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If you go about your life feeling just slightly haunted by the sense that you’re failing your dream of creating something remarkable… this is for you.

Be the Person Who Does the Thing

A version of yourself walks through the world with confidence.

The confidence that comes from finishing
the work that matters most to you.

What if...

Instead of falling asleep to reruns of Friends, ruminating on The Things I Haven't Done and The Bad Thing That Will Happen As A Result…

you could simply wake up excited about the possibilities
of what you’re working on? 

Instead of feeling an exciting new idea curdle and join its dusty, guilt-inducing brethren in your “maybe someday” pile…

you had the tools you need to face your inner critic,
and finish your projects without self-sabotage? 

Instead of feeling the guilt and pain of not doing the work piling on top of the guilt and pain of trying to do the work when there’s so much else to do…

you could get your most important work done while still taking care of yourself and your family, without the guilt? 

Instead of only following through on what other people want you to do…

What if you could consistently follow through and

finish hard things

that are on no one’s agenda but your own?

When you find yourself standing next to the chips bowl at a party, and you run into a friend you haven’t seen since before the pandemic, and they ask you, “Hey, how’s that great project you told me about coming along?” 

What do you tell them? 

The truth?

"It's so bizarre, I was unstoppable when I was being paid to do this work, but now that I'm the only one I'm answering to, I'm paralyzed."

“I find myself spending all my time and energy helping other people. There’s no room left for my own projects.”

“My project feels like it should be exciting and energizing, but the more I procrastinate and avoid it the more it becomes  a source of ongoing dread and shame…”

Or is it too painful to admit, and so you toss out a white lie and hope they take the hint while you die a little inside? 

“Slowly but surely, ha ha!”

“I’ve just been super busy.”

“Oh, that, I’m not really into that anymore.”

Your most meaningful work is not a luxury…it is the path to your future

"If you’re going to spend at least some of your time on the planet doing what matters to you most, you’d better actually start doing what matters most."

- Oliver Burkeman

Just because your work may not be bringing in a full time living—or any income at all! — does not mean that your frustrations with making time for it and finishing are #firstworldproblems.    

Deep in your core, you know this work is essential. I mean, if you could have stopped caring about your [book, start-up, course, video game, painting, music, membership, coaching methodology, product, or whatever form your work takes] over these years (decades!) of struggle, you could have saved yourself a lot of pain.

Not an option. 

It’s your right and your responsibility to take charge of your life and to choose to devote your time to the work that’s most important to you.    

Ambitious, audacious projects—and your ability to see them through—are tools that you use to create a new reality where you ARE the person who does the thing.  

Here's the secret:

You don’t have to be “the person” BEFORE you do the thing… 

(In fact, that’s impossible)

Doing the thing

MAKES YOU THAT PERSON


Working steadily on your dream projects doesn’t just mean that you’ll actually get them finished—awesome enough on its own!

IT'S A LOT BIGGER THAN THAT

Building your most important work into your daily and weekly rhythms transforms who you are and how you show up in the world. 

It changes your identity. 

You aren't “working on a book.” You ARE a writer.

Not “trying to get my course launched.”  You ARE a course creator. 

No longer “researching how to launch a design business.” You ARE a designer. 

Doing turns into BEING. 

...And that’s kind of the problem.

Because when you’re NOT Doing the Thing, it can cause you fear you are in fact NOT “the Person.” 

Not feeling capable of finishing feels like a sign that somehow your dreamed-of, labored-over project isn’t valid or good enough or deserving of existence.

That you DON'T have “latent potential”...

…just an overblown ego.

That maybe you could have pulled this off sometime in the mythical past, but isn’t it too late now? 

It feels like a Catch-22. 

It’s not. 

You’ve already made work. You’ve studied, earned degrees, endured painful setbacks, and celebrated successes. 

It’s not lack of talent, or drive, or experience that’s holding you back.

No. You know in your heart of hearts—despite the nattering self-doubt—that you’ve got all three nailed. 

You know you could do great things.

If only you got out of your own way. 

If only you had a simple, repeatable method built around your UNIQUE reality to help you get the work finished, day by glorious day.

Doing is transformational

When you are in motion, creating the work that matters most to you…

You walk through your life knowing in your core:

You are the Person who Does the Thing. 


No one can take that from you. 


And from that core identity shift spring all kinds of positive changes. 

You can offer yourself compassion, instead of blame, when you blow a self-imposed deadline, and just keep consistently working towards the finish line. 

You can create and defend healthy boundaries with the people in your life so your priorities don’t get steamrolled. 

You can put work out into the world without anguishing over every detail. You don't quit or give up because you’re afraid the final product won’t meet some abstract standard.

You can make clear-minded decisions rooted in knowledge of what matters most to you so you don’t feel you have to justify yourself to anyone or second-guess yourself. 

