My good friend Jessica has a book coming out in February. She took the risk of asking Anne Lamott, one of my very favorite writers, to provide a blurb for the book jacket. The message she got back from Anne Lamott’s agent was that Anne had declared a blurbatorium–a creative and less unpleasant way of saying no to such requests.

I wasn’t completely surprised by this. I’d attended a talk by Lamott at the 92nd Street Y when her book Blue Shoe came out. She declared on the stage that night that she almost stopped writing books because of her dread of autographing them. She is a role model for how to take care of yourself in spite of others’ needs and projections. She gently and humorously tells the truth.

I love her power of example. What it demonstrates is that with creativity, grace and humor, any one of us can steer clear of tasks that weigh us down and stay focused on the work we love and thrive on.

I’m curious to hear what creative ways you’ve found to respectfully and lovingly say NO.

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