There is a term I love to use when it comes to today’s Creative Maven and that is that she is totally my spirit animal (she is also the only person in the world to make me wanna write like a gansta rapper!) From our very first phone call I was hooked on her humour, hilarity and grace, she is a pretty fabulous woman.
So please, please, please dive into the interview below and soak up some of the goodness that is Emily Ehlers!
+ Firstly, Tell us a little more about what you do!
Thank you for having me here! I’m a multi-passionate copywriter who splits her time between creating copy for kickass clients and developing my own (slightly wacky) style of self-help. As a copywriter I team up with solopreneurs, lightworkers and small businesses who are all invested in changing the world. From wellness entrepreneurs, authors, life coaches, creatives, and sustainability superstars – I choose to work with people that inspire the socks off me.
I am also intensely passionate about play, purpose and pausing (for long walks, time away from social media and just to relish in life occasionally). I’m on a mission to make slowing down sexy and to inspire overwhelmed women to clear their plates and fill their cups. Next year I have a whole heap of books and products (and maybe a course) dedicated to this very cause.
+ What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative for me is the never-ending process of ironing out all the creases of my body, mind and soul. It’s the way I understand myself and the world and – let’s face it – it’s kinda like my therapy. When I don’t use my creativity I feel like my mind gets clogged up with so many thoughts and ideas that I get a bit confused – but sketching, painting, writing or even decorating a room is like a release valve.
+ What kicks you in the arse creatively, what stops you in your creative tracks?
I cannot create anything of worth when I am burnt-out and run down. There is nothing worse than being completely empty but expected to pour your soul out and create. I feel like a printer that’s run out of ink; doesn’t matter how many times I hit Ctrl-P – nothing is happening.
For me that means a whole heap of scheduled breaks, regularly marinating myself in white space and setting firm, ball-breaking boundaries around work and social media. That and being very aware of what I want and how I want to feel – and to monitor when I start straying from the vision.
+ Show us how you have been creative today? I wanna see a pic, or a video or some words, don’t be shy now!
Here’s me – sipping on a berry kombucha in my fave cafe as I work on clients. About me pages and newsletter sequences are on the map today.
+ I am all about being able to connect to yourself and showing up authentically in your business. Do you think showing up, authentically in business is becoming easier for women?
Yes and no. Over the past few years (with the advent of social media) there has been this incredible shift in the way we view ‘business’. Personalities and stories pack more of a punch than big advertising budgets. That’s exciting and it has definitely given people the (sometimes dutch) courage to show up as they are and step out from behind the ultra-professional screens.
Buuut on the other hand, even though we’ve got this wide open space to run a lot of women seem to be tying their our own shoelaces together – comparison is tripping a lot of women up. It’s important to anchor yourself in yourself to not get washed away with everyone else. You see it a lot with design trends, the same things start to pop up. Or with goal FOMO… that urge to follow everyone else’s paths instead of forging your own. If you don’t want to you don’t have to like yoga (as you explained Em), you don’t have to create an ecourse and you don’t have to do workshops.
So I think we definitely have bigger, better platforms to declare ourselves from we need to make sure we stay super clear on who we are, what we do, why we do it and (above all) what we want.
+ Resistance shows up often in relation to creativity, what techniques do you recommend to recognise it and move through? And what happens when you resist them!?
I’ve got too totally opposite strategies… and I never know which one will work. Frustrating but true. Firstly I try to soldier on. Even though it’s totes Delightful (with a capital D) when the muse shows up and you have a totally inspired moment, sometimes it just doesn’t happen and you’ve just got to show up anyway (a’la Steven Pressfield). Meet your deadline. Get it done. So I push through it and see how I go.
But if I push and pull and turn and toss and writhe and curse and it still isn’t working – it’s time for a break. If blood just ain’t coming out of that stone I give myself a break or change scenery – switch cafe, go outside, crank out a handstand or go for a walk. Nature always, always helps. And sometimes you’ve just got to grab your best friend, nestle into your fave wine bar and get inspired by life and conversation. Spontaneity helps creativity, right?