You can feel a sense of autonomy and agency, free to experiment, pivot, implement on the fly, and feel a deep, abiding connection to the work in the moment. 

You can grow to trust your instincts, trust your creative community, and most importantly, to trust and believe in yourself. 

This is the new reality I want for you.

Hi - I’m Jessica Abel 

If you’re reading this, shaking your head and going, How Does She Know?? 

Well, I’m not psychic. 

I’ve been a professor for more than 25 years. As a coach, I've worked with over 1000 creatives, freelancers, and business owners to help them create everything from books to coaching businesses to courses to TTRPGs to podcasts and beyond.

…And more importantly, to own their identities as the visionaries, leaders, and creative instigators they truly are.

And I’m a creative and business owner myself: a coach and strategist, cartoonist and illustrator, author of a dozen books…and survivor of many a creative block and disastrous project.

What infuriates—and motivates—me the most is when I see my students—both my undergrads and students in the Creative Focus Workshop—laboring to make their amazing work while bearing the weight of expectation that our culture lays on them.   

I refuse to perpetuate the myth of the heroic solo entrepreneur or the lone creative genius - we all need support, collaboration, and community to thrive. that undermines our collective power.

I reject the idea that our most meaningful, important work should always take a backseat to the endless demands of daily life and business.

I deny the infantilization of all of us who choose to work autonomously that results in everyone else having the right to question our priorities and life choices.

It’s for my clients and students, and with them, that I developed the Creative Focus methodology, that works with your real life, not against it, to help you get your most important work finished.

When you align your unique circumstances and your unique way of working with your deepest-held values and priorities, that's when you can do your best work—sustainably, and on your own terms.

SAY NO MORE, I'M IN

If you’ve gotten this far, and you’re going, “Yes, of course. Yes, 100%! BUT come on…HOW??” 

…Then you’re exactly, precisely,
who I made this for. 

Finish hard things that are on no one's agenda but your own with

The Creative Focus Workshop

The Creative Focus Workshop is the only complete, step-by-step course and group coaching program specifically designed to help ambitious creative professionals and business owners like you finish your most meaningful and ambitious work in a truly sustainable way, aligned with all of who you are—no matter what your life looks like. 

YOU GET:

  • 12 comprehensive, step-by-step training modules, available on your schedule, as soon as you log in
  • 6 months of full access to the CFW and the Autonomous Creative Collective membership community
  • Robust, in-depth worksheets so that you can build on your wins and track progress
  • Monthly live group coaching with Jessica Abel, for direct guidance and support
  • Private podcast feeds for coaching calls. Listen on the go, on your schedule, never miss anything or waste time trying to find recordings
  • Vibrant community of fellow creatives on the same path with multiple facilitated opportunities for collaboration and support
  • 24/7 access to our private online community for peer support, accountability, and collaboration
JOIN THE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP

Special Invitation: Be part of the Creative Focus Workshop Pilot Launch 

The Creative Focus Workshop has been helping people finish big things on no one’s agenda but their own since 2015. And it’s been actively evolving in collaboration with participants that entire time! 

But after many years of using the same structure for the course while the implementation evolved around it, it’s time for a complete revamp of the CFW curriculum to meet our moment and the intense demands on creatives and business owners. 

That’s why we’re “piloting” an 8-year-old program! 

The Creative Focus workshop has been completely recast around the Creative Engine Framework (more on that a little further down the page) and it’s moving to a new, more streamlined platform to make implementation as simple and joyful as possible. 

But I still need the participation and feedback from a select crew of big-idea people to help me make sure every single lesson lands and does what it needs to do to support your progress. 

That’s why I decided to run an intensive Get it Done Month, where we’ll be all-hands-on-deck with the new program. You'll get additional coaching, accountability, and you'll also play an integral role in shaping the final version of the program through your feedback, questions, and insights so that it meets YOUR needs. 

Pilots are THE BEST!

Everyone who shows up for a pilot is all-in, the energy is top notch, and the work that comes out of it can be literally life-changing. Seriously. A pilot participant in another program said, “It was way more significant than the basic premise of the course. I could say it was life-altering.” 

This is the one and only opportunity to participate at this special price point (unchanged since 2021!) and with this level of hands-on support from me (Jessica) and my team. 

If you're ready to stop spinning your wheels and start making serious progress on your most meaningful work, while also helping us create the most transformative, high-impact version of the CFW possible, this special pilot experience is for you!

With the intensive support and accountability of the Get it Done Month, plus the ongoing guidance and community of the full CFW program, you'll have everything you need to get sh*t done and finish your awesome projects.

