The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Creativity Coaching Association newsletter.
On behalf of the creativity coaches who are members of the Association, we
are excited that you have joined our community and we aim to provide you
with inspiring, practical, and even just plain fun readings (like the first
one in this issue).
In this newsletter, you will find a variety of articles from creativity
coaches who are interested in sharing their ideas and suggestions to help
you feel more supported, more motivated, and more inspired to do your creative
work, whether it's writing, visual arts, performing, or crafting. Several
of the articles this month focus on how you view yourself as a creative person
and how certain beliefs can obstruct getting your creative efforts off the
ground. We believe in helping you achieve the level of success you desire,
but we also know if you hesitate to be creative out of fear of failure, you
won't even begin.
We hope you find these readings meaningful and useful. We invite you to
send this newsletter to your creative friends using the Forward Email link
at the bottom. We are eager to grow our community and thank you for your
Finally, we invite you to visit the web sites of the contributing writers
using the links provided next to their names.
Wishing you a creative June,
Rick Benzel, Executive Director
A Kreative Light Note
Eat a Croissant, Be Creative!
by Etta Mology
We bet you didn't know that croissants are related to creativity. Our dear
friend Etta Mology explains how. If you look up the word creative in a dictionary,
you will find that it comes from Middle English, creat, which comes from
the Latin creatus, past participle of creare, meaning to make. So, creativity
signifies the idea of "making something," which of course you knew.
But delve deeper into Merriam-Webster's and you will note that the Latin
word creare is akin to the Latin word crescere which means to grow. That's
why creativity is also about growing something. But, to the point here, the
Latin word crescere is the root of the English word crescent, as in crescent
moon. And the word crescent is the origin of the French word croissant, as
in that gorgeous, buttery, flaky pastry so cherished for breakfast.
What this means is that creativity and croissants actually share a deep
linguistic (or shall we say culinary) connection that dates back millennia.
So the next time you butter up a calorie-rich soft and moist golden croissant,
rest assured that you are simply enhancing your taste for creativity!
Does Your Creative Self-Image Support You?
Musings on Creativity
Contributed by Suzanne R. Roy, M.A., www.coachingthecreative.com
If you believe in the theory of abundance, you realize that the only thing
standing between you and all that the universe has to offer is a lack of
vision and openness to that abundance. I believe the same is true of creativity.
Unlike young children who marvel at the miraculous nature of the world around
them, most of us are jaded when it comes to creation itself and are unable
to see the creative within ourselves and the people around us.
I was reminded of this fact a few weeks ago at a local bookstore where I
was scheduled to do a book signing. I was a bit early and was standing near
the table where the anthology I was promoting was displayed, when I noticed
a sad-looking woman in her late 50s or early 60s hovering around the collection
of local books nearby. Noticing that she wasn't actually picking up anything,
I approached her and asked her if she was interested in the topic of creativity,
the subject of the anthology to which I had contributed. She assured me that
she wasn't and started to move away.
Undaunted, I approached her again and, making it clear that my intent was
not to sell her a book but simply to satisfy my own curiosity, I asked her
if she considered herself creative. She assured me that she wasn't creative
at all and that her only hobbies were knitting and crocheting. When I pointed
out to her that she was, indeed, creating something with her hands and that
she might want to start thinking of herself as creative, I saw a startled
look in her eyes and a hint of a smile on her lips. As she walked away, I
noticed that she turned around to look at me again, and I could tell that
a door had been forced open within her mind.
If you're having difficulty achieving your creative goals, it might be worthwhile
to reassess your creative self-image. Once creativity has taken hold, it
snowballs, so you'll want to be sure that you're not inhibiting its rooting
at the heart of your being by failing to see it and acknowledge its presence.
If you're an active human being, chances are fairly good that you ARE creative,
so go ahead and admit it! You'll be opening the door to an abundance that
may startle you.
A Parable for Stuck Creative Minds
Stand on Your Head and Give Your Creativity a Boost
Contributed by Kaylen Bennett, www.souletudes.com
A father had a six-year-old daughter who, at that age, was already adding
some pretty big words to her vocabulary. One day he walked into the living
room and found her standing on her head. When he asked her what she was doing,
she replied, "I'm looking at things from a different perspective."
Sometimes a change in perspective is just what you need to jump start your
creativity when you're stuck on a project. So how do you go about doing that?
If such things are your talent, you could actually try standing on your head.
