The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Each time I write one of these newsletters, I become excited, ecstatic
even. I am thrilled to be communicating with so many creative people
who are interested in keeping up with the Creativity Coaching Association
and all matters creative.
In this 4th issue, you will find several items to intrigue and spark
you this month. After I send out each issue, I always wonder if there
is anything else we at CCA can do to benefit our readers. Please don't
hesitate to contact
us with your feedback and suggestions.
Rick Benzel, Executive Director
A Creative Linguistic Note
Your Best Ideas Come From Your Eye-deas
by Etta Mology
Creativity is usually associated with the sense of "coming up with
new ideas," right? But did you ever wonder what the word idea really
Our dear friend Etta Mology took the time to find out. To her astonishment,
she discovered that it was only recently, in 1645, that the English word
idea came to connote "the result of thinking." Perhaps this is
why in today's fast-paced world, some people believe they have an idea every
Before that time, the word idea meant something else. It was first used
in English in 1430 and its meaning had to do with "figure, symbol, image." This
reflected the true root of the word from the Latin idea and the ancient Greek,
idein. You see, in Greek philosophy, ideas dealt not with the result of a
single individual's thinking but with the absolute truths of the world. Plato
used the word idea to mean what we now call the ideal or archetype of an
object. An idea was the essence or pure form of an object. For example, the
idea of a horse signifies the archetypal horse that all humans visualize
as opposed to the many different specific horses each of us may see in our
How did the Greeks come to use the word in this way? Well, Etta discovered
that it's because the Greek word idea actually derives from the
ancient Proto-Indo-European language of our ancestors about 5500 years ago
in their word wid- es-ya-,
meaning to see. In other words, the Greeks used the word idea to mean image
or form because it literally derived from the verb to see.
So the next time you are being creative, it may be worth remembering that
your greatest ideas may not be those that come as the result of your thinking.
Your best ideas in the purest sense of the word may instead be those that
you can see in your mind's eye, the ideal images that spring from deep within
you reflecting an absolute truth of the world that all humankind will recognize
because it's in our mind's eye too.
PS — I am working on a book about ideas, specifically how creative
people develop ideas and manage them. One area of my work is to find out
people who have "too many ideas." If you are someone who has large
numbers of ideas and are willing to share some stories about how you get
ideas, how you manage them (or don't manage them), please contact
me. I would
love to interview you and include your story in the book I am writing.
CCA and Creativity Portal Join Forces!
Most of you already know this, but for those who don't, we are announcing
that the Creativity Coaching Association has teamed up with the noted web
site Creativity Portal to form a veritable creative partnership on the Internet.
Creativity Portal is one of the most popular and noted web sites for creativity.
Our partnership allows you to stay abreast of issues in creativity, while
at the same time find a creativity coach if you would like to work with one.
Please visit our Find
a Coach web page on Creativity Portal, where you can
search our coaches by name, geographic location, or specialty.
Organize Your Mind So You Can Create — It's As Simple
Contributed by Barbara Millman Cole (email@example.com)
Do you change direction on a dime when you get an inspiration? Do
you find yourself working the whole painting, jumping from top to bottom
to middle, instead of methodically working from left to right? All
these qualities are right-brained, creative ways of thinking. In fact,
being able to see the whole of the picture is what makes an artist.
Predominately right-brained people find it hard to think in a straight
line. Many creative people see the finished painting in their mind’s
eye and can move about the canvas comfortably, knowing exactly what
they want to achieve.
As a creative, right-brained person, you probably think in clusters.
Many projects spin through your mind at once. How do you harness those
ideas, organize them and choose one to work on at a time? It is simple
- Allow the left brain a turn. Though you prefer operating in the right
brain, the logical left brain is at your disposal as well. Let the left
side of your brain help you organize.
- Breathe deeply to help clear your mind. In our anxiety of where to start,
we forget to breathe. Taking deep breaths calms the body, sends oxygen
to the brain and helps one think more clearly.