JOIN THE EXCLUSIVE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP PILOT!
JOIN THE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP

WHAT'S INCLUDED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MAY 2024 PILOT COHORT:

  • 4 weeks of live intensive support and accountability during our "Get it Done" Month
  • 4 additional live coaching calls with Jessica Abel, each themed around a key phase of the Creative Engine framework
  • Ongoing co-working sessions facilitated by our experienced Focus Allies, to help you stay on track and make rapid progress
  • Active, hands-on support from Jessica Abel and our team as we refine and enhance the program in real-time based on your feedback and needs
  • Important note: Because we want to be responsive to your feedback and update curriculum as needed, the course materials will not be recorded in audio or video form until later this year. (You will receive access when those recordings are released!)

YOUR COURSE WORKS!!  

I still have the fading Post-It note on my wall beside my desk that says “Create Season One of Podcast and make it awesome, and organized, and exciting." I am doing essentially that.

The podcast is called This is Our Time, and it follows the journey of five women who go on the largest-ever all-female expedition to Antarctica. As a result of doing this story, I have been invited to Antarctica on the second expedition, and I leave in ten days!  

 - Samantha Hodder, podcaster

You're going to see your life transformed. 
 

I look back and I realize that my God, I was working so differently six months ago. There are things I do and tools I have that make every day really, really much better.

What you will find out, like I did, is that you can read about this as much as you like. But not before you're actually in a workshop, doing the assignments each week, having this community around you, having Jessica to lead all of this—that's where you're going to see your life being transformed. So if you're on the fence, I would say don't think about it, just join. And you can thank me three months from now if you take my advice.

 - André Hedetoft, film director

SIGN ME UP FOR THE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP!

The three pillars of Creative Focus

The Curriculum

Coaching and Accountability

The Community

  The core reason the Creative Focus Workshop is so effective is that it is built on a unique principle I call the "Flexible Container"—an approach to getting things done that’s characterized by a balance of structure and adaptability that's essential for creative people with full, busy lives.

The CFW brings this principle to life through three interlocking pillars: the comprehensive, access-anytime course content, the personalized coaching and robust peer support, and the vibrant, supportive community.

The course provides the foundation—it offers a clear, step-by-step roadmap for building a sustainable creative practice. But we know that knowledge alone isn't enough. That's where the coaching and community come in.

With regular group coaching sessions where you can receive targeted feedback, you'll get the guidance and accountability you need to stay on track. And with the support and wise insights of your fellow participants, you'll have a built-in cheering squad and sounding board, there to help you celebrate your wins and troubleshoot challenges.

Together, these three pillars help you build your own custom Flexible Container that is both rigorous and forgiving, challenging you to grow while also accommodating the realities of your busy life.

So you can focus on what matters most: making consistent progress on your most meaningful work.

SAY NO MORE, I'M IN!
INSIDE OUR PROGRAM

Stop spinning your wheels and get into gear with the Creative Engine

Our signature system, the Creative Engine, is a robust, endlessly reusable framework for consistently finishing challenging projects, learning from missteps, and building on your successes.

When you harness the power of your own Creative Engine you’ll revolutionize the way you approach every creative project, from conception to completion. And you’ll master the tools and strategies to overcome all obstacles so you can FINISH and get your amazing work out into the world.

Here’s how you’ll use the Creative Engine to finish your most important work:

 

Phase 1: Collect

The Creative Focus Workshop starts with YOU. In the Collect phase, you will explore the context in which your projects will come into being—your commitments, your neurology, your values, your LIFE—so that your decisions and actions are rooted in your reality and what matters to you.

  • The single-most ignored factor in why so many projects grind to a halt (and how to make sure that doesn’t happen to you) (Module 1).
  • The only reliable way to make tough calls on projects with confidence and clarity (Module 2).
  • Why thinking about your future projects might be holding you back (Module 3).

Phase 2: Decide

Set yourself on a path forward that inspires you to action.

  • How a dead-simple tool that can turn decision making from an anxiety-producing guessing game into a science (Module 6).
  • The one little word that opens the door to flexibility and focus (and how to use it right) (Module 7).
  • The method to motivate lasting commitment to your projects that beats resolutions or even goals (Module 8).

Phase 3: Act

Become the Person Who Does the Thing: See your decisions through, and get the truly important work finished.

  • What an oversized Tyvek sack has to do with getting your most meaningful work finished (Module 7).
  • The one tiny shift that will mean you never have to set a deadline again (yet still can be a powerhouse finisher) (Module 8).
  • Time travel and how to use it to reach your goals (Module 9).

Phase 4: Reflect

Celebrate your successes, identify areas for growth, surface strategic insights, and arm yourself with the self-assurance to tackle even more ambitious projects in the future. 

  • Why your inner critic might turn out to be your greatest ally (and how a simple, transformational technique to use empathy can turn the volume way down) (Module 10).
  • The overlooked practice that will supercharge your Creative Engine and can prevent you from needing to reinvent the wheel ever again (Module 11).
  • How to apply the Creative Engine framework to any project, in any area of your life or business (Module 12).
SIGN ME UP FOR THE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP!

