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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the June issue of Creativity Calling!
You've heard us say this many times, in many ways: our lives become more expansive and creative when we allow ourselves to play.
Well, school's out for summer and our CCA creativity coaches are offering up some fresh perspectives for your creative success. John shares insights on balancing playful art making with goal setting, Beth speaks to the process of fully immersing yourself in your creative activities, while Mun Ying takes us on an engaging trip around "The Creativity Game Board." What fun!
And a reminder! Check out the website for details about CCA's 2nd International Creativity Conference! It's scheduled for October 15-17,2010 in one of the most beautiful fall destinations on the planet--Lake George, New York. Join us for fabulous workshops and training, networking with creative leaders from around the globe, good food, fun activities and lively entertainment. To learn all about it (and receive early bird registration savings) go here.
We're grateful for your readership and love your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues.

All the best,

Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO, Creativity Coaching Association

"Serious Planning and Playful Creation: Finding Time for Both"

Time flies ClockBy John MacDonald

Timing, so they say, is everything. This is as true for the arts as it is for business.  Think of this expression as giving not only particular wisdom for the market but for time in general--when is best to think about the future and when is it not. As creative people, we engage in two seemingly contradictory activities: on one hand, we set goals and assign concrete and realistic steps that help us reach those goals; and on the other hand, we throw away all thoughts of an ordered future and recklessly jump into the endlessly unfolding present moment of the creative act. There's a time to set goals and there's a time to get lost in the creative moment. We must do both. In finding a balance between them, consider the following points.

Don't neglect planning and goal-setting. Future-oriented thinking can help us succeed in the market and increase our creative productivity, but most importantly, it can also help us find a sense of meaning and purpose in our work, which generates enormous amounts of passion and energy. Planning and goal-setting helps us determine what we want to create, for whom we want to create, and even how we want to create. Unfortunately, many artists shun this kind of left-brain work, seeing it as unnecessary drudgery that robs them of creative time and energy. They're wrong--planning for the future is a vital part of our work.

Focus fully on the creative process. When it's time to engage in the creative act itself, we must empty our minds of anything that impedes our ability to get lost in the present moment of creative activity, including thoughts about our goals and plans. If we don't--if our focus stays stuck in the future--then too often our work becomes simply a means to a future ends. With our attention glued to the future, we miss the happy accidents, sudden discoveries, and childlike joy of creating which occur in the present moment.

Learn how to do both. How do we balance these two activities? We must discover that for ourselves. There's no one-size-fits-all answer. But we need to do both. Serious planning is an equal partner to playful art-making. We make clear, challenging, and doable plans. And then we let go of them as we dive into the joy of creating.

~John MacDonald is a freelance illustrator, painter, and certified creativity coach, who specializes in working with visual artists and particularly around issues of anxiety and fear. To learn more, visit www.thecreativewell.com © 2010

hands in dirt
Fun with Focus: How to Get Work Done in An Ultra Busy World

By Beth Barany "Of all the animal species, humans are the biggest players of all."--The Promise of Play by Dr. Stuart Brown with Christopher Vaughan

What is fun for you? Often artists think of the moments when they are totally lost in their art, where the sense of self disappears, and what only exists is the creative thing itself: the story, the painting, the movement, the song.

What you have here is 100% of our focus on your art. The trick is getting to that place despite your ultra busy lives.

Why? Because you want to create more, not less, and to create with that focus and joy.

For artists, creating your art is the ultimate form of play. Remember?

But what if play were gone from our lives? Then gone would be games, art, movies, books, dance, jokes, flirting, maybe even smiling.

If we're not tapped into what's fun for us as artists, then our lives fall flat; the song goes out of our hearts. As Dr. Brown says, play is our oxygen. Essential, and not noticed until it's gone.

So my question for you is what does it feel like to be in that place of play and fun with your art? Imagine it. Capture that sensation through your art. If you're a writer, write that down. For visual artists, create it through color or shape or texture. For movement artist, create the feeling of being blissful, in full fun with your art, through your movement.

Now that you have evoked fun in your art, what is the one thing you can do to touch that place each time you sit down to do your art, your work?
Pick one thing and play with that for a few weeks. Integrate it and hold it in your heart each day. Let us know how it goes for you!

~Beth Barany. Certified Creativity Coach, Beth Barany works with aspiring authors. She helps them actually complete their books and bring them out into the world. www.bethbarany.com. c.2010

New CCA Creativity Coaching Classes
begin September 2010!

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.

Congratulations to Mun Ying Lau,
CCA's newest Certified Creativity Coach!

Darby DizardPlaying the Game of Creativity

By Mun Ying Lau

Let's admit it: We creative types like to play. And yet, we seem to have an ambiguous relationship with this particular species of activity.

The problem: perhaps we don't really understand the full potential of play? Or perhaps our narrow definitions of play have sapped away all its fun and vitality.

So how do we fix this? By getting a different perspective ... and we can only achieve this by first playing an imaginative game ...

Let's Play! Imagine yourself as a game character standing on the squares of a special board-game ... the Creativity Game! How do you play? You first decide on a creative problem to pursue. You roll a dice--and move forward two steps, landing on a brainstorming square. You manage to come out with five good ideas. You roll another dice. Because you are making such great progress, you move recklessly forward three steps-but fall into a pit of ideational despair.

You desperately reach for a creative stimulus card. As you use this magical stimulus to hack away at the problem, you suddenly get an Aha!--which jumps you ahead 10 steps! You roll another dice ... well, you get the idea ....

Perspectives from the Playground.  Since the creative process is powered by play, seeing your creative process as a game gives you a whole new perspective to work through your creative issues.

As you straddle the boundaries of the game world and the "real" world, you can peer into the liminal realm of your creative process: preparation, incubation, illumination, verification--the stages of creative ideation forming the distinct steps of the creative process, guiding your path towards winning this game.

Seeing this path allows you to jump in to immerse yourself in the rituals of artistic imagination, to reach the compelling goals that motivated you to start playing the game in the first place.

Game On! Ironically, artists often complain about restrictive rules--yet to play the game of creativity well, one has to stick to the rules of consistent effort, and to follow the winding paths of process. Indeed, games are held together by nothing more than rules. These rules help us create order out of chaos--and actually provide us a structure for us to become more creative.

So how do you know how well you have played the creativity game? You stick to the rules of the game, till the end. However, it's a game that's well worth your while to play all out to win.

~Mun Ying Lau is a Singapore-based certified creativity coach, writer and design thinking lecturer. His ongoing quest involves the alchemy of the imagination--incorporating design creativity and play in the service of transformative learning. You can reach Mun Ying at coachtheartist@yahoo.com or through his blog at http://coachtheartist.blogspot.com/

Shop the CCA Creativity Marketplace!

Click here to learn more

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

Find a coach here.

CCA Creativity Coaching Success Stories E-book

Click here to learn more

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.  

Our Price: $ 12.75
List Price: $14.95
S & H: $6.00

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 June 2010 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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