A little about 
Colleen: She was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The daughter of two teachers and the granddaughter of another, Colleen was introduced to travelling through the imaginary worlds of literature at a young age. After studying radio broadcasting at Humber College in Toronto, she moved to northern Ontario and became first a radio announcer and then a radio copywriter. After more than 25, she decided to broaden her horizons by writing for other forms of media, the corporate world and non-profit agencies. She was married for 24 years and raised a now 22-year-old son who she homeschooled for his grade 3 year. Currently a single, self-employed small-business owner, she provides corporate facilitation, public relations/media relations and image-building services. She has just released her first book, The Beginner’s Guide to Chick Night™, to remind women to put themselves back on their own list of priorities. www.mychicknight.com

1. Why is creativity important to you?
Expressing myself creatively is a way to tap into pure joy. No matter how hectic my schedule is or how busy the world around me seems – when I’m being creative, I feel calm, centered and completely at peace. At the same time, it’s as if my energy level has tripled.

2. What do you enjoy the most?
In my freelance writer-broadcaster days, I always jumped at the chance to write “good news” stories because it allowed me to spotlight the best in human nature. Now that I have the freedom to choose the genre of books I write, I focus on self-help and inspirational writing to encourage women to be all that they can be.

3. Do you have any fears when creating?
Not really. The worse that can happen is that nobody wants to read what I wrote, but I still get to experience the pleasure of having written it.

4. Are your family & friends supportive of the things you create?
Yes, I’m extremely fortunate to be surrounded by highly supportive friends and family who encourage me at every step of the creative writing process. They are also willing to provide honest feedback, which I really appreciate.
5. How do you find time to create?
As a self-employed business owner, it can be tricky because work sometimes spills over into, and gobbles up, my free time. When that happens, I take note of any random thoughts or ideas that pop into my head, and jot them down in my journal. This helps me feel like I am remaining connected to the creative flow. Later, these journal entries form a starting spot for when I do have time to be creative.

Words of inspiration to creative chicks: Give your thoughts permission to flow. Turn off that self-censoring little voice in your head that tries to stop you from creating before you even get started. Your original thought, however “silly” or “stupid” or “dumb” that inner censor tries to tell you it is, may eventually prove to be the starting point for something truly remarkable.
Remember that creating is a process, not a one-step finished product. Oh, and make sure you have at least one friend you can count on to encourage and support you – to remind you that deep down inside, you are a creative genius.

Colleen Kleven, author of “The Beginner’s Guide to Chick Night,” available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in Chapters stores in Canada.