Happy days! I'm changing my chaotic ways

Slowly but surely, I'm changing my chaotic ways.

For the first project I've completed with the aid of Creative Focus, the deadline was today, and I reverse engineered my plan from the that date.

I got an email from the curator: “Early....??! Wow! Is this a new year's resolution?”

That felt like a win!

Happy days. Next?!

- Rauni Higson, silversmith

I feel so powerful at this moment, it is unbelievable 

Before the Creative Focus Workshop, I felt desperate. I would not produce anything without an external deadline. And even with a deadline I usually did not manage to finish anything more complex than illustrations or single-page comics or cartoons. For years I have aborted all projects of multi-page comic stories.

It’s amazing, the progress I’ve made.

When I chose my One Goal, I pushed to make it the most ambitious thing I could think of. And now I’ve done it! Amazing! I feel so powerful at this moment, it is unbelievable.

 - Michael Wittmann, cartoonist

JOIN THE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP

Here's how you know this time will be different: You'll get the most out of the Creative Focus Workshop because you don't have to go it alone.

Get the support of a vibrant community of ambitious idea-people walking the same path

Your peer “mastermind”: The Autonomous Creative Collective

At the heart of the Creative Focus Workshop are the amazing colleagues you’ll meet inside. In our community, you’ll find an incredible network of fellow creatives who care as much as you do about getting this right.

This is hard work that requires going deep.

It’s easier—and more joyful—when you’re not alone.

You’ll realize: You are not alone. You are not weird.

And when you decide to invest your energy in creating a more powerful practice of doing your most meaningful work, you are not wrong.

We bond together to help one another. 

A six-month membership to the Autonomous Creative Collective is included with the Creative Focus Workshop 

Why is it so awesome that the Creative Focus Workshop is a part of the Autonomous Creative Collective?

Our students tell us the community is a huge part of why Creative Focus has changed their creative careers and their lives. With the ACC you tap into the immense value and support of a curated community of creative people working with you side-by-side on building the work into their daily lives.

👉 The CFW is accompanied by a vibrant, active, supportive community of serious creatives and business owners, called the Autonomous Creative Collective (ACC). Everything is in one place, so you can seamlessly move from learning to discussion to live events, and back again.

👉 WE ARE NOT ON FACEBOOK. We use a private platform that's designed from the ground up around the needs of private communities like ours. No ads, no distraction, just your fellow members and laser focus on the work you are committed to doing.

LIVE meetings and support: As part of your membership, you have access to monthly live coaching calls with Jessica Abel. Every week there are a wide variety of peer-led coworking, discussion, and accountability sessions. You can start conversations and design your own sessions tailored to what you need support and feedback on right now. 

The Autonomous Creative Collective is our secret sauce

It’s the key to the continual improvement, release from anxiety, and amazing accomplishments our participants see every week.

The truth of designing a sustainable, resilient, joyful work practice for yourself is that it's a lifelong process that will change and go deeper as you master the challenges that face you today. And the Autonomous Creative Collective is designed to support you through exactly that kind of leveling-up. 

JOIN THE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP

Doing is transformational.
Let's do this together!

With the primary lessons in the Creative Focus Workshop and the empathetic support of the Autonomous Creative Collective, you’ll have everything you need to get unstuck and truly take control of your creative life. 

But sometimes, you'll face an issue that resists solution. The kind of thing that calls for creative measures! Which is why you’ll love…

TEN included bonus Deeper Dives

Each of these Deeper Dives shows up EXACTLY when they’ll be most useful in your CFW process, whether you’re feeling stuck, or raring for more:

Just some of what you'll learn:

  • Find out where all the time goes…and let me show you how to start reeling it back in to make it yours again (Time Tracking).
  • What you can learn from the Hollywood system to change your trajectory (Script Rewrites).
  • How to stop playing whack-a-mole with your to-do list (Open Loops).
  • The unexpected superpower that stems from your tendency to rebel against structure (Rebel Rebel).
  • How starting at the deep roots can lead to a simpler to-do list (Operationalizing Your Values).
  • Why your own best moments are the best guide to building a master pattern for your creative life (Discovering Your Creative Conditions).
  • And my personal fave: What a crystal ball view of the future can do to change how you’re living today (Vision Charting).

I am a finisher

I’m no longer a procrastinator; I’m a finisher.

I described myself as a "finisher" because over time I have closed open loops on many partially done quilt projects.

I finished a huge quilt I started 30+ years ago. I’ve competed 18+ small quilts and have refined my studio space.

I’m proud of what I’ve done.

I’m not sure at what point the scales tipped from "procrastinator" over to "finisher" but finisher I am.

