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 Creativity Calling

The Newsletter of the Creativity Coaching Association

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the January issue of Creativity Calling!

2012...a fresh, new year! Are you excited about the possibilities, about your creative potential?

I hope you've written out your creative goals for the year, along with the steps needed to reach them. If not, why not take some time right now to do it. Each one of us can resolve to make 2012 the year we boldly set aside fears and step into our dreams--into our personal and professional transformation!

The CCA is a community of creative people who are here to support you in doing just that! This month I know you'll glean helpful ideas and strategies from the articles written by our CCA creativity coaches.

Barbara encourages us to invite our audiences into our initial creative visioning. Consuelo gives us 3 valuable tips for letting go of and/or tweaking what didn't work for us in 2011, i.e., starting 2012 with a clean slate. Lynn assists us in shifting our consciousness towards seeing the beauty and necessity in making mistakes. And Miranda shares her wisdom (pursuing what we love most) in becoming the CCA's most recent certified creativity coach. 

There you have it! "Trust yourself," said Golda Meir. "Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement."

Thank you so much for subscribing to Creativity Calling. Feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends and colleagues. And, continue to write us with your questions and areas of interest, as we love your input!

Enjoy yourself!


Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association

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painting toolsMaking the Audience Complicit in Our Work

 By Barbara Millman Cole

Beginnings are wonderful because nothing has come before; the page is blank, the canvas is empty, the stage not yet lit. It is a time of possibility and promise. Any direction may be taken at this point. This is an opportunity to project our artistic goals forward and envision what we want to attain in the coming year.

As artists, we want to stir the imagination, to engage our audience, and ultimately, to make our audience complicit in our work.

What do I mean by 'complicit in our work?' A good piece of art, writing, music, theater or dance mesmerizes its audience to such a degree they forget their own lives for the moment, leave their world, and enter into the world the artist creates.  As artists, we strive to illicit audible gasps, awes or sighs, physical sudden jerks, sharp pains or sweet longings, and mental solutions, predictions or vows in the hearts and minds of our audience. Swept by atmospheric tides, pulled into tumultuous eddies, or caught up in emotional currents purposely placed before them, the audience cannot help but choose to participate in what they are experiencing. What better way to begin 2012 than with this laudable aspect of artistry at the fore of our personal mindsets?

How do we begin? By tapping into our own intuition, allowing ourselves to go deep into our own minds and hearts to discover what we want to impart as artists. If we are swept up, pulled and caught by the tides, eddies and currents of our own imagination, imagine how that will translate into our artistic stories.  Yes, stories--for a painting, a novel, a prelude, a play or a dance all conjure a story in the minds of those who experience them.  

Let's invite our audience into our stories. Let's begin our art projects with the goal of making our audience complicit in our work.

~ Barbara Millman Cole is an award winning writer of Short Literary Fiction, editor and coach, who helps people delve deep to discover their true meaning. Understand why you create so you can know what to create. She can be reached at bmillmancole@sbcglobal.net. ©2012 All rights reserved.

Happy YOU Year! Creating a Fresh Start for 2012

By Consuelo Meux, Ph.D. 

A new year is time to create new projects and create a new YOU! Have you decided how to make the fresh start you deserve this year? Moving seamlessly from one year to the next by hanging onto everything you started in the old year is not necessarily the best way to proceed. Creative people often have a difficult time letting go and starting fresh, especially when it means letting go of a creative project that expresses their inner self.

But letting go doesn't have to be bad. In fact, it gives the potential to grow and create something brand new that would otherwise never be able to emerge. Here are three ways you can make this New Year about supporting a new you.

1. Count the blessings of failures. Successful people say it is best to "fail fast." Not accomplishing a goal, having a piece rejected, or losing an opportunity is not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of counting it as a failure, count it as a blessing. Now you know what didn't work, how to revise your creation, or how to make a different submission. There's a blessing in learning something through effort; so bless the pass, let it go, and get on with the new enlightened you.
2. Don't throw it out, re-purpose. When a creative project doesn't work, it can be hard to move on. Instead of dumping what didn't work, see how you can repurpose all or part of it into a new creation. Re-purposing can work for all types of concepts, from using bits and pieces of materials, restructuring words, or putting pieces from different projects together to see what emerges. Start fast on a new creative project and support the new, dynamic you.

