Tag Archives: Marie Forleo

Permission, intrinsic value, the act of creation, and making art: Insights from one wine-soaked conversation that changed everything.

It was that time in the evening when the wine and champagne had softened everyone’s edges and everything seemed to melt together a bit. We were seated at a round table laden with vegan brownie crumbs, and a lot of chairs had been abandoned in favor of the dance floor.

My friend Marie and I were among the lingerers at the table. She turned to me and asked one of the best conversation-igniting questions I’ve ever heard:

“What are you most excited about right now?”

It was October, almost exactly a month after my first book, Money: A Love Story, had launched.

And I was thoroughly knackered. Tuckered out. Tired. Spent. I felt creatively dried up and like I might never want to make anything ever again. It was kind of depressing.

I paused way longer than I was proud of, wracking my brain, hoping to land on a shred of enthusiasm about something other than sleeping.

“What I should say,” I thought, “is that I’m excited about the book launch.”

But that would have been a lie. The truth was, I was sick of talking and thinking about that book. I felt like it was all I’d been doing for months.

I sat and waited for a true answer to emerge.

“The truth is,” I finally said, “what I’m really excited about is planning our wedding.”

She could feel the somewhat apologetic tone in my voice. I should be out there marketing the book more. I should be doing more speaking gigs. I should be strategizing the next steps in my writing career.

But all I really wanted to do was flip through bridal magazines and Pin to my heart’s content.

In response, Marie began to wax eloquent about the nature of creativity, her slightly sleepy, wine-soaked voice punctuated a couple of times by my asking “What?!,” prompting her to lean over and speak directly into my ear in order to be heard over the band.

Marie reminded me that when it comes to creativity there’s no hierarchy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re throwing your whole heart and soul into making pasta sauce or into writing a New York Times bestseller.

She assured me that no act of creation is better than another. A well-executed, intimate dinner party is just as valuable as a seven-figure launch if it’s a true expression of who you are.

The act of passionate creation itself is what gives an endeavor merit — not its value in the marketplace.

Yes, I know that we all need to make money and that making money depends on whether or not someone will buy what we make.

But something’s (or someone’s) inherent value has nothing to do with how much cash someone is willing to part with in order to capture some piece of it.

twitter_standingMaking art is an intrinsically valuable act. Period. (CLICK TO TWEET)

Today your art might be a strawberry rhubarb pie. Tomorrow it might be a painting that will hang in the Guggenheim someday. And the day after that it might be the way you fluff and arrange your throw pillows.

The point is, just make art.

Marie was my angel of permission that night.

As I left the party I felt a profound sense of calm. Her words had been a salve to my soul.


Give yourself permission to create the things that are an expression of your soul. People will buy some of them. And some of them won’t ever be for sale.

The value is in the making. The value is in the enthusiasm. The value is in expressing who you are through the act of creation.

What are you most excited about making? What are you ready to give yourself permission to make, even if it may not have obvious value in the marketplace?

Leave a comment below—I want to hear about your art!


The answer you’ve been looking for.

Mike and I just flew to London, where we’re hanging out with my family and their menagerie of amazing animals, until this weekend when I speak at the UK and Hamburg Ignite Conferences. (Side note: my family has a dwarf hamster named Crusher who’s pretty much the cutest thing I’ve seen in my entire life.)…Continue Reading


When folks are this excited I just have to spread the word

I originally planned to pass this little reminder to watch the replay of the free class I taught last week out to only the people who’d registered for it. However, we’re experiencing an outpouring of love and enthusiasm for the class that’s far beyond our original expectations so I didn’t want you to miss out.…Continue Reading


This was even better than being on the Today Show.

The day my book launched I was interviewed by Al Roker and Willie Geist on the Today show. It was simultaneously terrifying, exhilarating, and so much fun (especially when Willie asked me a surprise question they hadn’t prepared me for!). But the truth is I don’t watch any television, let alone the Today show, save…Continue Reading


A big old ball of thank you (for you).

(There are two beautiful videos plus some fabulous still shots of my book launch party in NYC at the bottom of this post. The love from that night oozes right off the screen when you see them and I don’t want you to miss out on that, so please be sure to scroll down.) Handwritten…Continue Reading


Don’t put me in that hole with that pigeon.

I have a confession to make: I’ve got this book about money coming out and I’m scared of being “the money girl” for the rest of my life. My book is called Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You  Really Want. As my publication date gets closer (September 10,…Continue Reading


I made something for you—shiny new website revealed!

Katenorthrup.com has gotten a makeover! I’m so excited to welcome you to my new digital digs. Mi casa es su casa. Make yourself at home. Click around. Dive in deep. Enjoy. I originally hired my divine graphics goddess, Natasha Lakos, for this site re-do way back in April. And then, after many starts and stops (including…Continue Reading