

CJ’s Mom @ Raising My Rainbow –

A very specific and intriguing blog about the life of a mother raising a gender non-conforming child. Love the blog title!

Ann Marie @ The Succulent Wife – 

The duo behind this blog is vivacious and passionate. You can just tell by speaking to them.  Here you can find a fun lifestyle blog for baby boomers.

Patricia @ Boomer Wizdom – 

Pat’s energy was definitely oozing with wisdom and gravitas.  Here she talks to boomers about “common sense for owning your own time.”  She also gave me a great idea about how I can extend my home/office organizing service beyond my local geography!  Thanks Pat!

Rebecca @ Daily Rebecca –

Rebecca personality and sense of humor was apparent in just the short conversation I had with her.  Check out this portal into her world!

Diana @ Hormonal Imbalances –

If you’re ever curious the life of a “crunchy housewife,” then Diana’s blog is for you!

Sandy @ The Inspiration Habit –

My dear friend on this Creative Life journey documents her own process of making a habit out of her inspiration.


Love Poem Monday: “No You Go First” + 2 Shows This Week!

Love Poem Monday

"I don't care if Monday's blue..."

Here’s a poem for you. Scroll to the end for the reward. All about love.  Happy Monday. In the meantime, two shows this week! 🙂

This Week TUESDAY, 7:30-9:30PM, Tuesday Night Cafe, Little Tokyo:

Tuesday Night Project August 2, 2011

Tuesday Night Project August 2, 2011 Show Flyer & Details

I’ll be performing this poem and other such things (if I get my memorizing act together) at this Tuesday’s Tuesday Night Cafe in Little Tokyo! From 7:30-9:30. Awesome, nurturing space for performers and artists. RSVP FB Event Page! Or if you can’t make it in person, you can live stream here!



This Week THURSDAY, 7:00-9:30PM Common Ground, Santa Ana:

Common Ground show Thursday in Santa Ana

Common Ground show Thursday in Santa Ana

Then Thursday I’ll be at Common Ground in Santa Ana. Another multi-disciplinary performing arts space. Spoken word and standup comedy will ensue.

It’s all building up to the Tuesday Night Project’s annual J-Town Summer Sessions fundraiser happening this SATURDAY afternoon! Lots of music, art and vendors! I’ll be there hosting for a portion of the afternoon! Featuring: Andrew Figueroa Chiang and the Blazing Rays of the Sun, Connie Lim, Dawen, Jane Lui, Lindsey Yung, Mista Cookie Jar, Shin Kawasaki, SKIM; Visual Artists: Alex Chiu, A’misa Chiu, Kevin Cheah, Nicanor Evangelista, Yuki Miyazaki, Alex Gardner, Nathaniel Osollo, Yumi Sakugawa; Vendors: Blacklava, bybelinda, Karen Gee Baked Goods, KOKOCANDLES, paper & type, Janie XY, Amigurumi Friends, Branch of Life, Furry Feline, Whimsical Fantasy

no. you go first.
by Jenny Yang

am i really a version of you?
and you a version me?
i cannot agree.
i look into your eyes
because your jokes
and smiles
and delights
they delight.
but really inside
is there something you hide?
perhaps a little prize
very few get to see.
you dare to share
and maybe with me?
let’s both open up
on a count of three.
“kindred spirits”
i believe
are the words that you speak.
but i cannot believe
i am what you seek.

10 Online Resources to Break Your Writer’s Block: Random Writing Prompt Generators [Oh. That’s Good.]

There ain't no party like a Writer's Block party cuz the Writer's Block party don't stop!!

There ain't no party like a Writer's Block party cuz the Writer's Block party don't stop!!

I’ve been staring at the unbearable whiteness of my empty page for the last five minutes.  The death march starts drumming in my head. My involuntary twitch to grab my remote control starts activating.  I MUST…DO…SOMETHING.

To the GOOGLE!

I literally typed the words, “random writing prompt generator” JUST to see if they exist. And they do!  Great minds think alike, they say. Mm. Hmm.

I picked out the best 10 free online resources to get your imagination percolating. If I were you I’d bookmark this for future consumption.

You’re welcome.  I take my appreciation in free food, comments and cash. nomnomnom.

1. Plinky

Plinky is owned by and is much more attractive than most of the others on this list.  I like the simplicity and feel of it.

What’s the most impulsive thing you’ve ever done?

2. Creative Writing Prompts

Little boxes appear when you float your mouse cursor on one of the numbers.  The format of the prompts vary.  Some are phrases.  Some are story starters, like this one.

Begin a story with, “The hallway was silent…”

3. The Writing For Children Resource Site

It’s actually a writing prompt generator for writers of children’s books. But who cares?! Many different generators on this page.  Why not write a spoken word piece about (frantically clicks the generator)…

the [quiet] [guinea pig] that went [crazy].