- Maggie Winnall, quilt creatrix

The CFW has flipped my creative life at 180°

Before, I was afraid to commit to my life as an artist fully, and would only work under extremely high pressure. This system led to results, but also to multiple mini burn outs every year.

Now, my artistic life has changed 100% in comparison. I am no longer afraid. Instead, I wake up looking forward to start my creative day. I don't need the high pressure anymore, thanks to habits and rhythms I created. The prioritizing tools I learned, help me sort my thoughts – so I know what to do when I start feeling overwhelmed by my ideas and aspirations.

I joined the CFW for a sprint, but the content was so influential that I stayed much longer than anticipated. I confidently predict that the systems and strategies I learned will influence my creative life for decades to come.

- Lisa FrĂĽhbeis, cartoonist and graphic recorder

Get the tools, encouragement, and accountability you need to become the Person Who Does the Thing

$750

Save $90 with a single payment

BE A FINISHER

 
YOU GET:

  • 12 comprehensive, step-by-step training modules, available on your schedule, as soon as you log in
  • 6 months of full access to the CFW and the Autonomous Creative Collective membership community
  • Robust, in-depth worksheets so that you can build on your wins and track progress
  • Monthly live group coaching with Jessica Abel, for direct guidance and support
  • Private podcast feeds for coaching calls. Listen on the go, on your schedule, never miss anything or waste time trying to find recordings
  • Vibrant community of fellow creatives on the same path with multiple facilitated opportunities for collaboration and support
  • 24/7 access to our private online community for peer support, accountability, and collaboration

START FINISHING MY MAJOR PROJECTS NOW

 


WHAT'S INCLUDED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MAY 2024 PILOT COHORT

  • 4 weeks of live intensive support and accountability during our "Get it Done" Month
  • 4 additional live coaching calls with Jessica Abel, each themed around a key phase of the Creative Engine framework
  • Ongoing co-working sessions facilitated by our experienced Focus Allies, to help you stay on track and make rapid progress
  • Active, hands-on support from Jessica Abel and our team as we refine and enhance the program in real-time based on your feedback and needs
  • Important note: Because we want to be responsive to your feedback and update curriculum as needed, the course materials will not be recorded in audio or video form until later this year. (You will receive access when those recordings are released!)
START FINISHING TODAY

$140

per month for 6 months

BE A FINISHER

 
YOU GET:

  • 12 comprehensive, step-by-step training modules, available on your schedule, as soon as you log in
  • 6 months of full access to the CFW and the Autonomous Creative Collective membership community
  • Robust, in-depth worksheets so that you can build on your wins and track progress
  • Monthly live group coaching with Jessica Abel, for direct guidance and support
  • Private podcast feeds for coaching calls. Listen on the go, on your schedule, never miss anything or waste time trying to find recordings
  • Vibrant community of fellow creatives on the same path with multiple facilitated opportunities for collaboration and support
  • 24/7 access to our private online community for peer support, accountability, and collaboration

START FINISHING MY MAJOR PROJECTS NOW

 


WHAT'S INCLUDED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MAY 2024 PILOT COHORT

  • 4 weeks of live intensive support and accountability during our "Get it Done" Month
  • 4 additional live coaching calls with Jessica Abel, each themed around a key phase of the Creative Engine framework
  • Ongoing co-working sessions facilitated by our experienced Focus Allies, to help you stay on track and make rapid progress
  • Active, hands-on support from Jessica Abel and our team as we refine and enhance the program in real-time based on your feedback and needs
  • Important note: Because we want to be responsive to your feedback and update curriculum as needed, the course materials will not be recorded in audio or video form until later this year. (You will receive access when those recordings are released!)
START FINISHING TODAY

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DAYS

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HOURS

00

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00

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$750

Save $90 with a single payment

BE A FINISHER

 
YOU GET:

  • 12 comprehensive, step-by-step training modules, available on your schedule, as soon as you log in
  • 6 months of full access to the CFW and the Autonomous Creative Collective membership community
  • Robust, in-depth worksheets so that you can build on your wins and track progress
  • Monthly live group coaching with Jessica Abel, for direct guidance and support
  • Private podcast feeds for coaching calls. Listen on the go, on your schedule, never miss anything or waste time trying to find recordings
  • Vibrant community of fellow creatives on the same path with multiple facilitated opportunities for collaboration and support
  • 24/7 access to our private online community for peer support, accountability, and collaboration

START FINISHING MY MAJOR PROJECTS NOW

 


WHAT'S INCLUDED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MAY 2024 PILOT COHORT