- Choose the project that most needs completion
first, that is most important
to you or that is most difficult to do. However you prioritize, make a
How can it be so simple? Most things are that simple. The clutter
in our minds make things seem complicated and prevents us from working.
If we can organize deep within, we can move forward in our creative
R. P. found it hard to work on her lamp-beading each day. Her intent
was to work, but as she set up her torch, she was constantly distracted
by the zillion thoughts speeding through her mind — thoughts about
how to handle the business side of her art career, how to learn programs
on the computer to help her sell her beads, how to find time to exercise,
how to maintain her home for her family, and how to display her artwork.
Her mind was cluttered with the many things she wanted to accomplish
in the day, but she was at a loss as to how to organize those thoughts.
This clutter only led to anxiety and inaction. She would start on one
project and quickly feel the pressure of the other projects that needed
I suggested she take a moment to reflect on what was most important
in all of these projects. “Making the beads is most important
to me, but my family is also a high priority,” she said. “The
other things are important as well, but without the creation of the
beads, there is nothing to display or sell. Also, I chose this field
for myself. This is how I express myself, through my work.”
R. P. worked out a schedule and tried it for a week. (A)
- First, she exercised for an hour to get the blood flowing. (B)
- Then, she spent three hours creating beads: (C)
experimenting with new designs
2) torching the colored glass into
the shapes she
3) assembling sample earrings and necklaces.
- Next, she spent an hour working on her business:
1) setting up
separate bookkeeping from her personal finances
2) working on displays
to be photographed
for her website
3) researching local business laws.
- Finally, she spent an hour straitening the house, doing laundry and preparing
- On alternate days, she learned computer programs in classes at the
local business college.
R.P. allowed her left brain to help her organize her day. She breathed deeply and chose what was most important, her art. When the week was
up, R.P. admitted she had a hard time making herself leave the torch
to work on finances, but she had accomplished more in that week than
she had in months. Changing ways of doing things is difficult. Over
three months, she played with the time limits and settled into a routine
that worked for her.
If you allow the organizational half of your brain to work for you,
if you breathe deeply so you can think clearly, and if you choose the
project most important for you to accomplish, you will be able to create
The Importance of Creativity in the World — A Book
I recently heard a fascinating NPR interview with Professor Richard Florida
which inspired me. It was my first encounter with Dr. Florida's research,
although he published his first book in 2003, entitled
Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community,
and Everyday Life. This interview was about his second book, Cities
and the Creative Class,
which I bought and read.
In a nutshell, Florida has been studying for a decade the rise of a unique
new demographic group in America, which he calls the Creative Class. Composed
of nearly 1/3 of the American workforce, this group consists of those people
who make their living performing "creative" work using their minds,
including science and engineering, research and development, technology,
arts, music, culture, design, health care, finance and law.
As opposed to old industrial theories that culture plays a secondary role
to work, Florida counters that today, the rise of the Creative Class is reversing
the significance of creativity. As he writes, "The creativity thesis...argues
that the role of culture is much more expansive, that human beings have limitless
potential, and that the key to economic growth is to enable and unleash that
In Cities and the Creative Class, Florida demonstrates through statistics
and research that those cities in America that have large numbers of creative
class workers are the cities that succeed economically. These cities foster
an influx of knowledge workers, who have talent, who contribute to a tolerance
for different lifestyles, and who share a love for diversity in life.
Cities and the Creative Class is rather dry reading, full of statistical
tables and such — not for everyone, but it is clear that Florida's thesis
suggests that our collective work as creative people will be vital to the
success of America in the future. His research bolsters our sense that creativity
matters in the world — which, of course, anyone reading this newsletter
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Thank You for Your Time and Attention
This is the end of the October issue and we're glad
you made it down to here. Send
us an email
and let us know your thoughts
Note: If you are a life coach, executive coach, literary agent, therapist
or any other profession involved with creative people, and you are interested
in joining the Creativity Coaching Association, please drop me a note at