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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends

Happy 2008! I hope your new year is off to a great start!

This month our creativity coaches share a potpourri of newsletter articles to assist you with goal setting. In the words of E.W. Wilcox: "Life is not about finding yourself... Life is about Creating yourself." I say "Amen" (and "Awomen") to that!

Are you ready to put feet on your dreams? Read on...

NOTE: Mark your calendar! October 4 & 5, 2008 is the Creativity Coaching Association's first annual Creativity Expo to be held in beautiful Lake George, New York. This is your opportunity to meet and greet CCA creativity coaches and participate in a phenomenal array of activities: workshops, networking sessions, fine dining... More details soon!

We appreciate your readership and always love your feedback and suggestions.

All the best,
Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association

Making Your Creative Plans for 2008

Sky seen through treesBy Lynn Wyvill

January is a great time to renew your promise to yourself to do the creative work you want to do. Taking some time now to reflect on what you've done and what you'd like to do can get you moving again after the distractions of the holidays. What works for me is a very simple system of creating three lists. These lists can include the personal and professional aspects of your life, but let's focus here on your creative side. You need several things to begin—some quiet time, your 2007 calendar, journal, and any other materials that will help you remember what you did last year

List #1 - Your 2007 Accomplishments—Go back through all those materials from 2007. Don't rely on your memory; you'll probably forget something. Did you take or teach a class? Take a risk? Try a new technique in your work? Enter a show? Push through doubts/fears to complete a creative project? Make progress on a creative project? Make a list of everything that you consider an accomplishment—big and small.

List #2 - Lessons Learned—Ask yourself—What worked that you want to continue doing in 2008? What do you want/need to stop doing that isn't helping your creative work? What do you want to start doing that will help your work? What didn't you do in 2007 that you wish you had done? This will help you create List #3.

List # 3 - Your 2008 Goals—Goals need to be specific, realistic, manageable but challenging. If your goals are too general or unrealistic, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Instead of saying "I'm going to be more creative in 2008", try something like "Complete 5 paintings by June." Or "Write a chapter a month." Or "Schedule 2 hours Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for collage." If you think goals may be too confining, consider this. Specific and realistic goals give you direction so that you are motivated to keep working. That will make it easier for you to recognize other creative opportunities. Referring to your creativity goals throughout 2008 will help you measure your progress and keep those promises to yourself to do the creative work you want to do.

Lynn Wyvill is a creativity coach, as well as a business presentation coach and trainer. She can be reached at 703-299-0848 and lynn@grantstreetcom.com.

Launch into Your Creative Space
by Dave Storer

One of the most useful things I've learned as a creativity coach is that we simply have to launch ourselves out into the creative spaces of our work. Many of us—myself included—tend to hug the shores where we feel safe from judgment, but where no real creative work gets done.

The best thing you can do right now is to get in your creative boat and push off into uncharted waters. Every creative act is a journey into the unknown. There are no maps. You can't complete the journey from shore. And most of your important discoveries will come when you're out in the blue water, away from any sight of land.

Push out, and lose yourself in your work.

I also know from personal experience that this isn't always easy. It's often not enough to simply say, as in the Nike ads, "Just do it." It is that simple, but it's also that hard

Many of us, when we're starting to "just do it," need a scaffolding of support to hold up the initially shaky structures of our new habit.

Here are the kinds of support that I've found work best.

Make a strong commitment to deliver creative content. I decided to teach a class on launching your writing habit here in Ann Arbor. I found a venue, put out some advertising, took some people's money and had to come to class every week with a new lesson and several exercises in hand. Each week I procrastinated until the last minute, but I got them all done. For twelve weeks I wrote a lot about creativity, which was my goal. It was wonderful.

How might you adapt this idea?

Another great option is to ask a creating buddy, group or coach to hold you accountable. If you have a regular appointment to deliver new creations, and your supporters are there at each appointment to kindly but firmly hold you to your commitments, then I guarantee your productivity will soar.

When you're done reading this newsletter, sit right down and make a specific plan on how you're going to support your creative growth and adventuring this year.