  • 4 weeks of live intensive support and accountability during our "Get it Done" Month
  • 4 additional live coaching calls with Jessica Abel, each themed around a key phase of the Creative Engine framework
  • Ongoing co-working sessions facilitated by our experienced Focus Allies, to help you stay on track and make rapid progress
  • Active, hands-on support from Jessica Abel and our team as we refine and enhance the program in real-time based on your feedback and needs
  • Important note: Because we want to be responsive to your feedback and update curriculum as needed, the course materials will not be recorded in audio or video form until later this year. (You will receive access when those recordings are released!)
START FINISHING TODAY

$140

per month for 6 months

BE A FINISHER

 
YOU GET:

  • 12 comprehensive, step-by-step training modules, available on your schedule, as soon as you log in
  • 6 months of full access to the CFW and the Autonomous Creative Collective membership community
  • Robust, in-depth worksheets so that you can build on your wins and track progress
  • Monthly live group coaching with Jessica Abel, for direct guidance and support
  • Private podcast feeds for coaching calls. Listen on the go, on your schedule, never miss anything or waste time trying to find recordings
  • Vibrant community of fellow creatives on the same path with multiple facilitated opportunities for collaboration and support
  • 24/7 access to our private online community for peer support, accountability, and collaboration

START FINISHING MY MAJOR PROJECTS NOW

 


WHAT'S INCLUDED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE MAY 2024 PILOT COHORT

  • 4 weeks of live intensive support and accountability during our "Get it Done" Month
  • 4 additional live coaching calls with Jessica Abel, each themed around a key phase of the Creative Engine framework
  • Ongoing co-working sessions facilitated by our experienced Focus Allies, to help you stay on track and make rapid progress
  • Active, hands-on support from Jessica Abel and our team as we refine and enhance the program in real-time based on your feedback and needs
  • Important note: Because we want to be responsive to your feedback and update curriculum as needed, the course materials will not be recorded in audio or video form until later this year. (You will receive access when those recordings are released!)
START FINISHING TODAY

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PAY-IN-FULL BONUS:

SIDELINE SOCIAL: 

The low-tech/high-impact audience building plan

$159 value!

3-session, hands-on workshop + work

Learn the simplest approach to find your ride-or-die fans, without relying on—or even using!—social media.

Choose the Pay-in-Full option and it will be added to your order automatically.

The Creative Focus Guarantee

I’m utterly confident that you’ll gain traction on your big creative dream projects in the Creative Focus Workshop, but I know you’ve been struggling a long time to put your creative work front and center, where it belongs, and you’ve faced setbacks before. I want to make it as easy as humanly possible for you to say “I am SO IN.”   

Thus the Creative Focus Guarantee.   

Take a full 14 days to start your deep dive into your creative work.   

If after two weeks you haven’t identified ways to work smarter, felt a jolt of energy in your creative practice, and uncovered layers of useful truths about yourself and your ambitions…  

…Then I’ll absolutely want you to have your money back. You can get a full refund for the CFW, simply by emailing us to ask.

JOIN CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP

Hi there. You’ve got hesitations, don’t you?

 

No, I’m not psychic. I just know that no one gets this far down the page if they’re not both:

  1. Pretty dang intrigued
  2. Wrestling with big questions about whether—after everything!—this could possibly work for you. 

And that is a very positive sign: You’re taking this seriously and asking the kind of incisive questions that will serve you well when you decide to join the Creative Focus Workshop. Meanwhile, though, let’s dive in. 

“What if I’m not finishing because I’m just not talented enough, and so my work isn’t worth my investment?”

I hear this a lot, often from people who suffer under the burden of a conflicting self-image of being “high-achieving” or being told they’re “gifted,” so they feel they can never live up to that standard.

It breaks my heart every time.

This is a real—and tragic—Catch-22. When you're trapped in this belief, you can only know you’re “talented” once you finish and get raving external validation in the form of reviews, sales, awards (and of course, what constitutes enough validation to prove you’re worthy is a rapidly moving target).

…but if you’re not finishing your work, then, by definition, you can't get external validation, which means you’re “not talented,” thus your work doesn’t deserve your time and attention.

It’s like the Puritan doctrine of “predestination” that said people are born saved or damned, and nothing they do on Earth can change that.

The existential anxiety of not knowing whether you were going to Heaven or Hell is what drove the Puritans to be so…Puritan. They were trying to prove to others AND to themselves that they were the good kind, but there was literally no way to know until after they died, thus the moving goalposts, constant anxiety, and fear of failure.

To say I don’t buy that garbage is an understatement.

YOUR CREATIVE WORK IS YOUR BIRTHRIGHT.

Talent—to the extent it even exists—doesn’t come into it.

"I feel nervous about spending this money even though I earn so little from my creative work.”

First of all, if this investment presents a genuine hardship for you, then this is probably not the right time to join the Creative Focus Workshop. The CFW doesn’t require massive investment of time to be effective, but it does require that you go deep and focus on your creative life…and that kind of space is hard to create when you’re—rightly—focused on feeding your family.