Or, you might rearrange your work space; listen to a different style of
music; turn your canvas upside down; write the middle chapter first; set
a dollar bill on fire; look at a poem in a foreign language and write down
what you think it says; come up with seven different ways to hang the bath
towels; test drive your dream car; pretend you are somebody else; and take
your creative project and turn it, twist it, color it, enlarge it, reduce
it, do it backwards, cut it half, add something.. you get the idea. Find
ways to "stand on your head." This comes naturally for creative
people. Amplify that ability, and see what happens!
The Difference Between Competition and Creativity
Contributed by Dave Storer, www.thecreativitycatalyst.com
Our culture is obsessed by competition, and we especially see it in sports.
Unfortunately, our over- emphasis on competition in so many aspects of life
stops many people from engaging in profoundly meaningful and pleasurable
creative activities because they are afraid of "losing" at what
Ask yourself, for example, have you ever stopped yourself from trying to
write a story, paint a watercolor, or compose a song because you felt you
weren't "ready"? You tell yourself you need to take more classes,
you need to practice more, study more, or get "permission" from
a qualified judge of talent. This type of fear of creating is like going
up to the plate thinking you have three strikes before you've even batted.
It reflects the idea that you think you have something to lose if you do
not create the proverbial home-run.
But remember, winning and losing are qualities that are NOT inherent in
any one person, activity or creative product. They are simply a reflection
of defined values. For instance, in China, shy people are respected much
more than aggressively outgoing people. Consider this scenario: A film is
made of two people having an encounter. One person is loud and assertive,
bordering on the overbearing. The other is shy and self-effacing. In the
scene, they interact with each other according to their natures. Then, the
film is shown to two audiences, one a group of Americans, the other a group
of Chinese. After watching the film, the audience members are asked which
person in the film "won" the interaction. Don't be surprised, but
in general, Americans tend to think the assertive person "won" while
most of the Chinese think the shy person "won."
This points to the truth that "winning" is not an essential element
of reality; it is a human construct. If no one is around to define the rules
of the game that specify who wins, there are no winners or losers.
The wonderful thing about creating is that it takes you outside of all of
that overly-simple, black/white, winner/loser mindset and into the richness
of a fully present reality. In fact, one of the essential functions of creativity
(not to mention one of its greatest pleasures) is to allow you to move outside
of your usual rigid ways of seeing and thinking so that you can experience
reality more directly and fully -- to connect as deeply and richly as you
can, and to find new insights and meanings in life. You cannot "lose" when
you are engaged deeply and creatively.
So right now, go do something you love and forget the score card.
And Now a Word from Our Sponsor!
Finally, a Good Use for Your Cell Phone
If you've invested in a cell phone and can't really figure out a worthwhile
use for it, here's a great idea. Use your cell phone to call a creativity
coach today. Why waste all those cell phone minutes on idle chatter when
you can maximize your investment's value by spending your time talking about
your serious creativity issues with a professional creativity coach who can
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And if you don't yet have a creativity coach, well, it's simple enough to
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here to find a creativity coach today!
Enhance Your Creative Work with Journaling Exercises
Contributed by Lael Johnson, www.writerseye.com
Keeping a journal is a form of expression that enhances your own self-coaching
process. It develops your emotional awareness, reinforces self-esteem and
aids in problem-solving. Keeping a journal also provides a written record
of your artistic growth, struggle and change. Here are three basic exercises
that I use throughout my creativity coaching process.
1. DIALOGUE: Writing a dialogue between one or more people representing
your conflicts helps to identify and separate your emotions, ideas, issues
and influences in your creative situation. The primary result of writing
a dialogue is to clarify your creative dilemma, to give voice to all its
aspects and to restore your vision to its proper perspective.
2. GRATITUDE LIST: Thank you lists are very easy to write. It takes no more
than a few seconds, some paper and a pen to create your list. Thank you lists,
no matter what the length, powerfully challenge negative thoughts, disappointment
and discouragement. Lists also help restore your vision to its rightful place
in your creative process. Thank you lists are especially useful when pursuing
long-term goals and facing crises.
