I’m Speechless

speechlessThere are plenty of times I sit down to write this blog and draw from my own experience. I’ll address an observation, explore a question, share ways of changing behaviour to be more productive or, sometimes, give step by step instructions to help you find your way through your creative or solo-preneur career.

For 2 years I’ve published every Friday. That’s right, I’ve published 104 posts –(not counting the few I’ve republished). But, sometimes I wonder what you’d like to know. Do you have favourites? What shook you world? What makes you think…even later? Topics we haven’t discussed? Do you know where to find previous posts that might be speechlesshelpful to you?

Frankly, I’d have more to say if there were questions or thoughts outside myself and it would probably be more fun and useful to you, too.

So this week, feel free to speak your mind. This is an open forum. I ask that you, as always, behave thoughtfully and with kindness…but what are you struggling with? What do you “wonder?” Let ‘er rip, because quite frankly, today….

I’m speechless,



Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping the to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy more success in their lives.

Writer, Artist, Coach

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12 Replies to “I’m Speechless”

  1. Okay Michelle, you are giving us permission to speak our minds. Thank you. My plate is so full I can only see “deer in the headlights” sometimes, and I get that glazed over look and then, well, what happens is a bit of a black out. I am managing nearly everything myself right now and I am wearing all of the hats. So somehow I have to figure out better time management. I don’t have the courage to ask for help around here because I have found it easier to just do it than to ask for help. I guess that is one way he controls me. How do I get out from under this heavy, wet blanket that is weighing me down?


    1. Oh, Diane – I know that feeling of overwhelm – yuck! Have you read the time management blogs (https://michelleandresart.com/2013/04/driven-to-distraction-6-strategies-for-creatives-to-get-a-grip/)? The wearing many hats post (https://michelleandresart.com/2014/03/hold-hat/)? Those are a place to begin. There are a lot of resources on my The Business of Art page and The Art of Life page. Just browse the tabs at the top of this site. You can also consider, if you can afford it, a part time Virtual Assistant to help you – they are great for keeping up marketing lists and doing organizational tasks. Get a great referral first, though. You can also go to the “Search” box at the top of this page and put in keywords that you need help with – like “Artists Statement” “Branding” “Work Life Balance” and articles on those topics will pop up. Try some new ways of working and let me know how it goes! All the BEST! ~m

  2. I’m a fellow blogger-love the idea of every Friday, unfortunately know the experience as I am speechless often. Love this whole idea and would love to know how well it registered among readers. I have been doing this for a while and have just, I think, hit a milestone-271 views on the same post-so I’ve started doing how-tos as well-let me know how this worked for you and would you mind if I stole the idea, not exactly of course but I like the way you introduce your posts. Let me know what works and what doesn’t in your history.

    1. Steve, congratulation on your 271 views! WOW, you!!! I’d love to see what you’re writing…and yes, I think it’s important to know what people who read our blogs would like to read more of! Can you message me more about where to find you? It’s good to keep in touch. As of now, I find readers respond differently. Sometimes people leave comment here, like you did, which I love. Sometimes they will respond in discussion threads on social media. Sometimes they send me notes personally. It’s hard to know how many people are reading, but, sometimes, I get great notes that say I’m helpful, and that keeps me going! I love writing, helping and building a readership.

  3. Dear Michelle,

    I am always so happy to receive your blogs every Friday and unhappy when I can’t get to the computer to read them; they make me laugh, they make me think, they make me SEE where I am and how far I have to go…and I’m not kidding about the how far I have to go.

    I am currently struggling with putting my website together. In the past I had someone else do it but I need a site that I can control and one that is simple but striking. Once that is done, I need to start working again…

    And that is another problem. I want to continue my “Feathers” series (color pencil) but also need to return to my circle design graphite drawings. I want to paint too. I want to be abstract in my paintings. But I also have many landscapes that would lend themselves to an impressionistic style. It’s about to drive me CRAZY!! I’ve read your blogs and finished Jason Horejs “Starving to Successful” book and I know I have to be consistent in one medium, one subject, one method, etc. I have SO many ideas that are about to burst out of my head.

    It’s all about focus, focus, focus! So the website will be done this weekend. I’ll be in touch with you next week because I’d like to talk to you about working with you for professional guidance. And thanks ever so much for your weekly blog! I would be lost without it.

    1. Deborah, how lucky you are to have SO MANY IDEAS! It’s so much better than block, don’t you think? It does take some discipline to remain focused, and I think it has a big pay-off. You’re right, you need a consistent body of work…and the more you do the same thing, the better the work gets. Perhaps you can be so interested in the nuances of a subject that it holds your wonder until you can do many, many similar pieces? Tesia Blackburn told me to do a series of 50 pieces! It was some of the most useful advice I’ve ever received! https://michelleandresart.com/2014/03/series-ous-directions/ And she’s not the only one advocating for repetition. Thanks for the kind words and the ideas of what might be helpful for you to read. Let me know how it goes and good luck on the website. Please be sure to send a link along so I can it! ~m

  4. I have a similar problem as Deborah. I have soooo many ideas. Yet, I have been told by some that they like the variety of my work. I have done series of 2 or 3, but after that it no longer feels original just repetitive. I see the work of some artists, and the work is clearly their trademark, but I wonder, “don’t they get bored?” For most of my career, I was a painter of realism and a gallery did tell me that although the subjects were varied, the style was similar. But, in the past year I have begun some abstract work that grew out of a difficult year with my husband’s health. The freedom the abstract provided was what I needed. Now that my hubby is on the mend, I plan to do more realistic work, but I do not want to relinquish the abstract work either. I did finally begin to show some of the abstract work and have received positive feedback. I am not sure how to continue down both paths, both an important part of my journey, without appearing ‘unfocused’ to galleries.
    Thanks Michelle for always providing food for thought.

    1. I’m glad your husband is feeling better. I have a few questions, Susan. Are you satisfied with your following? Are you selling art? I would think if you have a good foothold on your realism and that market, you might be able to start the abstract work and keep up with both. If you aren’t well established it can be quite challenging just keeping up and building one line. If galleries are requesting more work, will you have the capacity to deliver if you’re doing both?

      That being said, it’s so important that we follow our hearts and express ourselves authentically. I know a painter who used a different name for his abstract work. Chances are the same gallery won’t be taking both. AND, after all of this, I still prefer working in a series. Big series – like 12-15.It always helps to have a cohesive body of work ready to go. Lots to think about. I’m sure whatever you decide, it will be fantastic work!

      1. What do you do?

        This is a great topic. I am a motivator in art workshops and I help people find there own muse. But being honest to myself I hit these times too!

        Studio is packed up just now. Eighteen months of no where to practice due to a new build / house sitting in different places while we wait for the dream in our back pocket. A very odd place to be for my heart and soul.

  5. After 40 years as a painter I have hit THE WALL. I’m stuck for ideas which are not derivative of myself or God forbid someone else, and this has not been a short stint. So far its been about 6 months. I’d love to hear what you and others do to regain some inspiration. I’m currently working on the first piece of 2015 and it isn’t going smoothly. What were the odds?

    1. Jace, that’s tough. Have you had dry spells before? What did you do to get out of them? I find the ideas here: https://michelleandresart.com/2013/07/care-and-feeding-of-the-muse-aspirations-of-inspiration/ can be helpful. I also find traveling and workshops feed my muse. I think the biggest danger might be the activity between your own ears. We can psych ourselves into terrible blocks. Thanks for reminding me this topic never gets old. I hope something here will provide a snack for your muse. ~m

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