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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Hello, Friends!

Welcome to the September issue of Creativity Calling!

In this month's articles, our CCA coaches invite us to gaze at our life and ourselves. It's a fact that many creative folks are dreamers: we dream about what's next ... about learning, doing, being and having. But, ... have we stepped into our dreams? If not, today is the day.

The CCA's 1st annual creativity conference, Creativity: Let It Be Life! is fast approaching (Oct. 4th is only 26 days away). I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Did you know?
  1. The half price rooms available to CCA conference attendees at The Fort Henry Resort and Conference Center (Lake George, N.Y. conference site) will no longer be available at that price after September 22? Register now to secure a room at the Center and take advantage of this fabulous discount.
  2. Besides mingling at the conference with the writers of this issue of Creativity Calling, you can also meet Steve Harper, who has graciously agreed to replace John MacDonald, who can't be with us due to a family commitment. See Steve's full bio and description of his workshop, along with those of all presenters: www.creativityconference2008.com
Beverly Down

Beverly Down, President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association

Creative Daydreaming Adds Power to Your WorkPerson relaxing

by Quinn McDonald

Goals that are a stretch are often called "only dreams." The word 'only' labels them as far-fetched, unlikely, something to pursue for fun, but not seriously. Dreams are fragments of our imagination, private signs and often a doorway to emotional healing. And they are just as powerful if they are daydreams, the stroll our imagination takes when we unhook from the yoke of duty—jobs, classes, cleaning, running errands.

Daydreams can be powerful tools for creativity; they can guide ordinary work toward extraordinary work. Let's say you want to write. The usual guidance is, "Write what you know." You have a pretty good idea that no one wants to read what you know. You want to write what no one knows—yet. What doesn't exist, what might exist only in your head. You want to be a writer. You know better than to express this out loud. So you daydream about being a writer

You allow yourself to imagine the best, with no boundaries. You come up with ideas. Some of them don't feel so far-fetched. You take a few notes. You daydream some more. You change your story. You read it and daydream something better. Eventually the story becomes extraordinary. And suddenly you have a piece of writing worth pursuing without dreaming. You've moved your daydreaming to reality.

And that is exactly why daydreaming is so important. It leads us away from the past with the "no" and the "can't" and the "we don't have those careers." It opens the door to "Why not?" and "see what happens," and "try it and find out." Daydreaming leaves us open to possibility. Success. Adventure. Daydreaming is as important as dreaming at night. Daydreaming solves problems. Creates hope. Stokes the ember of creativity into a flame.

Dreams heal. They heal hurts, a stifled imagination, a crumpled spirit. Dreams can heal the world. True, they are not real, but they can be made real. With a bit of creativity and daydreaming.

© 2008 Quinn McDonald.
Quinn is a certified creativity coach and writer. www.quinncreative.com

Back to School: Nurturing the Creative Soul
by Nellie Jacobs

Pink Lady Apples
Goodbye summer, hello fall. Holidays are over. What a perfect time to assess where we've been and where we plan to go with our own creativity. We are so fortunate that these days a wide breadth of opportunities for personal growth is available to us. From one-time to multiple series, on-line to in-person workshops, seminars, courses and classes cover virtually every conceivable topic and passion.

We must be active in pursuit of creative growth. "Learning is not a spectator sport," said D. Blocher. Learning need not be an expensive venture, either. There are many free and low cost courses offered online as well as in local art galleries; museums; community halls, centers and colleges; religious institutions; and associations such as CCA. Even the undertaking of a new project can present an enormous learning curve. We also can learn so much from one another.

Sometimes, an impediment to creative development is our own attitude. Think about it. How often do we use the word "too" as part of an excuse not to do something new? As example, is there really an age where we're too old to learn? Well, let me tell you about my 80-year-old mother. She LOVES her piano lessons. For years, she's been a perennial beginner. Advancing only at a snail's pace, she knows she'll never be a concert pianist. Yet, to fulfill her creative urges she resolutely keeps on studying and practicing despite personal frustration, responsibilities and health issues. On my last birthday, she brought along her sheet music to play "Happy Birthday" after lunch. She insisted all eleven of us—including three confused toddlers—sing along with her. We sounded awful as we struggled to slow down our words while she painstakingly sought out each note. At the end of her performance she stood up with a flourish and huge smile. We gave her a standing ovation, laughing and wiping away our tears of joy. Mom bowed deeply.

Yes, learning matters. It feeds our curiosity, imparts broader knowledge and understanding, teaches new skills, helps us strive towards new goals and opens doors to new possibilities. Best of all - like kindling - it stokes our creative fire.

©Nellie Jacobs 2008
A life-long student, creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs hosts an Internet radio talk show Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs. www.nelliejacobs.com.

New Project Rituals
by Beth Barany

Woman readingFall is a great time to think about and put in place new rituals for your creative practice or new creative projects.

Why are rituals an important part of our creative practices?

Twyla Tharp, in The Creative Habit: Use it and Learn it for Life, speaks of the power of the "ritual of preparation."

"It's vital to establish some rituals—automatic but decisive patterns of behavior—at the beginning of the creative process, when you are most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up, or going the wrong way."

She says that thinking of these starting actions as a ritual has a transforming effect on her creative activities. I agree.

So, my question to you is this:

What are your current preparation rituals for your creative practice?

Stop and answer this question. If you have a ritual, great. Is it working for you? Excellent, congratulations, and keep up the good work. If no rituals are in place, or the ones you use don't inspire your to get to your creative project, what can you do to improve or change it? If you said, "I have none." Then, I say, "Okay. What could you do?"

Tips on creating a Preparation Ritual for your creative practice:
  1. Keep it simple
  2. Keep it short
  3. Let it flow easily into your creative project
Take the next few weeks to settle into your new Preparation Ritual and watch it help you be:
  1. More productive
  2. More grounded
  3. More joyful!
Happy Creating!

© 2008 Beth Barany
A Creativity Coach for Writers, Beth Barany is also a writer, book project manager, and amateur athlete. www.bethbarany.com

New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes Beginning in October 2008!

Life is not about finding yourself...
Life is about Creating yourself. " ~ E.W. Wilcox

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.

Title: Your Life is A Performance: how to capitalize on performance skills in order to enhance what you already do!

Leader: Steve Harper Steve Harper

Description: Use the tools that trained performers rely on to make any public moment come alive. Many of us think of performance as what we see in the theatre or on screen. In truth, the rules of performing can be applied to any interaction. This workshop will walk you through a series of simple techniques you can use in one-on-one meetings and group presentations. Explore unique strategies of preparation, rehearsal, performance and post-show de-briefing. Discover how to apply those skills to the work you do. Learn ways to tap into your authentic self when you're not alone.

Steve Harper is a professional actor, a produced playwright and a 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry. Other creative adventures include producing and writing for radio and television, directing film and theatre projects, writing for print and online publication and teaching multiple disciplines. Steve is a member of the Creativity Coaching Association and a graduate of Yale, The A.R.T. Institute at Harvard, and the Juilliard playwriting program. His coaching clients range from artists and individuals facing life/work issues to corporate officers developing projects

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 over 50 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in nearly 100 different specialties.

Read this Book and Get Motivated

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.

Special Offer: $12.75 + $6.00 Shipping = $18.75 (Note: This offer is good only for copies to be mailed within the United States. It does not apply to copies to be mailed to Canada or overseas. If you live outside the United States, please email rickbenzel@msn.com to find out how much your postage costs will be.)

Click here to purchase a copy now.

Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the September 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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