Second post in a short series …

But first I need to be all disclaimer-ey …

  • So I find most non-Jennifer-Louden-written self-help-ey books to be pretty insipid — but I adore Wishcraft by Barbara Sher (she’s @barbarasher on Twitter).
  • You can download the ebook version at no cost on her website — If you do, you’ll probably want to print it out so you can scribble all over it.
  • Personally, I’d say: buy the book. Totally worth it.
  • My duck and I went through Barbara’s wacky exercises while teaching at guest-teaching at Jen Louden’s fabulous Writer’s Retreat and now we’re sharing that process with you. That makes this is a pretty atypical blog post, but what the hell.
  • Last time we did the Five Lives exercise.

Barbara Sher’s smart question:

In Chapter Three.

“Choose a color that appeals to you. It doesn’t have to be your all-time favorite, or a color you especially like to wear — though it may be …

Now I would like you to role-play that color. That means you are going to pretend you are that color and speak for it, since it cannot speak for itself.

Now, in a few words to a few sentences, tell what qualities you have as that color — not as yourself.”

*And no, I’m not the world’s biggest plagiarizing asshat for giving away her content. She lets you download the entire book for free.

So you become that color.

And you’re allowed contradictions. You’re allowed to put down whatever comes up.

It’s not important if your vision of “I am azure” is different from someone else’s. It’s not important if you-as-you can’t own the qualities that your color does.

You just become the color. And you let it do the writing.

Pick a color! Step right up! Pick a color, any color …

Here’s what came up when I did it:

I am red.

I am strong and tough.

I can be aggressive if I want to.

I am confident.

I leave my mark.

I am noticeable. Ha!

I am ready. (hee, pun)

I don’t get tired.

I mix well.

I stand for things.

What I’m learning/noticing from doing this ….


This was actually (while I’m being all honest and stuff since that also seems to be part of owning my newly discovered red-ness) the exercise that I had least wanted to do.

It just seemed kind of … I don’t know, transparent.

I definitely wasn’t expecting to enjoy it so much (it’s fun being red!)

So it was actually surprisingly empowering. In fact, now that I think of it, I don’t normally let myself be any of those things, so that was … pretty outstanding.

What I’m thinking now is:

What can I do to bring more of these strong, tough, unashamed qualities into my life?

And is there a way I can do it without pretending to be red? Can I own these qualities as me?

And are there some other colors I need to play with in order to bring more aspects of the whole of who I am into play? Or even … into existence?

Also, the more pun-centric part of my brain couldn’t help finding a parallel between “I am red” and “I am read“, which relates so well to my Very Personal Ad this week where I asked for an agent for my unborn book.

I am red. I am read.

Do you want to play with me? Yay.

Because that would be awesome.

So … give it a shot. Again, it probably helps if you have her amazing book for context, but I think the exercise works pretty well on its own too.

And then if you want to share some (or all) of your results here, that would be really interesting! And fun!

And then I won’t be being all self-help-ey all by myself.

In terms of “comment zen” for these posts? I’m thinking … less of the “when are you going to get back to writing real posts” (ow, my stuff is coming up!) and more of the “this is what I’m noticing and experiencing” (aaaaaaaah, much better).

Wheee! Toys!

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