~As a creativity coach, Dave Storer helps his clients develop the tools they need to achieve creative success. Check his site, www.thecreativitycatalyst.com. Don't forget the "the"!

No More Resolutions

by Quinn MacDonald

New Year's resolutions? I'm against them. Why would a creativity coach be against Starsomething so apparently helpful? Because I don't think New Year's resolutions are helpful. Most of them are chosen randomly—losing weight, being nicer to co-workers, being more thoughtful in traffic. Many are vague (all three of the above are) and most are geared to work against the resolution-maker.

Setting a goal brings with it the bothersome work of self-motivation, accountability, and self-judgment. None of that sounds intriguing, much less fun. It sounds like something to do until we get bored—sometime around January 3.

When my clients charge into the New Year, fueled with determination to root out their bad habits, I suggest that bad habits are generally nothing more than good habits dialed up too far. Generosity, certainly a good habit, can be dialed up until it becomes the bad habit of overspending or buying someone else's affection. Judging others sounds like a bad habit until we realize that explaining morality, ethics and response to bullying to our children involves judging in a good way.

A better way to tackle resolutions is not to dig out the bad habits—pulling out the roots of good behavior at the same time. Instead, resolve to increase things you do well. That nice feeling you get helping others? Get more of it. Let that car in the other lane get in front of you. Get out of line in the grocery store to pick up the item you forgot, instead of leaving your cart in line, forcing people to wait for your return. Smile while you do this.

Are you a good friend? When you hear that juicy bit of gossip, break eye contact, look down, then look the gossiper straight in they eye and change the subject. Refuse to pass on gossip, snarky remarks or that embarrassing email someone sent you.

Because you are already good at these tasks, finding more ways to put them into action won't be hard. You are following your inclination to make the most of your talents, rather than working against yourself rooting out a bad habit.

And you'll find yourself still doing well in July, instead of feeling guilty by the second week of January. It's a great feeling.

~Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach and a life coach. She's a writer who owns QuinnCreative.com (c) 2007. All rights reserved.

Tap into Our Database of Creativity CoachesCCA logo

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

Are you:
  • 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.

Congratulations to Beth Barany,
New CCA Certified Creativity Coach!

Beth Barany

Many people want to start their creative projects but don't know how to begin. The answer is simple to state, though not easy to execute. Creativity coaching supports you during all phases of the creative process, from start to finish, by supporting your vision, and by helping you design a structure to turn your dreams into reality.

Three Essential Steps to Start to any Creative Project

1. State Your Intention
When beginning any project, first write down your intention. State clearly what you want to create in the present tense with positive verbs. It may be to write a novel, paint a large work, or create a public event. Stating your intention in clear terms brings the dream from your head onto paper, where the how can be addressed.

2. Listen Deeply
What to do next once the intention has been declared can be challenging, especially if what you think your next step should be is a certain thing and you have yet to take any action. With my clients, I listen deeply to them and reflect back what I hear them saying about their process and their next step. One client thought her environment had be perfect to work on her novel, but then later shared how that week she was able to write in several different locations, on different computers, and made good progress on her novel. When I reflected that back to her, she was surprised and pleased. She'd listened well to herself.

3. Take Action in Small Steps
After listening deeply to yourself, trust the information received and start. To develop the habits needed to create, start small. I often suggest to clients that they set the timer for 20 minutes and take the next step. When the buzzer rings, stop if you are at a stopping place. More often than not, you will be engaged by what you are doing and will continue.

Congratulate yourself on the actions taken and finish your creative session by asking yourself what the next step is, and schedule that.

Happy Creating!

~Beth Barany is a creativity coach and book coach. She helps people bring their creative dreams into reality with practical, real-world understanding, guidance and advice. Beth is a fiction and nonfiction writer and teacher. To learn more about her services, go to bethbarany.com. © 2008. All rights reserved.

Special Book Offer

book coverIf 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.

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Click here to purchase a copy now.

New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes Beginning!

"We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time" --T.S.Eliot

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 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.

Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the January 2008 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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