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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the July issue of Creativity Calling!

Independence—Freedom—Choice! I love those words and concepts! Each of us has the awesome opportunity and privilege to share and to impress our own creative thumbprint, our own unique essence in this world. We can step up to the plate and choose to be a contributor for the betterment of all, for each of us matters more than we know.

This month, we have Melissa, Liz and Barbara offering up a smorgasbord of articles, a picnic of tasty thoughts that speak to our connections with others, and how to make authentic choices that are truly right for us—the kind of choices that will bring us not only the results that we want, but also the freedom for which we yearn.

Creativity Coaches help people align with their authentic selves so they can tap into their creative genius. So many don't even believe they have choices in life, but that doesn't mean free will and choice doesn't exist. Each of us comes into this world with free will and how we learn to use it is called choice.

Let's lift the bar on what we previously believed we were capable of being, of doing and of having. Let's be willing to embrace our freedom, right here, right now.

In the words of E.W. Wilcox:

Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about Creating yourself.

Enjoy your choices and let freedom ring!

We welcome your questions and feedback. Do you have areas you would like to see addressed by our Creativity Coaches in a future newsletter? Write us!

All the very best,

Beverly Down

Beverly Down, President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association

A Bird's Eye View of Social Marketing Skills

by Melissa Rosati

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge features wonderful birds. Recently, I saw a gull with an enormous clam in its beak. With the gull hovering above the trail a few feet in front of me, I watched the bird drop the clam. The clam hit the ground with a dull thud. The gull inspected the clam, picked it up, and climbed higher in the air. The clam hit the ground again. The gull dropped the clam four more times before it adjusted its strategy to drop the clam on a rock, where it burst forth as a tasty lunch of clam on the half shell.

When it comes to social marketing, nature is a wonderful teacher. At first, the gull reasoned that climbing higher in the air, applying more gravitational force when it dropped the clam was the solution. This is like a traditional marketer who believes that amplifying the volume of the marketing message alone will bring an immediate result. This, too, is a miscalculation.

The gull's success came from a small change in perspective. He flew high enough in the air to survey a wide range of targets available from the terrain, and then selected the rock as the appropriate medium for getting the job done.

Today's state of social marketing zeitgeist puts us in ongoing conversations. Every marketing tactic sounds like a solution. As creators, we need a bird's eye view.

Creative people are marketing savvy. Four skills that serve creatives well include listening, observing, collecting, and learning.

How to Build Your Skills for a Social Marketing Program

  1. Listen to how your clients or customers voice their challenges and successes. What's the tenor of the conversation? What are the hot button words and phrases?
  2. Observe your own behavior by keeping a media journal for 30 days. For example, what applications do you use most often? Rate them on a trust scale from 1 to 5. How does the media you consume inform your decisions and purchases?
  3. Collect examples of the best social marketing practices from experts in the field. Follow the pros and adapt their knowledge.
  4. Learning comes from setting goals. The most successful marketers are as fluent in describing their successes as they are describing their failures. We can learn by failing forward.

~Melissa A. Rosati, CPCC, is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and accredited with the International Coach Federation. She coaches writers and artists. www.melissascoachingstudio.com

Declare your interdependence: Become a model creative citizen
by Liz Massey

July is a big month for freedom. In the United States, we celebrate Independence Day on July 4, the date when our government shed the shackles of English colonization; in France, July 14 is Bastille Day, which commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution. Creative people instinctively understand the need to be free; indeed, one of the biggest challenges for many artists is to maintain access to that sense of liberation that allows new insights to emerge.

Last year on Independence Day, I wrote an essay entitled "A Creative Person's Bill of Rights," in which I listed 10 rights I felt were inalienable to creative freedom—including the right to self-expression, the right to experiment, the right to create for fun and for money, and so forth.

After reflecting on my essay over the past 12 months, I now realize that the creative rights I posited come paired with creative responsibilities—actions an artist must undertake to preserve the overall health of the creative community. We don't create in a vacuum. How we treat our fellow artists influences how easy or difficult it is for others to be creative.

Here, then, are a few qualities that are essential to creative citizenship:

Open-mindedness, which means openness not just to one's own off-beat insights, but those of others, even those you may struggle to understand.

Value-consciousness, which means a creative person "gets" at a deep level that all creative expression is worth something, whether it's measured in currency, awe, determination, inspiration, or other ways.

Collegiality, or viewing all artists, at whatever skill level, as one's peers. A good creative citizen advocates for the benefit of all artists, not just a select few.

Collaborative, meaning he or she plays well with others and can cooperate to build a synergistic masterpiece that's far more than the sum of its parts.

Committed to craft, as well as to joy. Creative citizens understand the importance of mastery of one's discipline through dedicated practice (and may even teach others as a result), but never lose sight of the joyful "flow" experiences that drew them to their art in the first place.

Creative citizenship is universally available. It is conferred each time we act as if art—whether it's made by ourselves or our fellow artists—matters.

~CCA member Liz Massey is a writer, editor, media producer and a creative agent provocateur. She runs her coaching practice from her home in Peoria, Arizona. Her blog, Creative Liberty, is online at creativeliberty.wordpress.com.

A New Kind of Summer Vacation

by Barbara Martin

In The Artist's Way program, creativity development expert Julia Cameron recommends experiencing a full week of reading deprivation: no books, newspapers, or magazines. In today's hyper-connected world, I'd take it a step further and say: no media. No radio, no television, no internet. No PDA, no texting on your phone! Could you do it?

Even if you could, why would you want to? These days we are constantly urged to become ever more closely networked, tied in, hooked up, wired. But at what cost?

The Price We Pay
We pay a high price for all this supposedly convenient 24/7 on-call availability and connectivity. We're losing track of the natural rhythm of day and night, the traditional weekly cadence of certain days for work and certain days for other pursuits. We've lost the carefree existence of being out of the office and out of touch. We've forgotten the luxury of time and place that being out of town and "unreachable" once meant. We have become slaves to electrons.

Creative Sacrifice
For creative people, this always-on accessibility is particularly damaging. It devours not just valuable time, but robs us of our mental energy, too. We can't immerse ourselves in creative flow. We don't have uninterrupted time for developing our thoughts and ideas. We've lost the ability to single-mindedly kindle creative sparks into blazing flames no matter how long it takes. We've traded our concentration for sound bites and instant updates.

Take Back Freedom!
Now before you accuse me of being a Luddite, I do appreciate modern communications, and as a die-hard telecommuter, I get how utterly dismal and disorienting being disconnected can feel. Flip side, I dearly relish that kick-up-your-heels joy, that devil-may-care attitude, that glorious burst of energy we release by cutting the cord and tuning out. Freedom!

Mark it in Ink
I encourage you, during these long and lazy days of summer, to courageously schedule yourself a media break. If not an entire week, how about one afternoon a week? Book yourself some quiet time to share with your muse, to indulge your creativity and play hooky with your inner artist. If you like, call it an art picnic in honor of the season. I promise you'll be glad you did.

~Writer and creativity specialist Barbara Martin publishes http://reptitude.com and is reachable nearly 24/7 at BarbaraMart in2@gmail.com or @Reptitude on Twitter.

Registration Open for Fall 2009
CCA Creativity Coaching Classes!

" 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.

New CCA E-book Coming Soon!

Forward by Gail McMeekin, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.
Author of The Power of Positive Choices and Boost Your Creativity, Productivity, and Profits in 21 Steps

Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coachescca logo

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

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 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

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 publisher@creativitycoachingassociation.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 July 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 join@creativitycoachingassociation.com for information.

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