I was thrilled to get back on IG Live with author Christy Strauch on December 9, 2021. Here, I was able to reveal my forthcoming book Micro Daily Practice and talk about the creative process from concept to realization.
Christy Hi. I’m Christy Strauch. I am the possibility to profit. Coach, if you have a I’m looking at my desk right now, but if you have a pile of chaotic creative possibilities and you would like to turn that into a profitable business, I can help you. I’m going to be talking to Claudia Palmira today, see if I can request that she joined. Yes, I can. Hopefully that’s happening. Oh, you’re joined. Hi. Hi. Okay. I’m going to hold this up. This lovely sign that I have made. So Claudia is at the almost end of a project.
And the reason I wanted to talk to you today about this and interview you is to discuss the evolution of a project, how you conceived of it, where you are with it right now and what it looks like to finish, and it looks like we’re hung. Can you hear me? God, come on. All right. Now she’s gone. So I’ll hold this up again. Hopefully she can come back. So Claudia and I talked a few months ago, maybe about this project that she wanted to do and the thing about when you’re creative and you have projects, it’s really easy to keep Yay.
Okay. This is good. It’s easy to keep projects just in your mind and not actually ever do them. Which is why I want to talk to you today. Talk about the conception of the project, what’s happened so far and where you are right now.
Claudia So the project that we’re talking about today is a book, and the book is almost done. I keep lists of my ideas on index cards and I look at them so that it’s always coming around. It helps stimulate the subconscious. This idea, I think, was born out of something unusual. During the pandemic we went into lockdown. And again, I’m not really sure where this came from, but I shifted gears almost immediately, and I just put forth these artist workshops knowing that creativity would be my savior and other people’s savior. And I also knew that there was nothing much to do! So we had to look inside. And if I look inside, I find visual information and artistic ideas, and a need to express. So I started these things, and I just intuited that everything had to be brought down to a really granular level. Everything was just, like, brought down to the moment – to the day – to the hour, for everybody. In order to get people’s creativity moving again. I suggested to my group that they start with a micro practice called it’s a Micro Daily Practice, which was basically instead of starting with your creativity or writing the morning pages, which is a fabulous practice as well – but maybe you’re not even there. Maybe three pages is way too much!
Claudia So that was the birth of the idea, of the concept, and then the book idea. I don’t even know where that came from, except that I come from a publishing family business. I grew up in publishing, and so it’s always been quite native to me to have ideas., and then you put them in into publication format for reading and graphics.
Christy So this idea of a micro practice, that’s the book. Yes. It’s taking us. Describe what a micro practice is.
Claudia A micro practice can be different for different artists, depending on your medium. I’m a visual artist. The practice that I chose is collage. My micro practice is, I take one image and one word out of a magazine every day, and I make a collage. Now, some days it’s more than one. But the idea is that I only need one image and one word. And I’m done with the day. And I did bring my book here.
Christy Yes. I wanted to see I want you to hold it up if you can.
Claudia And then the other idea is that you keep it all in one place. Right. And so what ends up happening is you accrue.
Christy Yes, it’s beautiful.
Claudia You accrue your practice, and then you just feel excited because you’re like, oh, I’ve got a practice. I’ve got a thing.
Christy I love that. It is a thing.
Claudia And I can tell you that I have writers. And here’s the day where I really couldn’t find image. I have a few writers and they do a sentence, but things come out of that. And that’s not my concern. My concern is, what can you do to get yourself in the moment? How can you get yourself into this moment? And meditation is hard for a lot of people, I think. It’s even a little bit hard for me, but this to me, is that turning back to yourself, coming back to that place of total concentration, total attention. And it’s totally feasible in a microwave.
Christy So what’s important about coming back to yourself? I know this seems like an obvious question, but why is that? Why does it help me to come back to myself?
Claudia I’m trying to figure out that myself. I mean, I think it’s a very, actually great spiritual question. All I know is that I feel better and I’m fearless. When I’m tuning into what I call it myself. It could be the heart. It could be the breath. But it’s that thing that’s more than human.
