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Articulation 1/3/05 - "Giving Up" in the New Year
January 03, 2005
Hi ~

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"Giving Up" in the New Year

As many of you know, I've been in Dallas for a while, spending time with my Mom and enjoying the warm winter. It feels verrrrry chic to say "I'm wintering in Dallas!"

One of the best things about this city is the awesome entity known as Half Price Books – the mecca of used bookstores. It's actually a chain, now, but this store is the original. My Dad used to say that Tony and I would come to Dallas to see Half Price Books for the Holidays, but we'd drop by to see the family while we were here. :-)

A few weeks ago, shortly after Thanksgiving, I was at the book store and found a fabulous treasure: a wonderful journal in brand new condition. It had one of my favorite quotes on it: "And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was morepainful than the risk it took to blossom" – Anais Nin. I was happy with the good find, but my enthusiasm dampened when I read the first page of the journal.

The page was half-filled with messy handwriting. The person writing was obviously frustrated and depressed, listing all the many ways in which life was not working. The last sentence said: "I've tried to write a journal so many times and I always quit. I'm such a loser. We'll see how long I last this time."

You probably know how this story ends: the rest of the journal was blank. I was so saddened reading this short journal entry, realizing that I held in my hands "evidence" of what the writer most likely thought of as "another failure". The words rang all too true to me – I know what it is like to start projects continually, pathologically even, and not finish them. So I bought the journal, determined to bring its pages to a better fate.

I kept the first page of the journal, as-is. On the next page, I declared that my personal mission of 2005 would be to do all I could to catalyze people to stick with their intentions for the new year – and not give up! I started making lists on the role that Artella could play in this endeavor. These brainstormings have been the basis for lots of changes, additions, and future plans for Artella (see the Artella News, below), as we aim to serve the creative community more effectively than ever.

But what I realized, as I made these plans, is that no matter what kinds of support, services, and motivation Artella (or anyone else) can provide, there is an essential ingredient that can't be packaged in a magazine, e-course, workbook, or Articulation article. What's more, this ingredient can't even come directly from the individual who is setting the intentions. The magical ingredient that makes all the difference is something that must come from outside of us.

Thus, the message here in this article: don't give up – give it something bigger than you.

Some of you know the story of how Artella started. In Fall of 2002, I spent about 6 weeks in the hospital following a total knee replacement. It was during that time that the idea for Artella came to me, and by the time that I was released, I had a full-out plan for launching this wild child. I was completely fearless in my dreams and in my knowing that it WOULD work, in spite of all the "rational" things that people told me.

To this day, my husband half-jokingly blames the morphine for taking away my inhibitions to make me think I could DO this! But I think my "secret ingredient" was something else.

I was ready to MOVE.

With the surgery, I was going to be able to walk for the first time in a long time. The sense of anticipated velocity in me was so strong that it spilled over into my creativity. This sense of movement was bigger than me – so strong I couldn't even articulate it, though I was certainly aware it was happening. It was as if being still was no longer an option. Just as it was no longer an option not to walk, it was no longer an option to tread creative waters. It was time to create a dream and follow it through. The "risk was greater to remain tight in the bud"...and the drive was bigger than me, or anything my "rational" mind could do to stop it.

So I "gave it up" to the current of movement flowing through me. I got my first Web site up and running immediately, and incrementally started growing Artella, one offer and one component at a time. (Side note: if you are interested in creating an online business with components similar to Artella, you might want to attend the free information session I'm giving about the YOU * U course tomorrow night. See Artella News for details).

And here's the beautiful thing: we don't need morphine, or disability, or any kind of crises to "give it up". All we need to do is answer this question:

Are you ready for it to no longer be an option to let go of a dream?

If so...

From where or whom does that readiness come? What force can you identify that is big enough to carry this through?

It could be...

