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Leonardo Trait
Angie Dixon : Be Your Creative Self

An Open Mind

Be Your Creative Self

By Angie Dixon

I thought that this month, instead of the silly, trivial witty banter you've become so accustomed to, I'd do something more true to the real me. Something serious and with a lot of gravity to it. Then I had the following thoughts:

1) Chris would fire me.

2) If I'm not funny my best friend won't like me anymore.

3) My readers would stone me.

4) I don't like being fired.

5) I do like my best friend.

6) I don't like rocks. Especially being hit with rocks.

7) What do I know from gravity? I'm a funny person.

So I decided to just write like myself. My real self.

And as I wrote that sentence I realized I don't want to write on this month's planned topic of finishing projects. I want to write about our real, creative selves.

Funny how that happened, huh?

For those who don't know, which is probably most of you, I don't actually, well, have a job. I'm on disability, write at home, and make very little (read: usually no) money. I'm hopeful about my book's prospects, of course, and I always have projects going that are intended to make some money.

But in general, I'm basically an economic drain more than an economic contributor to my family. Probably all those McDonald's breakfasts and lobster lunches while everyone else is at work and school. No, wait, that can't be, since I go back to sleep as soon as they leave, and get up about one. Hmmm... do you think that's why I don't make much money?

Anyway. I've been, for years, examining "ways to make money." Naturally, none of them worked.

What I've discovered from that is, you don't make money trying to make money. I'm doing some things now that make a little money — my book, my Leonardo Trait web site, and a parenting web site I run. I'm building on those things to actually create an income, down the road.

It is possible to do something "for the money." But I think "do what you love and the money will follow" may be more true than most people think. I've now been with one project, almost full-time, for over six months. Those that know me will tell you that's an eternity for me; six days is more like it. And no, it's not making much money yet, but it's phenomenally popular with the few people who know about it, and it WILL make money. And I'm happy.

And to add to my list up there,

8) I like being happy.

So how do you stick to your creative guns? How do you remain your creative self and profit from it?

First, I'm not advocating no one do anything for money. If my husband took that advice, I'd be starving, living on the street, and without Internet access, and that would really stink.

Second, I'm not saying money is a bad thing.

9) I like money.

What I am saying is, let's focus on trying to do things that really matter to us, rather than on what might be a good opportunity, if we're not interested in it.

Niche marketing is a big thing in Internet marketing circles these days. I actually think that's pretty funny, because all good marketing is niche marketing; you can't sell car tires to people who don't have cars, can you?

But what I like about niche marketing is that you can find a niche in almost anything. A few months ago my best friend talked me into writing about my ADHD son, and that developed into a web site that's actually starting to make a little money, just in the last couple of weeks.

And you know what? I love talking about, and working with, my ADHD son, and I love talking to people who have sons with ADHD.

Funny how that works out. I love doing it, so I spend more time on it, and it has more content, so it makes more money... isn't that weird? I'll have to try to figure out if there's a causal connection there.

My point, in case you were wondering, is this. Don't do something everyone thinks you should except you, if you have a choice. Do what you think you should. Be your creative self. •

Copyright 2006 Angie Dixon. All rights reserved.

Angie DixonAngie Dixon is the alpha Jill of All Trades, author of "The Leonardo Trait," and runs a web site for multitalented multitaskers. More »

9/18/06