Juju Infusion 1: Coping with Creative Rejection

Need an infusion of creative juju? Find inspiration for creative adventurers in my new web TV show, premiering here at the Original Impulse blog.

Looking for time management tips, productivity hacks, or admonishing advice from an expert?

You won't find that here. (Okay, maybe a little.)  Instead we'll infuse your week - a ten minute break for you - with the unexpected and quirky.

Juju: magic, sparkle, unexpected, giggle, mystery...

Infusion: the essence, the absolute sweetest part of something, elixir. 

Show Notes Episode One

Quick links for things mentioned in the show:

Vital Yoga

Yoga Empowers Your Creativity

My thoughts on dealing with rejection

More on rejection

Cynthia’s YouTube channel

Make Writing a Happy Habit


Welcome to the inaugural episode of Juju Infusion. I’ll be broadcasting weekly ten-minute shows to inject an infusion of Juju – good, zesty creative energy – into your life.

In this episode:

  • The new yoga challenge that’s kicking my butt in April.
  • Kicked elsewhere: news about my quest for a publisher for my novel, Chasing Sylvia Beach: not pretty.
  • Survival tactics for artists: get freaky!
  • Weekly permission slip
  • Q&A: This week: The quickest way to move beyond creative blocks.
  • Journal Juju – A lucky Original Impulse blog reader gets some Journal Juju sent her way! Is it you? Watch to find out.
  • You'll also discover that I am a way more talented writer than you ever knew.

Thanks for watching and please do let me know what you’d like to see in future episodes!

If you watch my show, please let me know by rating it or by leaving a comment below. (You’ll want to leave a comment anyway, to be entered in the Journal Juju giveaway next week!)

To your juju infusion,


P.S. Not all of the episodes will contain films of my friends and I partying. Just this one. Okay, maybe more will appear...


  1. Patrice Archibald says

    Hey Cynthia!!! Fabulous!!! Thanks for coming in to my home this morning with your enthusiasm. I think # 4 on the questions. Try sharing it with some of your readers! I would love to have some reading material for my Paris trip!!!

  2. Kathy Jordan says

    Hi Cynthia. I loved your show! Re: publishing. I don’t have any brilliant suggestions. Each of your 5 possibilities has something to recommend it. But on the self-publishing front (your ugh option) I happened to hear an interview with the author of the best selling novel “The Shack.” His first 15 copies of the novel were produced at Staples. He was rejected by over 60 publishers so he decided to self publish. He found a book printer who made 10,000 copies and sold them on his website. The novel caught fire, and now he has a mainstream publisher. I was inspired by his persistence. You will find the right answer for you (don’t mean to sound trite.) Personally, anything having to do with Paris sounds great to me.
    Thanks for getting my juices going this morning!
    Kathy (Colorado Springs)

  3. Kathy Jordan says

    Just one more thing. Is the picture of you on the blog from Manarola? I think I can see the place where I stayed a few years ago, on top of the far right pink building.

  4. says

    Hey Cynthia
    Juju Infusion – what fun!
    Sad to see you sad though … I didn’t quite understand why you ruled out self-publishing so quickly … getting creative (which is so you) with the marketing could be a lot of fun!! In response to your straw poll, that is what I would do …
    BTW – i have only sort of self-published my book – I’m not yet happy with the format so it’s only available under cover so to speak. Will keep you posted.
    Miss you and miss Denver. Hope to be over soon!
    xxx Lubna

  5. says

    Great show and love the accordian music! Thanks for sharing the truth about where your novel is and how you feel about it.
    Spending more time in Paris always sounds like a good idea but if you have already given your all to the story, then self-publishing in print or online at least puts it out there. Personally, I’d love to read it sometime!

  6. says

    Hi Cynthia_
    I try to relate to your experience with rejection here, as a visual artist. Ten years invested in a project is ‘a very lot of time!’
    No wonder you might be feeling sad. That’s a long time to imagine your successes with this particular book.
    If, it is of any help whatsoever, I notice that more often than not artists, seem to be rejected if they are doing things on their own; thinking for themselves; coloring outside the lines; have no particular name for them self.
    It is a recession market. Marketing unknown authors is probably more marketing skill than it is a talent for recognizing talent honestly!
    So, all of these offerings may seem obviously unoriginal, don’t they? So, what’s the problem? What do YOU honestly think your book has got going for it?
    Traveling to Paris to soak in ambiance sounds romantic; likewise not publishing yourself also has this same cord in it… just a thought.
    Putting it up on a blog and making it interactive sounds like salving wounds, it’s not ultimately a bad idea, but are you really there yet? Only you know.
    When I work on a painting, sometimes I have painted ahead of my own abilities to understand what I have done. Maybe you are like this only backwards about your 10 year old book project. You knew at the beginning what you wanted to do, writing it in the first place…?
    Then, there is just taking time and putting distance between you and it, like meditation. Consciously noticing, without attachment or aversion, for yourself or the process, of it becoming what it is in your life and in the world. Let it tell you what comes next. After all, you have ten years together.
    Speaking in abstract as one artist to another, I hope this helps…

