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Everyone wants the cherry on top but it takes work to get there

Commitment Cupcake

Does anyone remember who said, “Follow your joy”? I think this quote is popular because everyone can imagine feeling happy at the final stage of a project. Recently, I told Caring for Art that my nightmares have become work product. I was not exaggerating. Public speakers will never tell you that you must hard work to find the thing to which you can happily commit. If they told you to face reality, nobody would pay them $50,000 to talk about themselves for 30 minutes.

And because I know that the truth is hard to hear, I feel confident that no-one will copy my secret formula, which I am going to share in this post. This is my recipe for staying committed and focused on the way to finding joy. First read it, then scroll down for a taste test. 

🧁 Commitment Cupcake 🧁

Absolutely everything real about you right now. 


  1. Write down every idea you have but stay loosely attached.
  2. Seek advice from qualified experts. 
  3. Listen to advice and evaluate for quality.  
  4. Search for useful ideas in negative feedback.
  5. Be assertive but never argue, no matter what.
  6. Lose fixation on irrelevant details.
  7. Shut down anyone who attempts to devalue you. 
  8. Transfer your idea from a “hard” medium to a “soft” one. 
  9. Follow up on each new idea (see item 1).  
  10. Table, pin, or expunge unworkable ideas. 
  11. Shred your lists.  
  12. Start over. 
  13. Keep at it. 

The taste testCovers only
Item 8 became especially important this week when my plans came to a full stop. And though I was feeling isolated and trapped, I decided to shred everything and start over.  

Contessa Magazine: Cover 2 in Icelandic

One of many ideas I had written down was “launch a magazine”. However, I threw it out because there are billions of writers, millions of magazines, and only a handful of subscribers.

From that, I imagined what it would be like for a young writer to dream of launching a magazine only to hit roadblock after roadblock. How would this writer solve these problems? The answers to that question became the treatment for a writing project. My preferred medium for presenting that story is a “hard” one, so I pinned it for later.

The transfer to a “soft” medium was a frictionless fusion of my interests. After careful research, I did some math: photography + fashion + world cultures + health + making stuff up + graphic design = a concept that I really like.

That is to say, I will only produce the covers. I’ve posted two test copies for you and I hope you like them. 

Contessa Magazine: Cover 1 in English
(Spoiled it, so don’t look too closely)


Life is short, so let’s be decent.

66 replies on “Everyone wants the cherry on top but it takes work to get there”

Thanks so much. The images are commercially licensed. It was a ton of work to colour, nudge the text in place and resize to make them look cover ready.


Love this! I’ve told my family that when I die they’re going to find loads and loads and LOADS of written ideas and lists and projects that are all living here right under their noses! I guess my process might be similar to yours.

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Then you have a great process. And potential product. All of those writing projects can be repurposed. And of course, you’re immortal so your family will never find your secrets. 😂

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Some excellent food for thought. 🙂 And I work on magazines for a living! Gosh there is a magazine for just about everyone and their interests out there. I’m a fan of your concept, it’s a magazine I would be happy to read!

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Thanks very much. You have a fabulous job. 😍 I’ve created some products around the concept and hopefully, a small web series for my blog. Still trying to get that produced on what will be my third attempt.

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Dear Nicole, what a thoughtful, well-written post. I very much enjoyed reading your recipe 👌

And thank you so much for all the likes this morning! 😄.

May you have a fruitful day 💕☀️

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Thank you for visiting, Sunra. It was a pleasure to read your poetry. And you have such a wonderful support, which is fantastic. I hope to see you again soon. Have a lovely day as well.

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Rosaliene, thank you so much for saying these kind words. It gets exhausting but knowing that there is a good result on the other side makes me want to keep on trying. Best wishes to you.

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Christopher, sorry for the short response earlier. What I meant to say is thank you so much for reading my post and I’m very happy that you liked the idea of starting a magazine. I have to say that I still believe there are too many of them and I’m going to not give myself a headache unnecessarily. But I’m sure it will be a fun project for a creative writing activity.

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You design the best covers! Fully agree on the cherry part there, getting to it isn’t an achievable aim for most people but that shouldn’t stop them from trying. I liked the medium-soft approach, so very different from the “self-help books” one normally hears about. Please do patent it before a Ferrari-selling monk does a drive-by.

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Thank you so much. Very happy you like my covers. Of course you are familiar with this concept. As you were featured in one of the issues. The monk would have issues selling it because that approach requires soft skills which he won’t have. I am on top of the patents and trademarks.

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Thank you for the Commitment Cupcake list…useful!! The phrase I’m familiar with is “follow your bliss” from Joseph Campbell, I believe. Whether it’s bliss or joy, very few people will reveal just how much effort and frustration it takes to get there…..

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Thank you so much for this. Ditto on the frustration. I’m quite sure some big tech company CEO ripped off that phrase to make it look like he sang his way into billions of dollars of net worth. Hope you are well. ♥️♥️

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I think you’re right that a lot of people won’t copy it. If it’s okay, for my personal brew I will add a couple of ingredients –willingness to put in the hard work, and CONFIDENCE. Mixed in a base of belief in self, believing in the things that are real about you.

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I hit send too fast. If we don’t believe in our own value, we’ll never be able to withstand even constructive criticism. If we let people blow us around in the wind, we lose our sense of self and doubt what is real. But you’re 💯 right about the process. And good point about how speakers who make the big $$$ don’t tell you the crucial part about hard work.

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BTW those covers are beautiful. I am sure it feels amazing to have that sense of freedom to create whatever it is you’re imagining and damn the idea that things must be done the same way everyone else does.

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Thank you for saying that. I think the persistence of the idea was what won me over more than anything. I’m very happy that you like the covers. Still reviewing test copies and working on layouts so hopefully the final versions will look boomshock.

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This is a great concept, although I would say you missed one important thing – shift the mindset. If we think Oh, that’s already done, there are a millions of people doing it, etc… we would never start anything. Don’t let that belief pull you back from your desire. Shift that to ‘How can I make people read/subscribe to my magazine rather than someone else’s? What value can I provide?’ Start there.

I wish you all the best magic with the project and think you CAN succeed. But you are the one who have to believe it for yourself first 🙂

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Wow. I never expected to read that. That’s magical.

I want to keep your advice in mind and work on my concept. And when I feel less oppressed than I am feeling right now, I would like to make a plan to pursue it.

I appreciate your encouraging words and I will remind myself to shift my mindset from “defeated” to “accomplished”.

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Feel free to reach out if you need any support 🤍

I also have some articles on the blog that might give you either clarity or boost about the topic. I believe the best time to start is Right Now, otherwise we let our brain work it’s magic to keep us in procrastination mode 😁

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Thank you so much for reading this. There is a lot of advice out there and I’ve heard, read, or paid for most of it. At some point, I needed to make up my own mind. I hope you’re having a great Thursday. ❤️

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This is simply awesome. Gonna follow these directions from now on. Especially “loosely attached” one, it is true because once you got attached with one idea then your mind starts to create the illusions to support that idea.

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