The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association
Welcome to the April issue of Creativity Calling!
Spring of 2009 will forever hold a special magic in my heart. Having just returned from 2 weeks in Ireland and from watching an abundance of greenery and flowers bursting forth all around the Emerald Isle, I've come home to witness the new season's blossoming beginning all over again here in upstate New York. What fun!
Just as spring is a time of renewal and rebirth in the natural world, spring is an ideal time for each of us to press the refresh button and begin anew. Why not take this opportunity to release outdated routines that do not support your creative vision? Each of us can renew our commitment to live lives brimming with joy and creative self-expression.
This month our CCA Creativity Coaches (Dave, Barbara and Liz) offer us quivers of thoughts to ponder—all intended for our new growth and regeneration. Enjoy!
And, finally, let me tell you again how much we love hearing from you. Keep sending us your feedback and suggestions!
All the best,
Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association
Creative Accountability: What it is and how to get it.
by Dave Store
Creative accountability is about finding the support we need to get our creating done. Creative accountability is not about having others tell us what we should be doing. What we need are positive expectations from others. We need others to see us as creators, to give us respect as creators, and help us find the room to grow into our chosen creative identity. Long before we even start to "succeed" as creators, we need people around us who want us to succeed, people who love it when we do get our creating done, and understand and commiserate with us when our creating doesn't go well.
The absolute key to creative accountability is to make sure that every week we check in with our creativity partner, group or coach and say,
- What we had planned to do with our creating in the past week.
- What happened—how our creating went.
- What we learned from it (if anything).
- What we're going to do in our next period of creating.
- What we mustn't do is worry about what happened (or didn't) in any one period of creating. No judgment!
Many of us give up creating completely when an unrealistic creative expectation slams into a legitimate creative obstacle. Maybe we wanted to write 1,000 words every day, but we ran smack dab into a huge problem with our plot. We simply have to stop writing for awhile and figure out what to do. But what happens, then, to our plan to write 1,000 words every day?
Every creative act is a journey into the unknown. We can't expect to control our creating with rigid expectations in the same way that a manager of a manufacturing plant might.
Effective creative accountability means finding a partner, group or coach that can help us make progress through all the ups and downs, ins and outs, and wild peregrinations of the process.
Creativity is always a journey of discovery. As creators, we just can't ever know where we'll end up. All we can do is enjoy the journey. But to do that, we have to make sure we take the journey. Make the journey the focus of your accountability, not any one destination.
~As a creativity coach, Dave Storer focuses on helping writers and other creators establish effective and satisfying creative practices. Check out his new website, www.thecreativitycatalyst.com. Don't forget the "the"!
Of Precious Pearls and Silken Strands
Precious pearls rain down,
Water flows, converges and beads
Upon silken strands clinging tenuously
To thorn and branch, leaf and flower;
A thousand fragile spider webs
Don raiment of silvery lace and sparkling diamond.
A million bright buds await their queue;
Petulant petals on the verge,
Burst into bloom.
by Barbara Millman Cole
Spring brings rain; and with it, new growth. Looking out on my garden I see my rosebush has climbed and twined itself about the arched trellis; growing thick and spreading toward the sky. Its leaves, washed and polished, bask in the morning rays. Tiny pink rose buds pop out from its dark green foliage; a polka dot chorus of color, showcasing the few diva roses already in full bloom. My rosebush does not sense it is out of control, though it smothers its neighboring azaleas with its sun reaching limbs. Happy, oblivious, uninhibited, it stretches and consumes space in my garden, without a care. It is queen for a moment; knowing I will not cut it back whilst it dons such beauty.
Up near its crown, swaying tenuously in its branches, a spider industriously weaves a web. Tiny raindrops pearl upon silken strands, sparkling in the sun. With each passing breeze, more pearls fall from the rosebush branches, sprinkling the spider and its web with fresh dew. The spider spins its threads unconcerned, intent on weaving its web. Back and forth it sails across the plain of its creation, adding strength and beauty to the form. The threads dip and rise. A pattern takes shape.
I gaze upon my rosebush and muse that I too might spread my limbs toward the sun; breathe the brisk, rain-cleansed air, fill my lungs, and expand uninhibited. Or perhaps, like the spider, I will stretch my silk among the rosebush's petulant petals, arraying them with a necklace of silvery lace. I will weave my web where precious pearls might bead; in the open, in the wind, in the top most branches.
Be bold and venture forth into spring showers. Let the rain wash away your dust. Let raindrops pearl upon your silken strands. And let the cleansing waters reveal your strength and grace, worn like diamonds on silk, as you weave your own creation, strand by strand.
~Barbara Millman Cole is an award winning writer of Short Literary Fiction, a Writing Coach and a CCA certification candidate. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2009 All rights reserved.
Enough is enough
by Liz Massey
Spring cleaning your mind opens a space to create
Now that spring is here and the weather is warmer, it is a great time tosort old files, go through our wardrobe, and spend time in the garage deciding which possessions to shed and which to keep. Spring is also an appropriate season to assess our inner landscape, as keeping our mind tidy allows us to create much more easily.
I recently found an interesting Web site on compulsive hoarding produced by several journalism graduate students at Columbia University in New York: http://hoardhouse.com. Exploring the site is a sobering experience for anyone who has had their passion for collecting take a turn toward obsession—the parallels between collecting too many possessions and holding on to the wrong sorts of attitudes related to creativity are striking.
Through visiting the Hoardhouse site, it's possible to learn the following about those who let their clutter get out of control:
Collectors are proud of their possessions; hoarders are ashamed of theirs.
Collections often devolve into clutter when an organizational scheme for the materials is lost.
A significant milestone along the cluttering continuum comes when a room can no longer be used for its intended purpose.
While the Hoardhouse site focuses on physical clutter, it's possible to use these lessons to determine if a mental attitude is interfering with our ability to make art.
Are we proud of this attitude we hold?
Do we have an appropriate place in our mind to "store" this attitude? Does it help us improve our craftsmanship, for example, or is it just taking up space in the "reputation-protecting" corner of our mind?
Does adhering to this belief allow us to use our mind for its "intended purpose," that is, to make art on a consistent basis?
Hoarders often need the help of a therapist to overcome their anxiety about de-cluttering their space. Artists may feel intense anxiety in letting go of cherished beliefs, as well, but the reward at the end of the cleansing process is a "house"—an internal dwelling—where there is enough empty space for unforced creative insights to break through.
De-cluttering one's house allows one to enjoy its protection and offer hospitality to others. De-cluttering one's mind can allow us to feel less internal conflict about our creative gifts, and to share the fruits of those gifts with others.
~Liz Massey is a professional writer, editor and creativity coach whose coaching practice, Creative Liberty, is located in the Phoenix metropolitan area. For more information, see her business profile.
New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes
Beginning in April 2009!
" 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.
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed 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 over 70 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
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 (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 email@example.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 April 2009 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.