  7. says

    You are great on camera Cynthia – love the mix of humor and more “serious” tips. Yoga was funny. Different backgrounds helps make it seem shorter than 10 min (the usual talking head stuff people put out) and hey, I sure wish I was in my 40s still and could come to your freak fest- cute guys! Only I wasn’t fond of getting flipped off in the guise of binary counting LOL As for what you should do with book? If you love it and you want to truly birth it, listen to some of the advice (the stuff that is a common thread) and consider a revision. Otherwise, get some copies out there for people to read and rave about. Times have changed. Big house publishers are not the only way to make it anymore. Consider making it a movie script? Mostly, I just love how you scribbled out each option in front of the camera. And the toes…well, I have a special talent using my toes too, but not something I want to share online – ha ha

  8. says

    Hi there –
    This is FAN-tastic. It’s a fun side of you that we haven’t seen in full force in past videos (well, except for the European luggage lunges, of course). I love the music, the “commercials”, the included text, the editing, just everything.
    I’m no expert, but I like Option 2 for CSB. I don’t think it’s been long enough and there are so many stories about wonderful published authors struggling to get published. What if they had given up after only a year? I think it deserves some more time. I know I cringed at the CSB site and putting it out there in the blogosphere. I don’t know the details, but I imagine the readers attracted to the story (and Sylvia, herself) would uber appreciate holding the actual book in their hands.
    K, enuff. I LOVE LOVE the new show! As usual, you’re just an inspiration. THANK YOU!!!!

  9. says

    Fab show Cynthia – loved it!
    My vote is either to keep trying to get it published somewhere else OR self publish combined with a blog to promote it (which puts you into doing more marketing than writing so that option only makes sense if you are up for a lot of marketing).
    Looking forward to many more of your Juju infusion episodes in the future.

  10. says

    thank you all, for watching and for sharing your support and publishing opinions. It helps a lot.
    I’ve self-published pretty much everything I’ve written, so I’m not averse to that. It’s mostly the cost and work of producing a book that I don’t want – can’t – do on my own. It’s a lot of work and potential expense that I’d rather not do.
    Kathy, so glad you love my show!! yea! Yes, that is Manarola behind me. I loved Cinque Terre – felt so happy when there, as you can see by the photo.
    Thanks, Lubna, for sharing your story and your compassion. I do feel sad but it’s okay – it’s part of the human journey of loving something and going for it. I feel great disappointment and also great hope and determination. It just won’t look like what I thought it would!
    Come back to Denver soon and we’ll go to a yoga class and hang out in the park!
    But I am in the middle of the AWP (Association of Writers’ Programs) conference here in Denver and have gotten a lot of inspiration.
    The publishing industry is crumbling but it’s being replaced by something much more exciting and democratic, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
    I feel a lot more possibilities.
    Andrea, I’m delighted you like the show. It’s also great to have your support and to know that the Paris setting resonates with you. Oui, oui, Paris!
    I love that you are comparing two art forms. They are different but it’s always interesting to look for intersections.
    Your comments are very perceptive and I appreciate them.
    Revision is definitely on the horizon – ARGH! – but I have some ideas and lots of support.
    Kathy, You must dish on your toe talent (even if offline!). Thanks for your kind comments about the show! I can’t tell you how much fun it is.
    I, too, was shocked by the binary bird-flipping! Is that intentional? Accidental? Who knows!
    You can come to Freak Friday anytime. Age is no barrier whatsoever to the Freak zone.
    Look for more journal juju – scenes from the pages. It’s what I really want to share, plus more!
    Karen, Thank you!! I felt that so much of me was not able to be expressed in writing and photos. I have a fun side that is so ready to play and share with others. I’m glad you are here to play with me!
    Lisa, Thanks so much! I’m glad you love the show. I do, too. It will get better each time. It’s been hard to not disclaim – point out this and that and promise it will be better.
    But I do not allow my students to diss their work before they read it, so I, too, shall keep the inner critic muzzled for now.
    Woo hoo!

