B&WProfilePhotoTracyCastro_circleI’ll never forget how scared she was. Tracy texted me that she was feeling physically ill at the thought of posting her first piece up on Etsy. No one knew about her store yet; no one would see– and yet she still felt like she was going to throw up if she clicked “publish.” I texted back: “You’re ok. This is just what fear feels like.” 

And publish she did! She felt the fear and did it anyway. Many more pieces (and “Publish” clicks) later her shop was featured on the front page of Etsy a few months back! I asked artist, designer and writer, Tracy Castro to share a bit about her creative process and celebrations with you today.

 How would you describe yourself in 10 words or less?

  • creative, happy, passionate, messy, brave, vulnerable, indecisive, determined, playful, responsible

 What are you celebrating right now?

  • The spring issue of Gatherings Magazine is going to be released in March 10!

 What’s the juiciest thing about that?

  • I am the design editor for Gatherings – and I have been carefully laying out each page, so I’m very much looking forward to holding the printed copy in my hands and seeing it as a complete work.

 What’s the hardest thing about it?

  • I am always sad when the deadline arrives. I know that no matter how meticulous and diligent I have been, this issue (like all others) will go to the printer flawed and imperfect in some way. I have to remind myself that imperfect is in fact lovely.

 What do you do to keep your creative dream alive? (Tips, tricks, best practices)

  • Each day, I spend at least a little time working. To me, this reinforces the fact that I take my dreams seriously, that I’m willing to put in a lot of time and creative energy to make things happen. Even when I don’t feel like it. Likewise, I spend at least a little time each day intentionally NOT working. This means not working on my job as well as not working to take care of my family, pets, house, etc. I have found that unstructured, aimless leisure is indispensable.

 How do you hope your creative time as sacred? What helps keep it at the center of your life?

  • First thing In the mornings, when my daughter are off to school, I set the timer on my phone for 45 minutes. During this time, I zip around loading the dishwasher, starting laundry, making shopping lists, etc. Of course, there are always tasks that don’t fit; those go on a to do list for later. When the timer beeps, I put all that stuff on hold and get down to work. I remind myself that it’s a lot easier for me to make a dentist appointment while my kids are doing their homework after school than it is for me to really concentrate and be creative. My alone time is completely sacred.   Also: I make commitments to other people because deadlines hold me accountable. For example, I don’t make a ton of money at craft fairs, but they are very strong incentive to come up with new designs and make & package lots of products!

 How do you outwit your Inner Critic so you can live your dream?

  •  First, I have learned not to avoid my Inner Critic; that only gives her more power. Instead, I listen patiently as she points out all the ways I have failed, all my shortcomings and faults. And as I listen to her mean little monologue, I see my Inner Critic for what she really is: a spoiled, ill-mannered, immature little child. I listen patiently to her horrible rant, imagining that I am her mother, her role model for how to be compassionate, polite, and forgiving. I try to acknowledge her concerns. I try to rephrase her insults in a less spiteful way and help her articulate what she’s really feeling. “Oh, I see,” I say to her, “you’re afraid that we’re going to end up embarrassed or unbearably disappointed.” I think I ought to get her a tissue, or a drink of water. But usually? Honestly? I can’t help burst out laughing because my horrid Inner Critic just looks so ridiculous with her face all contorted and red, her fists clinched up, a tiny little brat hurling insults. It’s almost cute.

 How has coaching with Katherine helped you reach or progress towards this goal?

  • For one thing, Katherine was my very first accountability partner. By committing to coaching, I was committing to working towards living a happier and more creative life. Even more than that, though, she asked me very insightful questions, listened attentively to the answers, and then assigned me specific homework that helped me identify what my dreams were, what obstacles were holding me back from those dreams, and how to find solutions to these obstacles.
  • My favorite thing about coaching is that it created a safe segment of my life that I spend with a mentor – where I have permission to be exactly who I am, and I also have permission to figure out what I wish to be – and together my coach and I puzzle out how to get from here to there.

  • Coaching has been one of the best investments of time and money I have ever made. We all deserve to live our lives with joy and love, creativity and light. Coaching is a powerful way to figure out how to do exactly that.

 Where can people find you and enjoy your juicy creative creations?

  • my website: http://fairmorningblue.com
  • Etsy Shop: http://fairmorningblue.etsy.com
  • Also, I am a member of the Maker Co-Op, a collective of Austin creative business owners who craft handmade
    goods from paint brushes, pencils, silk screens, sewing machines, hand tools and even lasers. Find us at: http://themakercoop.com.
  • And – as I mentioned, I am the design editor for Gatherings Magazine, a Nashville-based lifestyle magazine with a focus on creativity and community. The spring issue of Gatherings Magazine celebrates artists + artisans and will be available in print and digitally on March 10 on http://gatheringsmag.com

It would be so fun to hear YOUR creative GULP moments in the comments below! –as well as your creative celebrations.

If you’ve got an I-want-to-but-I’m-terrified-to-do-it moment in your life, for goodness sake, don’t keep it under wraps–bring it to the Creative Breakthrough call this Friday. Your Inner Critic wants you to think that keeping him under wraps keeps him under control– but it actually keeps him IN control! I promise you creative demons NEVER look as scary in the light of day as they do in the dark of your mind. The world needs your work. Let’s do this thing!

Creative Breakthrough Call:
Create the Time, Money & Inspiration to
Rock your Dream Project!


  • How do I choose between my 17 projects?
  • How do I find the time in my busy life for my creative work?
  • How do I get my family to respect my creative work time?
  • How do I stay motivated to actually finish it?
  • How do I know if I’m any good?
  • How do I find the money to pay for my supplies/lessons/project?

Never fear….

Faster than a speeding doubt,
able to leap Creative Blocks in single bound,
More Powerful the Your Inner Critic
It’s a Creative Breakthrough call!


Join us– so you can get unstuck, get in action around your project, and start getting your work out of your head (and heart) and out into the world. Sign up and get the details here: Free Creative Breakthrough Call on Friday Feb 28th. (P.S. The signup link has been fixed–thank you all of you who let me know!) 

wishing you a juicy, colorful week!


Katherine Torrini CPCC
Creative Life Coach
512. 534.1100

P.S. Getting stuck is a part of the creative process–but staying stuck doesn’t have to be! Join the fun on the Creative Breakthrough call here . Your creativity–and your loved ones–thank you! You’re so much less grumpy when you’re creating. (You knew that, didn’t you? 😉