3. Decide for better balance. Was a part of your life out of balance last year? Few people can succeed in creative projects when other aspects of their life are full of stress. Take a personal assessment of where you are with your health, relationships, social life, spirituality and finances. Which area needs more attention and peace? Work for balance this year by actually scheduling time in your calendar for better overall balance. Be sure to think of ways to periodically stop to celebrate the new you that is emerging.

~ Consuelo Meux, Ph.D., is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach. Enjoy her website at www.consuelomeux.com

Go Ahead. Make a Mistake

By Lynn Wyvill

A blank canvas or piece of paper makes a lot of us nervous. Sometimes that comes from feeling totally uninspired and worried that we will never be visited by our creative muse again. Another source of this anxiety is that we are afraid of making mistakes, of ruining this pristine space. "What if I mess it up?" we whisper to ourselves and that fear shuts us down.

I learned a valuable lesson about mistakes in a greeting card workshop a few years ago. I had a design idea that I liked, but when I stamped ink on paper--well, let's just say things didn't work out. I had made a mistake! A big old horrible mistake, it looked like to me. And my mind galloped backwards until I found my third-grade self. I was wasting paper, I told myself. I should have thought more about what I was doing, I admonished. I messed up, I scolded. AND--this is the really sad part--I needed to get rid of this mistake fast so I wouldn't "get in trouble". I buried my mistake at the bottom of the trash can and hoped no one saw me.

A while later, one of the wise artists in the room said, "If it doesn't quite turn out the way you wanted, don't worry. We can fix it. We'll just make it into something else!" It was said with such enthusiasm, joy, and conviction, that I believed anything was possible, even fixing my mistake. I fished the paper out of the trash and looked at it again. Of course, it was fixable, I told myself. The "mistake" became one layer in a design that turned out just fine.

What I've learned is that you have to start somewhere. Make a mark. Write some words. Make a mess! Make mistakes! Forget about adults who discouraged that when you were growing up. Just because they were grown-ups doesn't mean they knew everything. Tune out their distracting voices in your head. Jump in and begin because that "mistake" may be the beginning of something great.

~ Lynn Wyvill is a writer and a CCA Certified Creativity Coach. You can contact Lynn at lwyvill@comcast.net and check out her blog http://lynnwyvill.wordpress.com.

January 2012 - New CCA Certification Courses Begin 

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 Miranda Hersey, CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

The Perils of Plan B
By Miranda Hersey

Right-brainers sometimes feel like square pegs in a world of analysis and due diligence. Until recently, passion and intuition haven't been particularly valued. You're zealous about ethnomusicology, Petrarchan sonnets, or encaustic painting? Don't pursue anything in school--so we're told--that doesn't point to reliable income at the other end. We're taught to be generalists, as if being mediocre at everything is somehow more secure than being really good at what we love. We're told to play it safe, consider every possibility, and have a solid Plan B.

But as writers like Seth Godin and Daniel Pink observe, the old rules have changed. Thanks to the internet, playing it safe doesn't cut it anymore. Whether it's big business, the blogosphere, or the creative world, success is increasingly defined by those who do what they love with singular clarity, and do it well. Given passion and persistence, do we really need to waste so much time fretting over "what if?"

Last year, I moved from the paradigm of "I need to think about it" firmly into "heck, yeah!"--and I'm not looking back. I stopped considering CCA certification and declared my candidacy. Was this decision based on an analysis of critical risks and return on investment? No. I wanted to do it. I'd find the cash and make the time: it would come together. And it did. I finished my certification within the calendar year and now coach clients. It's everything I imagined.

In October, I co-led a workshop in life design. We could have fine-tuned our curriculum for months, fussed with our marketing plan, and listened to the inner voices that shouted, "But wait! You don't have a safety net! This is all going too quickly and you don't know what you're doing!" Ignoring those voices, I followed the advice I offer my clients: Trust that you know what you're doing, even when you don't know. Our workshop went so well that we've opened a brick-and-mortar studio for creativity and life design.

If "what if" is getting in your way, grab what you love, and go for it.

Miranda Hersey is a writer, creativity coach, facilitator, and host of the blog Studio Mothers. As a business owner and the mother of five, Miranda is passionate about helping others live deeply satisfying, creative lives. She lives in rural Massachusetts, happily overrun with people, books, and animals. 

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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.

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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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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.)

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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!

This is the end of the January 2012 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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