A Creative Experiment in “Doing It All”

Original abstract gouache painting by Melanie Biehle. See blog post for sales info.

This original painting by me is for sale. See purchase info at the end of this post.


A couple of weeks ago I spent an afternoon cleaning my bathroom while I listened to Jess Lively’s amazing interview with Hal Elrod. There is so much inspiration here – both practical and spiritual. Listen to it. I swear it makes cleaning the bathroom actually enjoyable. There was no where else I wanted to be at that time, and that’s really saying a lot – my bathroom is disgusting.

One of the things that Hal discusses in this interview is his Miracle Morning book and concept. I immediately put it on my list of books to read and made a note to check out his website and podcasts, (yep, castS), later. This morning I was thinking about all of the different parts of my life that I want to spend time on – love/family, work/creativity, meditation/spiritual, travel/lifestyle – and how I plan on doing it. I haven’t read Hal’s book yet, but I did start making some of my own categories that I want to address every day.

Walk or Exercise

Let’s start with the worst, okay? Some of you guys know about my hate/hate relationship with exercise, but no matter what I think about it, it makes me feel better if I at least do a little bit. I’m thinking longer dog walks and periodic dance and yoga classes.


I’m not going to gush about how much I love meditation and how essential it’s become to my life. I must do it. It’s non-negotiable. You can read this if you want to know more about what it’s been like for me.

Gather Inspiration

I’m not talking about spending time randomly scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram. I do plenty of that. I’m talking about further exploring the pages I’ve ripped out of magazines or free writing about potential projects. Online sites can play a part in this as long as it’s purposeful  – going to Pinterest to look for inspiration for a specific idea, like a theme for a series of paintings, or studying an Instagram account to inspire a story I’m working on, or researching a trip that I’d like to take and figure out how to make it happen, etc.

Write or Journal

I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer. I’ve kept diaries since I was a little kid and started writing stories and poems when my age moved into double digits. While the type of writing I do has changed over the past few decades and will continue to evolve throughout my life, writing itself is a constant for me. Whether I spend time each day writing a blog post, a story or article, a journal entry, a gratitude list, copywriting for a client, or a creative plan, every single day must involve some sort of writing for me to feel good.

Spread Love

This is huge. It’s bigger than “spend time with family” or “meet up/talk to a good friend.” It’s more than retweeting someone’s blog post or liking their Facebook status. The things I just mentioned fall under this umbrella, sure, but the category itself means more than that. How can I spread love? What can I do each day that will help or inspire someone? How can I show my family or friends how much I love them? How can I make my life better through love?

Create Art

Sketching, painting, collage, hand lettering, designing something in Photoshop or Illustrator – no matter the medium, I must create something every day to make each day worthwhile. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick doodle in my sketchbook or an illustration for a client – it’s the act of creating that is important.

Take Action

My dreams aren’t going to create themselves. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about the power of vision boards and vision journaling and manifesting your desires, but this doesn’t mean you just sit around and wait. If I want to create a version of my ideal creative professional life, I have to create the work and actively reach out to the people that I want to work with. This means that every day…EVERY DAY…I will be contacting people through email and social media, whether it’s for a specific idea or project or just getting/staying in touch with people and companies that I know I want to work with at some point.

Declutter and Organize

Last but not least, I have to spend time on the messes I’ve made. This goes for everything from the stacks of paper and “inspiration” on my desk, to email inboxes, people I follow on Twitter, greeting cards, and the years of saved files I have on my computer. I go through cycles of decluttering and disposing in bigger chunks of time, but I know that a daily practice around this will be beneficial for me.

So…I’m doing this, and I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, sign up for The Creative Brief and get my next newsletter. I’ll be writing an article on respecting your work. I was kind of surprised about what I’ve noticed about this in my own life.

Have a great week! xoxo


Painting: Original abstract painting by Melanie Biehle. NOT a print reproduction. Painting details: 5″ x 8.5″ gouache on heavy watercolor paper. Price: $60, shipping to US included – $10 shipping elsewhere. Email me at melanie@melaniebiehle.com with your name and shipping address and I’ll send you a Paypal invoice.