The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the July issue of Creativity Calling, the newsletter that is designed to inspire and support your creative work.
This month we hope you'll enjoy gleaning through several light-hearted articles, all written by CCA creativity coaches. Surely the month of July reminds us to take time out to play, make time for rest and relaxation and give ourselves permission to enjoy our families and ourselves.
It is no secret that breaks and "down time" often translates into increased creativity and productivity. And summertime is such a great season to rejuvenate oneself. I'm planning on creating some unique memories this month. I hope you are too!
And, as always, don't hesitate to contact us and let us know of special topics you would like to see addressed in future newsletters. We love your input!
All the Best,
Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
A Creative Baker's Dozen
by Karen I-Kemper
Recently I thought it a good idea to start a list of movies which could be recommended to clients, one that might illustrate a particular aspect of the creative process. I wanted the list to be more contemporary; although, in my mind, Charlton Heston will always be Michaelangelo! I have categorized the list to make it more user friendly.
- In the Realms of the Unreal—Henry Darger: an 'Outsider' artist who lived in an incredibly imaginative 'inside' world as illustrated by his art and by people who knew him.
- Touch the Sound: a brilliant percussion artist who also just happens to be deaf. You will notice the world around you with amazing precision after this film. Visually beautiful to watch.
- Stone Reader: an avid reader finds what he believes to be the Holy Grail of books, written by a one-time novelist who apparently has fallen off the face of the earth. Filmed as any great Sherlock Holmes mystery would be.
- Happy Feet: What list doesn't need a tap dancing penguin in it? Bonus feature: a section on tap dancing basics by Savion Glover, too irresistible to pass up!
- Stranger Than Fiction: What if your life was being written about at this very moment? Would you try to change what was on the page?
- Little Miss Sunshine:
Why everyone needs support, a goal, and a clutchless VW Van to realize their dreams. The author of this script thanked his family when he received the Oscar for this most cherished family vacation as a boy.
- Freedom Writers: a naive teacher works with her students to accomplish things on many levels through self-expression and sharing.
- Take the Lead: a teacher equates dance with life; however, Antonio Banderas is not a naiveté.
- Frida: a brutal accident, a gift, and the art world is never the same. You cannot see a Kahlo painting and not be impressed with her honesty and her survival.
- Modigliani: one of my favorite painters. The lure for this film for me was the teaser that a group of well-known artists are competing for a large prize and who wouldn't wish to imagine those meetings?
- Finding Neverland: a movie for anyone who ever has asked "How do you find your ideas?" This is the story of the author of Peter Pan. Surprises!
- Look Both Ways: an Australian film telling the odd tale of an illustrator who imagines the most dark and dreary things. A fun surprise because the characters imaginings are animated for us.
Bonus: 10 Items or Less: an independent film with Morgan Freeman who plays an actor who is hesitant in taking a part in a new film. What follows is a series of 'takes' on life and creating our own best ending to the story. I think you'll enjoy it too.
Karen I-Kemper utilized the creative process to help patients heal for more than 20 years. With the same enthusiasm, she now embraces coaching to be a support to those who wish to—with great intention—live their unique creative adventure. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flicking Crab Apples
by Dave Storer
I'm not sure why I started trying to flick crab apples through the little holes in manhole covers on my morning walks, but at some point I tried it, it was hard, and I became obsessed.
I've been doing it for several years now and here are a few of the lessons I've learned that I've applied to my creative work.
In the beginning, I threw many, many, many crab apples at many, many, many manhole covers before I got one to go through one of the little holes. It was very frustrating. I thought that I just couldn't do itthat I wasn't good enough and never would be.
Similarly, when we first start creating, we feel we just can't get it the hang of it, we can't hit our creative target, which launches a million negative thoughts in our heads and a belief in the essential limitedness in our abilitywe aren't creators and we never will be.
But this is what I learned from flicking crab apples: With simple persistence, eventually you do get better. Sooner or later, you get one in. How great that feels! And then, at some point, you realize that you're getting more of them in than before. You can't say exactly when you'll get one in and when you won't. Sometimes the harder you try, the worse you do. You learn about relaxing and not worrying so much about results, just taking the shot, over and over.
Eventually, I realized I could get one in almost every time I went walking. At another point I got four in a row. I started to get ambitious, I started trying to get one through the much tinier holes in the gas main covers, and eventually I did! That was more exciting than I'd like to admit.
