Diane Burroughs
Diane Burroughs looking sassy

I’m re-blogging some fantastic creative advice from Diane Burroughs, a writer and producer with credits that include Married With Children, Murphy Brown, Martin, The Drew Carey Show, Yes, Dear, and Still Standing. Diane says each of us should use our “Oprah-effect,” which is to say we should empower ourselves by seeing ourselves as a cover girl, spokesperson, and star of our lives.

Sound like classic self-centered narcissism?

Well, it’s not if you’re used to putting yourself and your needs last or if you are unaccustomed to seeing the best parts of your life, especially when you’ve experienced a set back or difficulty, and how you can serve and inspire others.

Like me, Diane found herself getting a new start in midlife. And that ain’t easy stuff. The difficulty of starting over can make us feel like we have little to offer. When I met Diane after we’d both attended an all woman improv show in Culver City in January, she had already begun using her own Oprah effect. She told me then about her new project, Left at 50, which capitalizes on her difficult experience of being dumped by her life partner when she hit the big FIVE-OH.

Hemarya-magazine-feb11r blog’s target audience may be other middle-aged women who have been dumped, but it has great advice for humans of all kinds who need inspiration and self-confidence. Just one of the great gifts Diane’s story offered me is that I’ve been telling myself is a big fat lie — that I’m single because I haven’t accomplished enough. I mean, Diane’s got some impressive writing credits and she’s single, so… Yeah, not gonna beat up on  myself like that anymore. Feeling like a loser definitely doesn’t do much to inspire creativity. That’s for sure.

I have to say, I took her “Use Your Oprah Effect” blog a bit literally; I got a sketch book and a pencil out and drew a magazine cover for “Marya Magazine.”

This is the most fun I’ve had taking advice that I can remember. Hey, why let my grade-school level drawing skills stop me!?

Diane’s post not only got me to picture myself as a badass chick toting a duffel bag, wielding a mic and hiking her skirt just for funsies, it got me thinking about all I’d accomplished in just one month :  I’d flown back to Florida and hosted the memorial poetry slam I’d put together for a friend who had died and in the same month, on a whim, I’d put together a Dream Writing Workshop: Discover Inner Wisdom and Creative Gold  webinar.

Marya Summers on the mic at Dada
Marya Summers as a real life badass

With all the visualizing Diane had me doing, I realized I was envisioning the magazine’s cover teaser blurbs as I identified the experiences I’d had and learned from. (They are currently still being planned out and in rough form.) Ultimately, these can provide me with ideas for articles and poems.

Another thing Diane’s post did for me: it made me keenly aware of the importance of surrounding myself with creative, insightful people like Diane who are committed to being their best selves. Their muse seems to make my own a little more attentive, and I get deeper, juicier work.

CHECK OUT DIANE BURROUGH’S BLOG POST HERE and get inspired yourself!

“The “Oprah Effect”. That is actually a term. Because if Oprah endorses something, people buy it. Remember when Oprah started her magazine and she was…

Source: Use Your “Oprah Effect”


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