However, if you can actually afford the investment, but it just feels like a crazy indulgence…

(Or maybe getting help feels like failure?)

…Then the real question is probably something more like, “is my work worth the investment?”

Sound familiar? Pretty similar to the first question.

Short answer: YES. You deserve to make your work.

Longer answer: Feeling this way is not your fault. You’ve been hoodwinked into questioning the value of your creativity by messages you’ve heard all your life.

One of the most destructive myths we suffer under is that creative work is only valid if you're paid for it.

That myth lives in your head, making you doubt the value of what you do. You hear it from other people, too, dismissing your work like it’s some kind of silly hobby.

But expressing your creativity is more akin to eating and sleeping than working a job.

It’s part of your humanity.

That’s not to say that your work isn’t worth paying for (of course it is!), it’s that the work is a priori valuable—the value exists whether or not any money changes hands.

It exists because it makes life better.

People may pay you for it.

They may not.

Whether or not that happens is simply irrelevant to the questions of:

Do you deserve to make it?

Does it deserve a place in your life, honor, attention?

The answer to those questions is a resounding YES.

“But I'm so busy! I’m worried about whether I can commit the time and energy to get the most out of the program.” 

I get it. Busy is just the default state of a functioning adult at this point, and so much more so if you’re ALSO trying to fit work on ambitious, future-building creative projects into the intense demands of your everyday life.

Of course, you do need to take action to get value out of this program. But the actions you take don’t need to be anywhere near as comprehensive as you fear to have an outsized effect.

Even if you have no luxury of time to devote to this, you can get very good results in about 90 minutes to 2 hours a week.

And, if that’s just too crazy, there’s an absolute minimum-viable level you can do in about 30 minutes a week, while still getting extremely solid results.

Your access to both the course materials and the community in the Autonomous Creative Collective are six months by default. But you can become an ongoing member at that point, and can go through the CFW lessons as slowly as you need to.

But here’s the thing: You’re here because your creative projects are intensely important to you, yet you manage to focus on just about everything BUT those projects. They’re simply not getting done.

Turning this situation around will take time and attention.

That’s only an impossible conundrum if you let it be. You know this situation is unsustainable.

I promise on my end to spare you from fluff and reams of useless “information” — which means in turn that every minute you devote to designing and implementing your new creative practice will have an exponential payoff.

So, yes, you’ve got to free up a bit of time in the short term, but I can then help you free up more time—time you can devote to your work—in the long term.

“I’ve tried so many things to help me get my creative work done, how will the Creative Focus Workshop be any different?”

I hear you. You wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t already been concerned with finishing your creative projects, and that means it probably feels like you’ve tried everything (and when nothing seems to work, that you’re a lost cause).

Weirdly, your long journey into night is a GOOD thing. Because it means you’re very familiar with where you hit your biggest stumbling blocks. And if you’re going to build your customized approach, gaining focus and getting your work done, that’s exactly what you need to know.

Your post-CFW method will be different in a key way from every other productivity and time-management “hack” you’ve come across. It will be based specifically on YOU: what your real life contains already, the kind of work you actually do, and the way you work best. Your personal system will jettison unneeded complexity, and support you specifically where you need support.

That one phase where you always fall off the wagon? That is where we’ll get to work, and build a support system that functions for you.

“I’ve been trying to do this for so many years, and I feel like it’s too late for me!”

You’ve been trying for a long time, I know. And things have not been coming together for you. You’re too crazy-busy, too overwhelmed, and when you do manage to scrape together a few minutes, your self-doubt gremlins have a field day, and it’s back to square one.

When they join, Creative Focus Workshop members typically have been trying to work things out for themselves, by themselves, for way too long. We have members as young as in their mid-20s, but most members are 35-65, and we have members in their 70s as well. We are a community of people who have a lot of amazing experience to share, we know the value of living a life full of creativity, and we deeply understand the pain that stems from being creatively stuck. 

Ask yourself, whatever age or stage of your life you’re in: If you don’t take action now to change your baseline paradigm, what will your life look like in a month, a year? 

What’s the upside of waiting?

As the old saying goes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Start building a creative practice that is resilient, stable, and productive today. 

You know it’s time to make a change. Don’t wait.

START FINISHING NOW

I have given myself permission to focus instead of feeling overwhelmed

CFW was truly one of the best things I have ever done for my creative career. 

I had to dig deep to discover what I wanted.  Working on my current project I feel like I have given myself permission to focus instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the shiny artistic possibilities.

As a creator who is always a work in progress this remains a roadmap I find myself referring to frequently.

- Tabitha Orr, artist

Family and friends could hardly believe the changes for the better

I abandoned my first response about the Creative Focus Workshop, because it was sounding really over the top with how many positive changes it got rolling in my life. It was about the transformations in my home and home office…and yard, actually. It just helped me clean everything up.

