Beyond standard healthcare branding

How my toes help my fingers

August 21, 2018


Do you remember the very first time you gave your boss some copy to review? I sure do—I was terrified. It was a little jewelry print ad headed for the New York Times, and I was so nervous handing it to my boss, Jim, that I had to leave his office, and come back after he’d finished reading. I couldn’t bear the tension of standing there, waiting in front of him, wondering what he thought of my words.

Now, many years later, I have a very different reaction when my copy is reviewed. I present my rationale, read the carefully crafted language with enthusiasm, and let the comments come. The big difference now is that my ego is separated from my copy. I know that isn’t me on the page–it’s my words. Sure years of experience have toughened me up, but what’s really helped me is tap dancing.

I’m not a great tap dancer, just a very enthusiastic one, who likes to let her inner Shirley Temple out to play whenever possible. Dancing belongs only to me. I am free to create whatever I want. And experiencing that joyous freedom on a regular basis helps make me a more relaxed, confident copywriter. Why? Because I am not relying only on my copywriting to feed me as a creative. I know there’s literally a world of creative options for me to explore outside of work—one time step at a time.



Please share what works for you in the comments.

Here‘s an idea: Schedule an hour or two a week for an “Artist’s Date,” time set aside to take yourself out to play like a child. In her book, The Artist’s Way, teacher and writer Julia Cameron recommends this solo outing as a way to help unblock your creativity.

Here are 10 ideas to consider for your “Artist’s Date”:

  • Take a sketchbook outside and draw what you see—don’t judge if you can’t draw
  • Watch a movie with subtitles (Have you seen La Belle Noiseuse, Breathless, Jules and Jim?)
  • Grab a bunch of magazines, and make a vision board collage of where you want to live in 5 years
  • Go to a thrift store and find the coolest thing you can for $5
  • Check out one of those “paint a pot” places, and make yourself a new mug to inspire you every morning
  • Make an iPhone movie touring your apartment/house (or starring your pet)
  • Write a love letter
  • Go do karaoke
  • Eat something you’ve never tasted before—and describe it in a poem
  • And, of course, take a dance class. Or better yet—go out dancing!



For more creative inspiration, check out the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
(it’s sold a million copies and counting). This groundbreaking workbook presents a self-guided, 12-week plan to help you access your creativity. Julia Cameron is also the author of “The Artist’s Way at Work,” written to help readers find the creative joy needed to excel at their jobs. Click here to learn more: