Coaxing Creativity Conversations Feb 2010

They say February is for lovers. So focus your love close to home. February is Boost Your Self-Esteem Month. Boost your self-esteem with demonstrations of self-love because you are most deserving of your own attention for affection. Consider observing boosting your self-esteem; not just as a temporary indulgence on Valentine’s Day, but as a way of life. Don’t wait for a special occasion to wear your favorite pair of earrings. Put on make-up in the morning even if your reflection in the mirror is the only face you’ll see all day. Give yourself permission to indulge in a special chocolate treat, splurge on a favorite meal, soak in the tub with lots of scented bubbles and a new paperback, or eat popcorn for dinner and watch a movie on a weeknight (no, don’t fold laundry and empty the dishwasher – sit down and watch the whole thing without multi-tasking).

Writing a journal entry about a specific accomplishment or milestone is a major self-esteem booster. I’ll share one that has been seven years in the making. I have volunteered for several years for The San Francisco Writers Conference (, a prestigious 3-day conference and the brainchild of legendary agents Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen. It features blockbuster keynote speakers, award winning workshop presenters, and attendees in the hundreds from all over the world. The first year my comfort level only allowed me to babysit the purses in the Volunteer lounge. This year, I was invited to chair the “Book Doctor Panel.”

Mary counseling a writer at SFWC

Mary counseling a writer at SFWC

This is a conference-long marathon event where attendees spend five minutes one-on-one with Independent Editors. I am no longer content to relegate myself to the shadows. As the Book Doctor Coordinator, I claimed my position as a professional sharing my expertise with eager attendees, and as a peer with other writers awash in the wealth of knowledge shared at the conference.

Successful writers confident in their literary skills intimidate me. Many speakers and workshop presenters over the weekend impressed me. I made up my mind to show up in my life and go after my dreams rather than stay in safe situations. This year, instead of  wishing I were brave enough to be like the speakers and presenters, I sat up front, engaged with them during their talks, gave them positive feedback, and asked for advice. Do you know what they did? They gave me advice and thanked me for showing up!

Let’s all keep showing up!

About Mary E. Knippel

Mary E Knippel, Writer Unleashed and the founder of The Unleashed Homemaker(tm) mentors women to leverage their impact through writing...reclaim their voices...unleash from stories holding them polish their words so that they sparkle and shine from the start...and go from making dinner to making a difference. Contact her at mary (at)