Creatives: “NO!” is a Complete Sentence

Get more time to create by saying it, even to yourself

Devette Lindsay


Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

The Power of “NO!”

I’m currently reading Influence is Your Superpower by Zoe Chance. The author shares the incredible story of Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov, who served in the Soviet Air Defense Forces. His job was to monitor the satellite early-warning network and alert his superiors to any potential nuclear missile attacks against the Soviet Union. On September 26, 1983, he received alerts indicating that five United States’ ballistic nuclear warheads were headed directly toward his country. Petrov knew the Soviet Union’s strategy for dealing with such threats — swift and full-scale nuclear retaliation. In other words, World War III.

With only a few minutes to act, Petrov noticed something unusual. If the United States were launching an attack, it would be a full-scale assault using thousands of weapons, not just five. What if this newly released early-warning system is in error? Picking up the phone could mean twenty million deaths by direct hits and 2 billion deaths worldwide due to starvation as a result of a nuclear winter. Petrov quickly assessed the situation and what was at stake. With an authoritative “No,” or in his case “NET,” he saved the world, literally.

Twenty-three minutes later, Stanislav Petrov collapsed with relief upon learning that the blaring sirens, and hysterical flashing lights, amounted to a false alarm.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin 💛💙 on Unsplash

Safeguard Your Artistic World

Okay, we are not saving the world but creatives do have an inner world to protect. We juggle work, family, and self-care as we try to honor the artistic gifts that light up our souls. Devoting time to our art requires energy, freedom, and mental well-being. Unfortunately, these resources are drained when we prioritize tasks that benefit others but not our artistic pursuits.

Sally Just Can’t Say “NO!”

Yesterday, Sally’s goal was to write 1,000 words for her novel before 8 p.m. but for some reason, she couldn’t find…



Devette Lindsay

I'm a writer, an avid reader, and a fan of magic found within the mundane. I publish articles on speculative fiction, literature and creativity.