You might call it a soul. There’s so many names for it, right? Many people might even call something divine, but it’s like tuning in to that part that’s eternal, the part that’s the witness. There’s many names for it. So why is it important? I don’t know. But I do know that there is a pay off, and the payoff is serenity, fearlessness.
Christy And all as well. Yeah. That’s very powerful. So have you run into any inner critic in the process of creating this book?
Claudia I am an abstract, visual thinker to concretize things in language in the written word is a challenge. And I can express myself in words. But I find it to be a challenge. And so the idea of putting this to words was daunting to me. I can explain it so well in my workshops. I certainly can do it. And if you’re in the room with me, I’ll show you do it. It’s done. But how do I make it? And also, how do I transmute some of the concepts that I want to communicate through a book.
I explain what the micro deli practices. Right. Okay. Is that a book?
Christy Yeah. Well, it is a book.
Claudia It is a book!
Christy So when you ran into your inner critic, what did you do.
Claudia First I did a stream of consciousness and dictated and then had someone type it up for me. So that helps a lot to see it actually in words already. Like what I had conscious just said in the air.
Christy Yes. So I just want to say a thing about that. When people think about writing books, they think, oh, my God. It’s either me and the pen and the piece of paper or me and the laptop typing. But it doesn’t always have to be like that the way that you did it, where you dictated it stream of consciousness and that somebody Typed it is super valid. And if people feel the fear of facing a blank page, you don’t even have to face a page at all. You just do what you did, which is really smart.
Claudia Yeah. And then I really decided to lean into my strength. Right. And you and I talk and you help me with this, too, which is like, what is my strength? Well, my strength is the visual is the graphics. When I could start to dream in the format, right. That I love. Thank you. Then the page is filled up because I actually had the visual in mind. It was product. It was turning the pages. Then the pages filled themselves. Then I knew what I wanted to say, and it became itself.
Christy Which is another thing that I want to highlight is that once you do what you did, where you got it down on paper, you started to make it manifest. My experience is that then it starts having a life of its own, and I can actually talk to it. I don’t know if you have done that yet, but in the books that I’ve written recently, when I get stuck, I talk to the books, actually a written conversation.
Yeah. I talk to the materials. Absolutely involving.
Christy Yeah. It’s a strange thing that the projects and the ideas when they start to become manifest, they have their own energy. And maybe I would say their own life even. Yeah.
Claudia Well, this book definitely told me what it wanted to be. And I asked people like what they thought of that, because.
Christy No, the book I just finished. I would talk to it or the spirit of the book or whatever it is, but it even had a name. It’s called the Maestro. So when I get stuck, I say, okay, Maestro, I’m stuck. And then I would get an answer about what to do. Sounds like you did the exact same thing.
Claudia Yeah. And I have to say also doing the book that it’s about the micro daily practice, too.
Christy Right. Did it say, do your practice and then come back and talk?
Claudia Well, no, the practice is such a habit now that it’s just part of the routine. But the thing just visiting the book every day is part of the micro practice. It doesn’t mean I have to work on it, because a micro practice can be sitting in the chair in your studio or at your desk. You know what I mean? Because if you sit in that place, the wheels are going to start to turn. I remember being stuck and sitting in my studio chair, and my materials are all out there and everything and everything is just as it was right.
I just sat there and you just can’t help. At least your curiosity just fiddling with something.
Christy Cool. So where are you now with the book?
Claudia The book right now is quadun. It’s quadun before it probably needs to be reviewed or something by an editor. But also maybe not, because if it’s going to be self published, then they can just go out there. But it’d probably be good to have a couple of eyes on it. I’ve never done this before. So I’ve never done this particular kind of thing before. I designed books for other people.
I’ve designed major art volumes, and I’ve certainly designed magazines and all kinds of book covers. I worked for Simon and Schuster and designed book covers for years. I’m really genre, but my own authored book is a different thing.
Christy It is.
Claudia Almost there, and I probably just need to set another deadline and make myself accountable to it.
Christy Yes, we heard it here first. Would you like to do that?
Claudia My dream was to get it out in January for the new year. That was my big vision for that.
