Welcome to Makearoo!
Creativity is the essence of the Makearoo mission, and it’s folded into everything I do for my coaching clients, readers, and guests at Makearoo retreats and workshops. You don’t have to be a creative rock star or even identify as creative at all to find something useful here. Maybe you’re like me a few years ago — a creative professional who’s feeling stuck and burned out and can’t figure out what to do next. Or perhaps you work in a non-creative field (as a former attorney, I relate) and are dying for more color and weirdness in your work and your life.
Wherever you are on the creativity spectrum, Makearoo offers creative solutions to connect to your purpose, get clear on what you have to offer (and how to put yourself out there without feeling like a douchebag), and have a ton of fun while you’re at it.
I’m Toni McLellan, the creative instigator and wild mind behind Makearoo. I’m a storyteller in words and pictures, a creativity coach, and a retreat and workshop host.
I started Makearoo after a period of creative frustration that left me wondering what the heck I was going to do with my life. Again.
I was a freelance writer for over a decade. Before that, I worked a string of unsatisfying jobs that reflected what others expected of me rather than what I really wanted to do. Before that, I went to law school, because I was too chicken to put myself out there as a writer and photographer. After that expensive detour, I eventually did become a writer, freelancing for national magazines and major websites for a decade while having and raising three kids. It was a dream come true, until it wasn’t. After years of freelancing, I lost my writing mojo. Freelancing was a departure from that feeling of doing work based on external expectations, but it still wasn’t enough. I ran my business based on ideals and methods that didn’t suit me, and I felt scared and insecure and like I didn’t quite belong despite achieving professional success on the surface.
I sought support by hiring a business coach and reading up on human motivation, how to make habits stick, and what makes creative people tick. I also found inspiration in fellow creatives, friends, and family who lifted my spirits. This powerful combo led me not only to start this site, but to shift my focus from writing for other people to creating things that light me up.
I often tell my kids that mistakes are our greatest teachers, and I learned so many lessons while feeling lost and stuck. One was my realization that I possess unique superpowers that include my gifts for storytelling, bringing people together to get excited over cool stuff, and helping people identify and honor their innate creative genius. This was stuff I did naturally, without worrying about what anyone thought. These were the elements I needed to both recognize and embody in order for me to thrive creatively. And now I help creatives like you thrive, too.
Finally, some random things about me:
*I love road trips, preferably to wild places with mountains.
*I highly recommend marrying or partnering someone who makes you laugh every day.
*I talk to the crow family at my lovely city park. They really, really hate this.
*One time, I spent a year photographing my city park.
*Becoming a mom is the single best decision I ever made.
*I have a knack for dialogue; talk to me for an hour in an accent and I’ll have it down and probably unintentionally respond in kind. It’s not mockery, it’s my weird, absorbent brain at work. I’ve learned to embrace it.
Finally, to my husband Daniel: Thank you for believing in me from day one.