It's simple but profound: we improve in our creative endeavors by going through the whole process repeatedlytaking shot after shotand doing our best to learn from each go-round.
Also, I think it helps the creative mind to be silly once and awhile. What do you do by way of crab apple flicking?
As a creativity coach, Dave Storer focuses on helping writers and other creators establish effective and satisfying creative practices. Check his site, www.thecreativitycatalyst.com Don't forget
Caution: Bunny Trails Ahead
by Elizabeth Downes, MA
Many Creatives are familiar with the artistic bunny trail. The term is a metaphor for an exciting, tantalizing, sometimes riveting, exploration of a new idea stream. Unfortunately, it differs from the central idea of the current work in progress. These idea trails can magically appear anytime during a creative project.
Bunny trails have all the twists and turns, over here . . . no, over there! feel of the most delightful bunny sprinting with the agility and wild abandon of, well, a bunny. However, while dashing along, we begin to sense we're off course, and suddenly, we come to a full stop. We're at a dead end. With a queasy stomach, we ask, "Where am I? Look at the time! My project's due!"
Beware of Bunny Trails. They can completely derail a viable, marketable art product. They can cost time, effort, emotional distress and yikes . . . money. The very idea!
Should you find yourself stranded on a Bunny Trail, in need of rescue, a superhero is required: Clarity.
Clarity is reached when the artist can articulate, in one sentence, what the creative project is about. It is a disciplined habit worth developing, and guess what? This superhero brings gifts.
Some of the gifts clarity brings include:
- Assisting the brain to work more
efficiently. Developing a direction aligned
with the true north of the project.
- Distinction. Having a clear premise for
your creative projectthis paves the way
for an authentic, original voice.
- Marketing. It will be easier for your
agent to place clearly defined work.
Lastly, clarity brings satisfaction to the creator and to its destined audience. Well done!
Elizabeth Downes, MA, is a Creativity Coach who assists clients ready to discover and develop their unique, artistic voice—and share it with the world. You can reach her at Eajdownes@aol.com Or see her CCA (business profile)
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. " --Mark Twain
- just starting out in exploring your creative desires?
- a working artist who is stuck on a creative project?
- looking for something new to juice up your creative work?
- going into midlife and feeling that now is finally the time to do the art you always wanted to do?
- already a known artist but interested in taking your success to the next level?
For any of these situations, why not hire a creativity coach? Check out our database of nearly 50 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in nearly 100 different specialties.
CCA announces new Certified Coach!
Kathleen Gilday found her way to Creativity
Coaching through the writing workshops she
created and hosts. After experiencing the
positive impact a little nurturing can do for
writers, she decided to pursue the field of
coaching. "When I found CCA and learned about
its training program, I knew this was the
path for me," says Kathleen, who became
certified in June.
Her philosophy begins with a heartfelt belief
in the power of creativity and the role it
plays in personal growth. Writing for
expression, for healing, and for pleasure, is
what Kathleen's practice, Write Into Your
Life, is all about. Her workshops, seaside
retreats and one on one coaching are designed
to nurture, inspire and motivate the creative
desire that is present in each of us.
With over ten years experience as a Freelance
Writer and Community News Columnist, she
understands the challenges that writers face
and has the inside scoop on ways to overcome
blocks. As a Creativity Coach, she provides
practical solutions for building confidence
and taking action toward goals. Paying
particular attention to the inner critics
that clog creative visions, she uses
innovative ways to tackle the trouble spots
bringing success to her clients.
She considers herself a lifelong learner and
an advocate for helping others reach their
creative potential. As well, she finds
inspiration from people and nature,
especially sandy beaches, pink roses and
Kathleen Gilday is based in southern New
Hampshire where she shares her time with her
husband and three teenagers. You may reach
her via her website www.writeintoyourlife.com or email@example.com.
She is available for coaching by email, phone
or in person. She welcomes you to register at
her site for writing tips and news about her
retreats at New England Country Inns.
Special Book Offer
If you have not yet purchased your own copy of Inspiring Creativity, why not take advantage of this special offer today? An anthology of 22 powerful essays by professional creativity coaches, the book will get your creative juices flowing and make you feel more confident, excited, and ready to tackle your creative work. Special Offer: $12.75 + $6.00 Shipping = $18.75
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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the July 2007 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information.