  • The memory of a loved one
  • The vision of the people who need your message
  • Your faith or belief in a higher power
  • The "voice" from your Muse who tells you to get busy
As long as your dream is in your head, you'll find too many excuses, rationalizations, procrastinations, and distractions to make it go where you want it to me!

So give it up! Get it out of your head, tap into something bigger, and there is no stopping that dream. Figure out what YOU can give up YOUR dream what makes stagnation no longer an option.

I'm really proud and excited by what Artella has done in two years, but I fully believe that there is NO difference between me and anyone reading these words, except that I DID it. And I did it because I was ready, when it was no longer an option NOT to create my dream.

Give it up. Surrender to the motion of your destiny.


This week’s Art-Splash is called "Blank Canvas". It's the 90th ArtSplash, can you believe it? You can view it at

This design is available as an eCard in our collection of special New Year's eCard greetings. This fun page has eCards from a few Articulation archives, as well as some new designs by our Administrative Assistant, Zura Ledbetter. There's are even New Year's themed digital stamps to send with your eCards! Send a provocative New Year's greeting!


1. 1. YOU * U Information session – tomorrow night! Tomorrow night (Tuesday, Jan 4, 9pm EST), I am hosting a free information session about the next session of "Create Your Own YOUniversity" (aka YOU * U), which begins January 10. The information session is a conference call that is open to anyone interested in learning about the course and asking questions of me and other YOU * U graduates. Here are some words from a couple of YOU * U Grads:

"If there was one piece of advice I could give to anyone thinking of taking YOU * U in 2005, it would simply be this: DO IT. You'll learn everything - and I mean EVERYthin - about how to create a solid business, as well as a whole new, enlightened outlook on what it MEANS to "be in business" in the first place. This course is how to make it happen" - Tara Douglas-Smith

"Thinking about taking YOU * U? If there is even a consideration, gift yourself and your future customers/clients your participation in YOU*U, knowing that you'll have Marney and a group of coursemates to motivate, inspire and support you in whatever you are up to...Marney is a personal cheerleader, far beyond anyone I know, as well as one of the most creative, diversified people I know. Working with her on our monthly individual and group phone calls, along with her responsiveness in the group forums, was always affirming and reenergizing."
~Sheila Finkelstein

(You can read more about Sheila's new venture,, in the Artful Links at the end of this newsletter!)

The information about YOU * U is at a look at the information, and if you are interested in attending the free information conference call tomorrow night, drop me a note at and I'll send you instructions.

2. Get your new year waltzing on the right foot! Along with our revitalized mission, as noted above, we have more resources than ever to help you make your creative dreams happen. For example, there are several new eBooks and eBooklets available, and for your convenience, ALL of our eBooks are now automatically downloadable, which means that you get the eBook INSTANTLY upon completing your purchase. No waiting for inspiration!

On our Workshops page, there are two special things to highlight:

3. The Gift Gala Sale is still going! Many folks have asked how long we're going to keep our mega-magical holiday Gift Gala sale running, so we've decided to keep it running all the way through January 31. Now's the time to renew your Artella subscription, or buy some fun post-holidays gifts, and get the most fantastic bonuses we have EVER offered! All the info is at

4. Community Bookstore is open! Our latest free resource is up and running – a community bookstore where you can get book recommendations and reviews from the most creative readers anywhere – the Artella community, of course! We've collected an ensemble of reviews on books of all topics from people in ArtellaLand and posted them all in this cozy store. It's a lot of fun to simply browse, but if you make any purchases via the links, Artella gets commission for the everyone wins! Make a cup of tea and take a stroll through the bookstore at www.artellawordsandart/commmunitybookstore.html. And a BIG thank-you to all the reviewers!

5. Calling all Muses! Did you participate in the Third Annual Mystery Muse Project? Well, about 500 people did, and they are all posting their comments at Come read comments and post messages to your Muse and Muse-ee!

