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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends,

A new year stands in front of us with much excitement and challenge. CCA hopes to grow by leaps and bounds this coming year, attracting many new subscribers to our newsletter and our activities. Watch throughout this year as the Creativity Coaching Association in cooperation with Creativity Portal launches a variety of new workshops and seminars for anyone interested in advancing their creative work. We will announce these within the coming months — and we promise to bring you many interesting and useful ideas.

So, without further ado, here's this month's newsletter.


Rick Benzel, Executive Director

A Creative Linguistic Note

Simplifying Your New Year's Resolutions"Simplifying" Your New Year's Resolutions

by Etta Mology

New Year’s Eve 2006 has come and gone and perhaps many of you made some resolutions to change your life this year. But what exactly did you mean when you said "I resolve to...?" Our dear friend Etta Mology wondered what a resolution really means and why it is that we make them.

It turns out the word resolution is from the Latin verb resolvere, meaning "to loosen, to break things into their parts, to reduce things to their simpler forms." When a bunch of Roman senators were engaged in a dispute, they may have agreed to bring their disagreement to a resolution by breaking down their arguments into the most basic parts and finding the common ground.

This "loosening" sense of the word resolution is also visible in the sciences. For example, in physics, we say that a prism resolves sunlight into its spectral colors and the higher a microscope’s resolution, the more detail you can see.

The use of resolution to mean solving a problem (as in math) did not occur until 1548, and the use of the word to mean a decision to do something happened only in the early 1600s. One might imagine the slight shift in meaning occurring after some wig-wearing English statesmen disagreed and, like the Romans settling their dispute, they vowed to adhere to their resolution.

So how does this relate to your New Year’s resolutions? Etta suggests that you learn to think of your resolutions as ways to simplify your life. Your resolutions can help you move back toward the essence of what you want to do with your time, such as your creative work. Thinking about your resolutions in this way may make it easier to maintain your determination to accomplish them, because they become not what you force yourself to do, but rather what you truly want to achieve.

Become a Certified Creativity Coach

CCA Certification Program Details...If you've been thinking about becoming a creativity coach, or adding creativity coaching to your existing life coaching, consulting, or therapy practice, we invite you to explore CCA's newly announced Certification Program. Our program includes a variety of basic and advanced coaching courses that can be done online or through telecourses in a reasonable period of time. The knowledge and skills you will develop in this program will serve your own work and open up opportunities for you to professionally coach others.

For details, please visit our Certification Program web page for a full explanation of the courses offered and requirements. Declare your candidacy by January 31, 2006, and save $100 off the fees, plus receive discounts on upcoming courses.

Product of the Month

With the first issue of the New Year, “Creativity Calling” introduces a new column: the featured Product of the Month. Each issue will spotlight a creation designed or discovered by one of our members. We are confident that these tools will enhance the tips and insights of our articles and further nourish your pursuit of creative results.

"Connections" by Quinn McDonaldLinking Both Sides of Your Creative Brain with “Connections”

Connections are double-sided collages designed by Quinn McDonald, a visual artist and creativity coach based in Northern Virginia. Designed to spark creativity and introspection, Connections are small and portable (4.25" x 6.38"), and each is a piece of original art. On one side is a figurative collage — a design incorporating a person or animal. On the other side is a phrase.

Say you are working on a creative project and begin to lose momentum. Doubts start to creep into your head. How to get back on track? Reach for a Connection. You are a creativity coach, and your client could benefit from a powerful question. You’d like to ask it in a memorable way. Use a Connection. Or you’d like to create a journal entry with real meaning, but you can’t think of anything important. Take a look at a Connection.

“Many people respond to visual images, but there are also those who love words,” Quinn says. “Connections delight both groups with a combination of art and words. You look at one side and see an image that sparks a memory or creates an idea. Then you turn it over, and there is a phrase that relates to the image. Each person will see something different in each Connection.”

Connections get their name in part from the connection of the image side of the brain to the word side. The collages also help people connect their hopes, dreams, aspirations, and ideas to action, plans, and creative thought. Because they are unique one of-a-kind pieces of art, their messages are individual, personal, and special.

Connections can be used in several ways:

  • Individually, as art in a business — or home office
  • As a focal point in meditation
  • Carried in a planner or put on a desk as a reminder of an intention
  • To spark ideas for introspective exploration in a personal journal
  • As bookmarks in inspirational texts

Connections are interactive. “Each is an original piece of art, but until it connects with someone, it’s unfinished,” Quinn says. You can use them in your own art by arranging them to create a story, using them as pages in an altered book, as the visual highlight of the theme of your scrapbook.

To see the Connections collages and for purchase information, visit Quinn’s website: www.quinncreative.com

IdeasCreating an Idea Book

Contributed by Sue Viders

That wonderful, why-haven’t-I-thought-of-it-before, idea can strike you at any time. During a dream, waiting for the stoplight to change, watching a TV show, or even in the bathtub.

The problem for all creative individuals is what to do with that epiphany. Once an idea “hits” me I have learned that unless I immediately write it down it is gone forever. Therefore I keep writing materials everywhere. In my car, I have paper and pencil rubber banded to my sun visor and in the bathroom there is a plastic container by the tub, next to the phone with paper and pencils. Pencils seem to work better over the long run, as pens tend to dry out, loose their caps, or simply disappear.

So, the first step in keeping track of your idea is to write the idea down and then when you get home or out of the bath, transfer the idea to your IDEA BOOK.

What! You don’t have an idea book. Make one. Mine is a bright red three-ring binder which clearly says, both on the cover, under the clear plastic and on the spine of the notebook, Sue’s Idea Book.

In this idea book you need to have... ta....da ...idea pages. These are pages that list all the various components of each idea and how it can either grow or be expanded. The following items are what I use.

  • date
  • the idea — spelled out in a few words
  • who can help me with the idea (list actual names and phone numbers/web sites)
  • where I can go to get more help/information (list actual places/web sites/galleries/shows or whatever you think might be able to be of help)
  • what the idea will look like when finished
  • who the possible audience is for this idea — in other words, what to do with the idea or who will buy the darn thing
  • notes

Once an idea has generated enough pages to look like it’s really going somewhere then the idea then gets its own file. Please note that not all ideas are viable. Some of my ideas that don’t seem to be going anywhere are moved to the back section of my notebook under a “Back Burner” heading.

When the active file becomes fat enough, the idea gets its own notebook. I just counted. I have at least six active notebooks on the bookshelf wall in my office, each of them a potential book, each in various stages of being completed.

Sue Viders is an art marketing consultant and workshop leader, specializing in teaching visual artists how to market their work. She has published numerous books on marketing art and her newest book is The Artist's Organizer, a yearly, week-by-week, calendar, journal and record-keeper for all serious artists. Check out Sue’s books and her organizer at www.sueviders.com.

Read this Book and Get Motivated

Inspiring Creativity: An Anthology of Powerful Insights and Practical Ideas to Guide You to Successful Creating, will help you find new motivation in 2006. Loaded with 22 intelligent and powerful essays by professional creativity coaches, the book will get your creative juices flowing and make you feel confident, excited, and capable to tackle your writing, drawing, painting, music, or craft.

To peruse the Table of Contents and download a FREE sample chapter, go to www.cca-press.com.

Special Offer: $12.75 + $6.00 Shipping = $18.75

Click here to purchase a copy now.

Click here to purchase a copy now.

Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the January issue. Send us an email and let us know your thoughts and suggestions.

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 join@creativitycoachingassociation.com for information.

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