  11. says

    I loved the show and thanks for turning me on to it. It has just the right combination of humor and seriousness. I wish I had some words of wisdom about the publishing world… I’m just beginning to discover how complex that world is.
    Julie, Portland

  12. says

    Hi Cynthia, I loved your show! It is so much fun to watch you, your energy and your sense of humor. It made me sad to watch your sadness about the book, and yes, it is part of the journey…
    I don’t know too much about publishing and publishers, but I do know that you need to keep putting out there in some way or form and it will eventually be published somehow.
    I got up early this morning and watch your show and it gave me that “infusion of Juju”that we all need to start the day. Thank you!
    BTW, Love your freaky Friday get together!

  13. dD says

    What an awesome production! How far it’s come from it’s original unedited, hand reaches for camera to push the button, version. It’s a real show now. It’s like Pee Wee’s Playhouse, but so much more (your original dream as it was disclosed to me in 2001)! I don’t feel right telling you what you should do about your book. I could tell you what I would do… which would be to keep trying for a publisher, but it’s not my book, and YOU can sometimes (sometimes) have even better ideas that me. Your options all sound intriguing. I can’t wait for the next edition of Juju Infusion to find out what’s next for you!

  14. says

    Thanks, Julie, for your kind note. It’s great for me to bring my humor out; I haven’t been able to do it so easily with just writing.
    Dora, Thanks for watching and commenting! The sadness is part of the journey, and I really want to share as much of my process as I can, for the sake of inspiring others. It’s not always easy, but we persist.
    Glad you like Freak Friday – you should host your own in Philly!
    Thanks, Denise! I am very excited about and proud of the production. I know there’s a long way to go, but when I think I just taught myself this and it can be this easy, it makes me so happy.
    I love the way technology lets us be creative and get results quickly. And it’s so cool to see a long-term dream come to life.
    I have so many ideas for the show. I can’t wait to do more!
    I also have a lot of ideas for the novel, which I’ll be posting about soon.
    Thanks for watching and for commenting, everyone! It helps a lot.

  15. Elizabeth says

    great show–the pacing was fluid and you looked hot doing your crunches.
    Only glitch: during your brainstorming the possibilities of your novel, your voice sounded like it was on helium.

  16. says

    Thanks, Elizabeth, for the specific feedback. Hard to believe I look hot doing that hardcore ‘yoga’ but thanks!
    The speeded up voice isn’t a glitch – I edited that to speed it up and save time. It’s tough getting it all under 10 minutes!
    Now I know that people aren’t seeing the note posted on it that says that. More to learn!

  17. says

    All of your ideas have merit. Here are my ideas in extension to your own:
    1. Go to Paris… find a way to let the current shop owners to let you into the old shops at 12 rue de l’Odeon, 8 rue Dupuytren, and even Adrienne Monnier’s old shop across the street. Feel that energy that must still be imbibed in those old walls, which were the center of the western literary world in the most important time in history. Let that connect you with what may be missing, or try to let it help you come to terms with whether or not it needs more work at all.
    2. Go out on your own… perhaps #1 above will help you decide.
    3. Self publish… Have you considered publishing it as an ebook on perhaps Amazon for the Kindle? Many authors are finding ways to have their books become Amazon’s best sellers in a short amount of time for instance.
    4. Get radical – publish on a blog… might not be a bad idea… the RIGHT blog might be similar to how Joyce, Hemingway, Stein, Valery, etc. got published initially – in excerpts through the little reviews in Paris and in the US as well.
    5. Give up… No one here or anywhere else can help you with that one. My only advice is to give that possibility some steeping time before you decide. The possible good side to this decision is that giving up might not be forever. Any great work can be resurrected when the time is right.
    Those are my random thoughts…
    Michael Bratton
    Shakespeare & Company facebook page administrator

  18. says

    Cynthia, This is great! I’m inspired and absolutely charmed! What courage you’ve demonstrated by sharing you’re thoughts about your novel. Sorry I don’t have something powerful to suggest other than never give up. I’m intrigued by the idea of doing something different on the net to get the story out there & would love to hear more about that.

  19. says

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments and suggestions! I have been to the shop in Paris. I find it REALLY hard to zoom myself back to the past when I am in the middle of contemporary, sexy, compelling Paris.
    But I still may go in June. If I do, I’ll have a specific list of things I want to do to immerse myself in the space.
    So glad I met you and joined the SB FB page! What would she think?
    Thanks Laura! So glad you are charmed! That is what I want – you to feel uplifted and inspired, with a sense of sweetness and hope.
    I also want to share the full reality of this writer’s life, because it’s not always sunny. It can be quite challenging!
    Thank you so much, Shelly! I feel pretty good about it and am having fun! So glad you like it.

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