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Posts by Melissa Dinwiddie

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Melissa Dinwiddie is an artist and creativity instigator, on a mission to empower people to feed their creative hungers. Find out more, and get a FREE printable mini-poster of her Imperfectionist Manifesto at Living A Creative Life.

Melissa Dinwiddie's Website

Man Looking Out Window

Finding a Window of Opportunity When Life Closes a Door

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” ~John Wooden

“Why don’t you just take up swimming?” the doctor asked.

I was twenty years old, single-minded in my pursuit of a dance career, visiting yet another doctor about the vicious tendinitis that had forced me to give up my spot at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City.… Read More

Friends Having Fun

Why Life Is A Lot More Fun When We Stop Trying to Be Perfect

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen

“Oh, my god,” she said, “I forgot to shave my left leg!”

That may not sound like a particularly dramatic announcement, but Jenny and I were sharing a seat on the chartered bus taking our senior class to the beach for “Senior Cut Day” a few weeks before graduation, and her discovery horrified me.… Read More

Man at the Ocean

Dealing With Criticism: 5 Tools to Develop a Thick Skin

“When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~Miguel Ruiz

Have you ever opened a spring-loaded email? You know, the kind with a nasty barb inside that hits you like a punch in the gut?

My business partner and I had recently launched our new podcast, and he had forwarded me an email he’d received from a viewer.… Read More

Ready to Receive

Stop Aiming for Perfection: Can You Let Good Enough Be Good Enough?

“Good enough is the new perfect.” ~Becky Beaupre Gillespie

The music started. Pachelbel’s Canon in D on harp and flute. I was supposed to enter the room near the end of the piece.

I knew there were fourteen sets of four measures each, but in my nervous state I quickly lost track.… Read More

Jump for Joy

Why We Don’t Do What We Want to Do and How to Start

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” ~Unknown

“The truth is,” she said, “if you can’t put fifteen minutes a day into your art, then you’re making an excuse.”

I squirmed in my seat.

It was February 1, 2011, and I was on the phone, interviewing Michele, a professional artist and artist’s mentor, for an online course I created.… Read More

Smiling

Stop Comparing: No One Can Do a Better Job of Being You

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

For fifteen years I gave up on art.

I’d been an “artistic” kid, always drawing and painting, but by first or second grade I was already comparing my work to that of other kids and judging it as inferior.… Read More

Orange Sky

When Things Fall Apart: Breakdowns Can Create Breakthroughs

“Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together.” ~Unknown

“I’m sorry,” the email said, “but our phone call left me feeling uncomfortable, and we’ve decided to work with someone else.”

I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. Even though I saw it coming. Even though I’d brought it on myself.Read More

Couple Sitting

Releasing Resentment: Who You’re Really Angry With and Why

“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” ~Malachy McCourt

“Can I kiss you?” he asked.

I didn’t particularly want to kiss him, but it had been a benign first date, and I didn’t know how to say no without hurting his feelings.

We were standing by my car in broad daylight, and what could be the harm, right?… Read More

Screen shot 2013-01-27 at 4.08.03 PM

Envy Can Teach You Why You’re Dissatisfied with Yourself

“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is: a dissatisfaction with self.” ~Joan Didion

For a few years in the late 90s, I had a date with the green-eyed monster every other Monday at 6:00 PM on the dot.

That was when my women artists support group met in my friend Anne’s studio.… Read More