+ My favourite quote from Steven Pressfield is “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” how does that quote make you feel?
Oh it’s a goodie… and it stirs up a whole lot. Relief – because the creative process can be a lonely one. Comradery – for the incredible women that are in this creative entrepreneurial journey with me. Above all it makes me feel really damn courageous. Showing up and sending out your creativity – whether its with words, paint or food – is the ultimate act in vulnerability. You are serving your inner workings up on a platter and handing it to the crowd without any idea on how it will be received. Oh, and it makes me feel grateful for the brain of Steven Pressfield.
+ Your words send me in to a tiz as does your website. Have you always been so hilarious?
That seriously makes my day – thank you! I am genetically pre-disposed to silliness; there is a long history of my prank-playing relatives and their quirky brains. And my imagination has always got me into trouble and found me playing the role of Class Clown.
One example that jumps to mind is my high school stand-up routines. In my last two years of school my history teacher used to give me 10 minutes at the beginning of class to talk about any life observations or any recent epiphanies – just riff on life really. Then (if I behaved during class) he would allow me to close the class as well. My leavers book is full of people commenting on “Em Time” and the time I got detention for using my time to sing a “history related song” (it was “Hitler only had one ball!”)
+ Authenticity, the buzz word du jour, what does it mean to you (and your business)?
Even with all it’s buzzy buzzness, I still love that word. Nothing sums up what it means to live and speak your truth quite so well, does it? Authenticity is all about leaning in to all the nooks and crannies of your personality and not shying away from your messiness. Exploring the things that make you happy and shedding the things that don’t. Most importantly, authenticity to me is a magnet. It draws the right people, clients, moments and opportunities into your life.
+ And finally, what is it about running a creative business that sets your soul on fire? (Cause I am guessing it does!).
So many things. I adore meeting new people and being there with them for all the excitement of a launch (whether they’re launching a page, a product or an ecourse). In pretty much every personality test of mine it notes down that I am all about pumping people up and being enthusiastic about people’s ideas. I still pinch myself that I get to write words for a living. Beautiful stories about people that want to leave the world better.
I of course love being able to manage my own schedule and to be location independent. Taking breaks to go for walks with my besties or work on my own passion project is pretty swell. Most of all I think it’s the fact that I have finally found what I am meant to be doing. I am walking my talk and living my passion, and that feels pretty damn good.
+ Biggest creative inspiration :: oh my, I can’t stick to one! Mother nature (cheesy but true). Elizabeth Gilbert, Simon Sinek, Nora Ephron, Zoe Kazan and Alexandra Franzen.
+ A book about creativity everyone should read :: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and Play by Stuart Brown. (Also just about to dive into Big Magic!)
+ What song gets your booty shaking :: Green Garden by Laura Mvula
+ Your Biggest Creative Dream :: to write a book that touches hearts, captures imagination and changes people’s lives for the better. And repeat, repeat.
+ Favourite creative medium :: the written word and a 4B pencil.
A Little More About Em…
Emily Ehlers is a creative copywriter + writer who moonlights as a mama, and rebels against modern day seriousness. She believes in the power of words, play and camembert.
Emily is the go-to copywriter for gutsy solopreneurs + small businesses that are sick of sounding like everyone else. She loves nothing more than finding colourful word combinations to spread good vibes while capturing exactly who they are.
She also writes her own words over on her blog, where she chats all things life, business and imagination. All posts are delivered through stories, experiences, playful (but practical advice) and a silly sense of humour. A pop-culture tragic, she references movies a little too often and she loves lamp.
Emily has been featured in national print publications,local radio and dozens of online sites. She has contributed to various online courses, spoken at events and facilitated her own workshops.
Em has just released her AH-mazing ebook, Cruisy : The Road Less Frazzled and it is not only full of juicy goodness but also visually spectacular! You are going to LOVE it.
Word wizard or what!! Did you love this interview?
I would love to hear from you in the comments below.