Welcome to the May/June issue of Creativity Calling!
A warm welcome is extended to the many new subscribers to the CCA's newsletter. I'm certain this month's missive will resonate with you...it certainly does with me!
Following an especially long and cold winter in much of the USA, it feels wonderful to be moving about outdoors. Just as seasonal climate changes come and go, all of us are presented with challenges and opportunities for keeping our creative lives moving forward. Let's embrace the changes occurring about us and consciously choose where we invest our precious time and energy. Change can be very positive; in truth, creativity IS change!
This month our CCA coaches offer fresh and inspiring thoughts to help embrace newness, creativity and joy in our everyday lives. I hope you find some joy from the insightful ideas they share, along with their practical tips, tools and techniques. This month, Lynn suggests we add balance to our creative lives by carving out the necessary time to refresh and replenish. Starla provides information on refueling our creative wells by seizing the present moment. And Gioya gives valuable suggestions for inserting the spring back into our routines, for adding zest to our creativity. Lastly, we congratulate Jana Van der Veer, the CCA's newest certified creativity coach! Jana shares insights on the important mental shifts that took place along her creative path. Great reading!
We're grateful for your readership and feedback. As always, feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends, family and colleagues.
Enjoy your self!
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Stocking our Creative Pantry
By Lynn Wyvill
Pick up any article or book about writing, painting, or creativity of any kind. The advice is always the same--being consistent in our practice, working on our craft every day, is critical to our development as creatives.
There is, however, another recommendation that I think is just as important--to take breaks from that creative work. Now we do have to walk that tricky line of making sure we don't stumble into the rocky territory of procrastination or stopping our work completely. And we may have to fight the perception that breaking away from our usual schedule is just being lazy and unproductive. But done right, creative breaks can boost our productivity and stretch our creativity. In other words, they are essential. I call it productive idleness.
Think of these breaks from work as restocking our creative pantry. After all, we can't make a delicious meal if our shelves and refrigerator are nearly empty!
So where would we gather the items for our creative cupboards? Perhaps a walk in a city or the woods, a visit to a museum, a new book, a trip to a place never visited before, a class in our craft, a class in something unrelated to our craft, or a magazine outside our usual areas of interest.
Doing new things can stock our creative shelves, and so can doing old things. Experiencing the familiar in a totally new way, with all our senses, can bring fresh insights. With careful observation, we discover the sublime. In stillness, we hear the subtle. With gentleness, we touch beauty. In pausing, we taste the delicate. With mindfulness, we sense the fragrant. This is how we tap into the richness of the world that nourishes our creative souls.
In these creative breaks, we stockpile ingredients for new creative work to surprise and delight. Being idle, allowing thoughts to drift like summer clouds, wandering where curiosity takes us, transports us to surprising places in our imagination, birthing ideas that never occurred to us before, challenging us to do things that we've never done before.
The only questions are how long and often our creative breaks will be. And the answer to that is when our creative pantries are full again.
~ Lynn Wyvill
, CCA Certified Creativity Coach, is a writer who is working on a book of essays about nature. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Fuel: Seize the Newness
By Starla J. King
Here on the east coast, spring has finally broken through winter's plodding cold monotony and is replacing it with a vibrant swell of colors, sounds and scents.
As blooms grow and fade, leaves quickly replace them; as days grow longer, sunrise and dusk grow sweeter; as nature wakes up, each day offers us something critical to our creativity: NEWNESS.
If your creative energy is still trying to shake off a long winter sleep, seize the newness of spring to throw back those covers and wake you back up. You see, inspiration isn't going to come find you in the bottom of a deep rut, in the well-worn grooves of doing the "same old, same old" over and over again.
Inspiration finds you in the moments you jump the track and do, see, feel, or think something different, something new.
You don't need (or want!) to overhaul your whole routine, just add some tweaks that make some moments NEW every day. Consider the following:
- Walk on the other side of the street and pay attention to the different view.
- Learn something new about your creative field or craft and put it into practice right away.
- Engage in a different creative activity than usual.
- Start putting together a jigsaw puzzle and notice what insights appear.
- Focus on a different sense than you usually do.
- Prepare yourself a beautiful breakfast and eat it slowly, mindfully.
- Take a walk outside and notice everything new around you, from the smallest leaf to the new building going up next door.