3. GOAL LIST: Identifying and developing a list of your artistic and business
goals often provides a clear path to fulfilling your dreams. Recognizing
your regular progress through each goal becomes a ready source of motivation
The Personal Meaning
Contributed by Quinn McDonald, www.quinncreative.com
It was Sunday afternoon on a long show weekend. The crowd began to thin,
and the artists used the time to check out business with each other. My booth
neighbor asked, "Was it a success for you?" "Looks like it," I
said, without quoting a number. My neighbor looked doubtful, mentioned there
hadn't been a huge crowd of shoppers, then smiled gamely, "Well, your
idea of success is probably different from mine. I won't be doing this show
At first I felt a little stung, but then an interesting thought settled
in -- her idea and my idea of success probably were different. All artists
who take on a tough show schedule need to make a living, but if the only
measure of success is the amount of money you take in, you'd better keep
that day job.
This particular show did not bring in the highest total of the year, but
I had gotten some great feedback on some of my pieces; some long-standing
clients had stopped by to tell me how often they got compliments on the pieces
they owned; some new clients told me how my pieces 'spoke' to them; a woman
who wanted my opinion on a piece was surprised when I said it wasn't the
right piece for her -- then delighted when I dug through the inventory bag
to find a piece she loved; and a woman who was "just looking" said
she could feel how much I loved my work. All that in one show! It was my
idea of success.
Artists become artists for many reasons, but the one that is clearest to
me is to make meaning of life. Life doesn't come with a hidden meaning that
we discover over time. Life is a series of events we choose reactions to
and apply interpretations to. We create our own meaning as we go along. As
artists we get to think a little more and look a little closer at our work
and how it sustains us spiritually and emotionally. It's easy not to want
to look. Sometimes the easiest choice is to make money and not meaning. But
more often than not, the best choice is when we create from that deep, hard,
authentic secret place, which allows us to arrive at our private understanding
Tap into CCA to Support Your Creative Work
We invite you to send us your questions, your challenges, your thoughts
and feelings about any issues that are important to your creative work. Write
us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each month, we will pick
out some of the most universal challenges and provide ideas and suggestions.
Use our creativity coach-members as a resource to build your creative satisfaction
And if you are serious about your creative work, consider checking out the
wide range of creativity coaches who are eager to work with you. Their fees
vary, but are usually very reasonable for email and phone coaching. Give
yourself the gift of 1, 2, or 3 months of coaching and see new results in
out our creativity coaches here.
Creativity Retreat in France
Get Inspired on a 7-day Retreat in the Normandy Region of France in October
Creativity coach and devoted francophile Rick Benzel (possibly along with
1 or 2 other noted creativity coaches) will guide you on a passionately enriching
creative week in France. We will reside in a lovely house in a small town
in the Norman countryside. In the mornings, the group will meet to share
and talk about each member's creative work over coffee, tartines and confiture.
Each participant will
then have time to pursue their own creative work in the gardens and on walks,
whether it's photography, painting, writing, or
In the afternoons, we will journey to take in the richness of French and
European history found in the historic sites and inspirational monuments
of this noted region, such as Mont St. Michel, Rouen, Rennes, Dinard, St.
Malo, the Bayeux tapestries, the famous harbor at Honfleur (a painter's paradise),
Monet's Giverny, and many "wish-I-could live-here" vistas of the
French pastoral countryside. You will return with joyous memories of stunning
scenic images, stimulating conversations, gastronomic feasts, and many, many
new ideas to fuel your creative work.
Cost: Will be Based on Shared House Rental Cost + Modest Guide fee for the
week. You will supply your own airfare + local travel and food expenses (though
rental cars will be shared.)
Send an email to get more details to email@example.com Please
put the words "France trip" in the subject line.
A Final Word from Our Sponsor
Hurrah! Hurrah! The Creativity Coaching Association Press is a new publishing
house delivering to you a fresh line of books about creativity. Our first
publication is hot off the press. Inspiring Creativity: An Anthology of Powerful
Insights and Practical Ideas to Guide You to Successful Creating offers tips,
tricks, and techniques from 22 creativity coaches, each with a different
perspective on creativity. Inspiring Creativity is already getting rave reviews.
I highly recommend this book...a valuable and practical treasury
of inspiration for anyone passionate about creating," says Jeremy
Tarcher, the noted publisher of best-selling creativity books such as The
Artist's Way and Drawing
on the Right Side of the Brain.
No matter how many books you've read on creativity before, this is one book
you will cherish.
Price: $14.95 + $5.00 Shipping / Handling
Thank You for Your Time and Attention
This is the end of the June issue and we're glad you made it down to here.
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us
know what you thought about our newsletter. We welcome your suggestions,
comments, and concerns. We'll be back in July.