Knowing I could diagnose my own efficiency pitfalls, I had the confidence to ask for a salary with this super efficient home designer, thus giving me an instant full-time client base and a stable income. It's a wonderful feeling.

- Dean Johnson, residential designer

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Why you don’t need a wide-open schedule to start Doing the Things, and answers to other FAQs

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I gained a much deeper understanding of how I work, why I had become so crispy-fried burnt out, and what I can do about it

I thought, having already made it through most of Growing Gills that the workshop would finally push me into being more disciplined. Ironically, what it showed me was that I am way too disciplined. I know how to get stuff done, no question, but I have a long and lousy track record of doing it in any sort of sustainable, nurturing way. Just ask my physical therapist.

If you had told me at the beginning that I would come to love planning my day with a magic marker, a fountain pen, and a handmade sketchbook, I’d have rolled my eyes like slot machines.

Now here I am with a profound understanding that I was caught in an endless loop of checking things off and closing loops about my work, but not actually doing my work in any way that felt meaningful or interesting.

- Victoria Lansford, artist, educator, and author

Family and friends could hardly believe the changes for the better

I had always had a really huge problem with defining myself as a novelist. Even with books published, even with an upcoming novel, I still had that question in the back of my head. I can't tell if I thought it was pretentious or if I just didn't think I was good enough.

And in the Creative Focus Workshop, maybe it was just the practice of saying, I’m Marianne Kirby, I'm a novelist, and get you can get my second book as soon as it comes out…that really flipped the switch for me of, I don't want to say self-respect…but, you know what?

It is. It's self-respect as a writer, and taking myself seriously, and allowing myself to take my own work seriously.

That is still the biggest thing that I feel as a result. It has changed a lot about how I'm approaching my work, and how I am talking about my work to others.

- Marianne Kirby, body activist and novelist

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Time to close the gap

Let’s get real. Gazing across the void at alternate-reality you, over there doing the work you want to be doing, living the life you want to live…it sucks.   

And you know what? Focusing on what you’re not doing? It actually stops you from closing the gap.   

It’s time to stop dreaming and wondering and worrying…And start acting   

Nothing in this course is rocket science. I’m not some kind of creative productivity genius who pulled this stuff out of the clear blue sky. You can find the basic principles we use in the course in some form in my book Growing Gills or, hell, in my blog. If you’re the DIY type, those resources are there for you.   

But if you have not been able to change the paradigm of your work practice on your own, I hope you’ll consider joining me and this incredible community of fellow creatives and business owners to build a new approach and banish that black cloud that haunts your dreams for your future.   

Guidance, clarity, simplicity, community, accountability   

This is what you get in the Creative Focus Workshop that you don’t get when you’re trying to make things work on your own.   

This program is not for the faint-of-heart.   

People write to me every day, expressing absolute anguish about their inability to get traction on, and to actually finish their most important work. “Desperate” is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Also, “shame spiral” and “scattered” and “stonewalled” and “helpless” and “guilty” and “defeated.”   

It takes true courage to face those fears and that pain. It takes time and energy to work through the process of creating a plan to move forward.  

But when you make that commitment, you put your work at the core of who you are.   

And then as you take the actions that the kind of person who puts their work at the core of their life would take… your outside will finally match your inside.  

You will BE that person.

SIGN ME UP FOR THE CREATIVE FOCUS WORKSHOP!

For the first time I feel "I can do this."

I have attended time-management lessons, stuck up motivational quotes about beating procrastination all over my home and work desk, but not until now has any of this stuff sunk in, thanks to CFW/ACC also acknowledging how important it is not to beat oneself up.

"Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, start all over again!" One step at a time. I have no doubt I will trip up, again and again, but for the first time I feel "I can do this."

What I have finally learned from stopping long enough to do the CFW and reflect, is that I CAN shift that balance more in my favour, AND stop feeling bad about wanting creative time for myself. Guilt is just wasted energy.

- Leonie Sharrock, artist, story-maker, and teacher

The CFW would have saved me so much angst in the past

WHOA. I seriously wish I had learned this a DECADE ago in high school, or at least college. I think I could have saved myself a LOT of angst, and also allowed myself to go and try to get things DONE without all of the anxiety.

I was honestly SO nervous to join this class (Am I "creative" enough to qualify for this group? Will I feel out of place? Is this a totally horrible and "selfish" thing to do?), and I am SO, SO glad that I made the leap.

I've learned skills in this class, and gained some tools that I know will serve me well for a long time. It has seriously been AMAZING.

- Charlotte Soesanto (Momentum System)

I’m lacing up my butt-kicking boots just for you.

Have any questions about the Creative Focus Workshop?  

Drop us a line! We’d love to help!  

[email protected]