4. Writing Fix: Home of Interactive Writing Prompts

Just one little window.  And here’s what I got:

“What makes you special?  Write a piece that explains three things about you that make you a VERY unique person.”

5. The Almost Totally Random Writing Exercise Generator

This one gives you a more direct “assignment” beyond just content ideas:

(write for) 10 minutes * A character you’ve never written before * vengence

6. Adam Maxwell’s Fiction Lounge

So what if the prompt I got was more about fiction with a grammatically incorrect sentence…but it DOES look intriguing and this site is much prettier than the others:

Blame was the key. I needed unlock the door and place it with someone.

7. Creativity Portal: The Imagination Prompt Generator

This simple generator gives you one prompt at a time in the form of a question.  Here’s my result:

If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

8. Prompt Generator

This one is super simple.  Looks like it can be used for school teachers.

Think about an event in your life that you will always remember. Write a story about what happened.

9. Seventh Sanctum

This has a great variety of prompts for different types of creative writing. I tried out the “Writing Challenge” one.

The story must have a bandit in it. The story must involve some rope at the end. A character buys a house. A character becomes wiser during the story. During the story, a character has an accient while traveling.

10. A Little Left of Logical

You get a word or phrase. Simple.

Illuminated darkness

3,558! That’s the Total Views of The CreativeLife Since We Launched June 2011. Thanks Y’all. [Press][Gratitude]

I can’t lie. I check my website statistics for The CreativeLife like a worried mother with unrepentant OCD.

WordPress (my blogging platform) has really great built-in statistics.  This includes daily info on how viewers got your site, or “referrers.” For instance, I found out that hundreds of folks found us through links to our site posted by Thanks, man!

And yesterday we got *one* click coming from That’s the “Growing Blogs” page of the “Blogs of the Day” from WordPress’ own site!  Wuuut?  Well I checked and I couldn’t find our site listed anymore. Oh wells.  I guess their little WordPress-Algorithm-Bot only had a fleeting fancy for us.

At least it confirms what we already know: the growth of our new little site/blog/podcast has been really great in just its first month of life.  Soon it’ll transition to solid foods! And I have you all to thank.  So…Thank you.

After our initial 5-pack of podcast episodes, we’re taking a little time to step back to  re-evaluate.  We’re cooking up an even more focused format and more thoughtful series of guests and show themes.  Be on the lookout for the results soon!

Here’s more info directly from the site about how “Blogs of the Day” works.

How BOTD works

We count up the visitors to all public blogs and posts in a rolling 24-hour period. No personally identifiable information is stored. Several times throughout the day, we summarize all of this data in different ways to produce lists of blogs and posts that might be interesting.

Wordpress "Growing Blogs" on Blogs of the Day!

Hmm...perhaps we were a "Growing Blog"?

[Press][Gratitude] Oops. I Just Blogged All Over Myself. Thanks, Jon Yang (and Justin Hall).

When I’m in the throes of a moment of soul-searing emotion, I have one of three impulses:

  1. Blame my family for their psychological terrorism,
  2. Numb my nerves with a marathon of “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain, or
  3. Write down my pansy, gutless feelings on delay like a fallen kid who only cries once an adult appears and notices.

Very often, I choose all of the above (and all at the same time). This is why the wide world of blogging has served my attention-seeking, extroverted inner child so well. I have people like blogger/writer Jon Yang to thank for institutionalizing the sometimes overwhelming white noise that can be the “blogosphere” through a concise non-internet-y guidebook made out of actual paper derived from wood pulp.  He’s the author of “The Rough Guide to Blogging” and has kindly given our little podcast/blog-that-could a nice shoutout!  Thanks Jon! (And no.  We’re not related…except perhaps where our DNA can be traced back to Genghis Khan.)

I JUST got a copy of my Rough Guide in the mail today!  Granted, at the lightning speed of the internets, one might think a 2006 paperback guide may not be timely.  But a quick perusal of the contents shows that the book can provide a nice fundamental framework. Surprisingly, prior to 2006, there doesn’t appear to have been many definitive guides to blogging.

A sidebar callout at the top of Jon’s book features none other than my Swarthmore College classmate Justin Hall!  Jon and others describe him as “the founding father of personal blogging.”  Whoah!  Quite a statement!  And then I thought about it and I realized that in fact he DID help inspire my personal blogging endeavors when I was at Swarthmore!  I didn’t know him personally (we overlapped a year), but his reputation preceded him. Seeing the type of online journaling that Justin and other Swarthmore students were doing made this wee freshman feel comfortable with trying it out herself. At the risk of opening up an embarrassing can of worms…you can see a sample of my first attempt archived here.

Look! We’re featured on!
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