6. Poetry contest winners! The winners for the third Quarterly Poetic Idol Competition have been announced! All of these extraordinary writers have won extensive prize packages, including up to $150 cash, and we couldn't be happier. Later this week, their winning poems will be posted in The Poetry Gardens in theit entirety, but today I just have to sing out their names for all the world to see:
  • 1st Place - Tammy Vitale for "Tuesday Morning Meditation"
  • 2nd Place - Jaime Adcock for "Green Shutters"
  • 3rd Place - Tara Douglas-Smith for "Almost"
  • Honorable Mentions given to Joel Abramson, Melissa Chapin, and KJoy!
Our Bi-Weekly Free Poetry Contest took a hiatus from the holidays, but we are eagerly accepting submissions to the contest in this new, exciting year! Instructions for submitting your poetry are at

7. eArtella update! e-Artella #e-7 is being proofread as I write this. If you are a subscriber or contributor, your copy will be phosphorescently landing in your inboxas soon as it is available. And if you are neither of the above, you can order your copy for just $4.95 at

8. Got extra holiday goodies? If you find yourself with extra "stuff" after the holidays – ribbon, interesting bits of wrapping paper, cool images from cards or tags, funky bits of notes or text – consider donating it to Artella to be used as part of our little bags of ephemera that we include in all print issues! If you have "stuff" that could be used to create art, we want it! Write me at if you are interested in making a "stuff donation" to Artella.


People everywhere are hurting for our brothers and sisters across the world who have been victims of the devastating tsunami tragedy. During the month of January, The Shoppes of Artella is donating its entire 20% commission from ALL purchases to disaster relief charities. In addition, many artists are donating their personal profits from items sold, as well. In many cases, 100% of the proceeds will go directly to disaster relief.

If you have a gift occasion coming up, consider shopping with us to help Artella support the tsunami victims. Our Interactive SmartShopper tool makes it easy, and quick, too –just answer a few questions about your recipient, and the SmartShopper returns with appropriate gift ideas.

Please note that the Holiday shoppe is retiring on January 15. Many of the items in the Holiday shoppe have been placed on Clearance Sale at very low prices. So be sure to go to the Holiday Shoppe and look for the red clearance sale signs.


If you are wondering what to do with the holiday cards you received this year, don't throw them away! Consider these ideas:
  • Cut out the image and recycle them as gift tags for next year.
  • Laminate them and cut them into puzzles. You can give these little holiday puzzles to kids in your life, or donate them to a needy school, hospital, shelter, or community center.
  • Cut out images from the cards to create a Christmas or holiday story in an altered book or art journal.
  • Create a mobile out of elements from the cards.
  • Make some collages by juxtaposing images together. What happens when an angel is wearing a Santa hat? Or when a shopper overloaded with bags finds herself in a manger?
  • Donate artsy images to Artella (see "stuff donation", above!)


This tip is a bit silly, but sometimes being silly is the best thing we can do for our Muse, regardless of the genre in which we typically write.

Before the holidays are completely gone from your memory, consider doing your own re-writes of a few holiday carols. Parody is a wonderful excuse for thinking outside the box when it comes to rhyme, metaphor, hidden meanings, and, of course, wit and whimsy.

"On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...four bawling nerds, three henchmen, two purple gloves..."

And I'd love to see what you come up with!


1. Sheila Finkelstein created the entirely unique concept of when she took the YOU * U course, and I have been thoroughly enjoying her newest offering, a "Picture to Ponder" e-zine, an almost daily newsletter with a glimpses of nature that trigger deeply intuitive and provocative responses. If you are looking for a bit of almost-daily inspiration that doesn't take up much time, highly recommend you sign up for "Picture to Ponder". I'm finding the experience very powerful.

2. Karen Jones from has compiled a wonderful list of resources that aid the tsunami victims listed under the "January Monthly Mission." Let us all do what our lives allow to reach out, as an expression and celebration of all that we DO have to share.

~admiring your canvas,

Artella Founder/Editor

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