Christy So January 31, it’s out. How about that?
Claudia I love that.
Christy Okay, that’s good. So who’s the book for?
Claudia The book is for artists and creatives.
Christy And would I have to be I could be a writer and still use the book right to be a writer.
Claudia You mean any basically creative, any photographer? I don’t know. It’s any creative. And I mean, my groups were originally for Stuck creative mostly, but I don’t think you have to be a stuck creative to appreciate it. Also, I really am designing it so that the format is something that you might just want anyway, because it’s full of pictures and colors and fonts and things. So it’s a vision as well as a reading experience.
Christy Yeah. And so you talked about this a little bit that it brings us. And Leoni said something about this, too, in the comments that the book is meant to bring us into the present moment.
Claudia Well, the practice is the book is to have the practice to be in that person moment and through creativity, which is one of the ways.
Christy Yeah. And not to be super obvious about this, but just to say it out loud, the reason to be in the moment creatively is that’s where the creativity starts happening. That’s a profoundly important tool that you’re about to put out.
Claudia Work. I saw it work. There’s a poet who was in my group and he’s very shy by reverse, but he really loves the micro deli practice, and he writes, I should really ask him exactly what his actually practice was, because it wasn’t a poem a day. That was a lot. It’s just been a long with poets. I’ve often said they can just explore a pair of words because they are so profound about kind of thing. But I’ve also spoken with actors and screenwriters, photographers and people who can create micro practices in other ways.
Christy Yeah. It’s just really important. So just one more mechanical question. How are you figuring out where to have it printed?
Claudia Well, my years as a designer creating books, magazines and other things I mentioned, I’m familiar with printers, publishers, online resources and things like that. So I had a pretty decent idea of where it could be done in a way that was, I want to say, sustainable. So I wasn’t ordering, like a house.
Christy Yeah. It has to be on demand.
Claudia Right. But it was not going to be a precious art book either. That was going to be over. People tend to get it might be nice to have a publisher, too, but I think I’m a bit like I’ll just get it out there and see it’s. My entrepreneurial tendency is to just sort of like, make it put it out there.
Christy I’m all on board with that, too. So we can find you either on Instagram or also at your website, and you’ll be starting to you promised it in front of us here that it would be ready January 31. I know there’s a lot of mechanical stuff that happens when you have to upload things and see the proofs and stuff like that.
Claudia Yeah. If you join my mailing list on my website, do that.
Yeah. So there’s still a couple of people watching us if you guys have any questions before we wrap up, so say in. I know you said this already a little bit, but say in, like, two sentences. Who is this book for?
Claudia This book is for creatives who want to just have a fun and accessible practice for their creativity, whether it’s to get the wheels rolling again or to just become more disciplined. I don’t know. I think it’s a fun project. It’s a practice that has profound implications to be shared earlier. But it’s really fun because as I said, once you started doing it’s a thing.
Which is not the point, but because another point about the micro daily practice is that let it be bad.
Let it be bad. I mean, some of these are just like.
Christy Yeah. Well, it’s the Anne Lamont for writers has this motto that you have to let yourself write the shitty first draft because after that, now you got something you can edit.
Claudia Yeah. Exactly. And then it’s just like, well, then it’s the next day, the next day, the next day, the next day. It’s just like, Whoa. That’s a cool idea. I never thought of putting that with that. I think as an artist sometimes. And maybe also, it’s true for you as a writer. I know what I’m like. I have a thing I’m creating and it’s special, and it’s precious. And it’s that thing, right? But this is not precious, right? It can just be, like a little crazier when you don’t care.
Christy Yeah. Well, there’s a couple of Pulitzer Prize winning books and plays that were started out on the backs of napkins and coffee shops because it’s so much the pressure is off. I’m not writing the Great American novel on this piece of napkin. I’m just messing around. Yeah. This is the creativity and the sacredness of messing around.
Claudia I love it.
Christy Yeah, I love that, too. So here’s where people can find you. Thanks, everybody, for listening. It was a blast to hear about this project, and I’m first in line to order it on January 31.
Claudia Thanks, Christy
Christy Thanks. Claudia.