Today, follow the wise and exuberant example of spring and seize the newness. Your creativity will thank you for it!
~ Starla J. King
is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, writing coach, and author of the book Wide Awake. Every Day. Daily Inspiration for Conscious Living. You can reach her through http://outwriteliving.com
Spring into Creativity
By Gioya McRae
We all have times when our creativity sags. These times of lack cause us to doubt our abilities and creative gifts. How do we bounce back, regain our confidence, and release new springs of creativity?
Here are some ways to get our grooves back:
Listen to new music
Sometimes our minds need to be exposed to new elements. Listening to music in a new genre stretches our thoughts outside our comfort zones and the creativity flows in.
Turn off the technology
We are constantly inundated with outside messages from television, computers and smart phones. Enough already. Give your brain a rest from the traffic. You'll be surprised at how your imagination kicks in when you give it space to operate.
Contact a creative friend and watch your juices flow. It's surprising how a conversation with another creative spirit can spark your own ingenuity. Don't limit yourself to artists in the same vein as yourself. If you're a writer, talk to a painter or a dancer. An exchange of ideas will fill you with inspiration.
Talk with a child
See the world through a child's eyes. Children never run out of ideas. Just have a conversation with a 5 year old and renew your vision of the world.
Take a break
Sometimes we just push ourselves too hard. This often happens in the middle of a creative project. If you feel stuck in one place, stop and have a cup of tea on the terrace, take a walk around the block, or pick up a sandwich and eat it in the park. You could even take a nap! Our minds need rest just like our bodies do.
These methods are simple, but effective. The next time you think your creativity is depleted, think again. A slight change in your routine can make all the difference. Rejuvenate!
~ Gioya McRae, CCA Certified Creativity Coach, founded Mocha Mind Communications: Coaching for Write-Brained People. She coaches people in writing and self-publishing. http://mochamind.com and email@example.com. ©2014 Gioya McRae
Congratulations to Jana Van der Veer,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!
Being vs. Becoming
By Jana Van der Veer
All my life--or at least since I began reading around age four--I wanted to be a writer. I made up stories in my head, featuring my favorite characters from books. In my head, I was always somewhere else, not because my life was so terrible but simply because there was so much more interesting then here.
I continued to write as I grew older, all the way through school. By the time I got to college, I had all kinds of ideas about what it meant to be a Real Writer--who I should be, what I should write, where I should write (in a café, or a grotty bedsit in London, or preferably Paris). I had the outer trappings but none of the interior skills that actually make up a writer's life. Not just craft skills, but things like perseverance, the ability to deal with criticism and rejection, the ability to revise, revise, revise, and polish my prose until it was the very best I could do.
I eventually entered an MFA program in Creative Writing. And if someone asked me why, I said, "Because I want to be a writer." Then one of my faculty mentors said one day, "You are a writer. The question is, will you act like one?"
The realization hit me: I was so focused on wanting to be a writer, I focused all my energy on what I didn't have, and what no one could give me: permission to be myself.
When we look outside ourselves for creative validation, we spend all our energy trying to become something we already are--and often, it's somebody else's version of that something. An MFA, book publication, reviews, acclaim... the question is not whether you have them or not, it's Are you a writer? Do you write, regardless of what's happening in the external world? The same applies to any creative work. When you take ownership of who you are, you take responsibility for doing the work, no matter what. It's a major mental shift for most of us. You already are a writer, painter, sculptor, actor... don't focus on the negative space where you "want to become" something someday. Be You Now.
~ Jana Van der Veer is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach and a Writing Coach based in Boston, MA. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Lesley University, where she runs creativity groups and teaches courses like Mastering Story Structure; Developing Your Characters Through Emotional Biography; and Killer Pitches, Queries and Synopses.
As a coach, she runs versions of these same courses and also helps people develop the psychological skills to live their most fulfilling, productive creative life. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
New CCA Coaching
Starting This Summer!
Tap into Our Database of Creativity Coaches
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.
"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."
- 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 nearly 100 coaches who are ready to work with you and propel you forward. CCA-member coaches specialize in over 100 different specialties.
Find a coach here.
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Allow Creativity to Flow!
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.
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Hope You Enjoyed Our Newsletter!
This is the end of the May/June 2014 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.