Welcome to the October issue of Creativity Calling!
My, oh my, where has this month gone? It has been such a pleasure traveling all around New England witnessing Fall in her color-filled glory - in addition to making new memories with friends, family and colleagues! As we move into November, a month especially carved out for gratitude, my heart and soul are already brimming with thankfulness.
I'm becoming much more aware of the months where I purposefully create a balance between work and play. And, yes, I'm aware of the familiar cliché about choosing work that is enjoyable and meaningful, thus not feeling like work. Yet, I personally believe that Americans, more so than most other cultures, have the volume turned up a bit too high where work is concerned. Many suffer from lack of balance, healthy pleasures, and joy in living day-to-day.
I feel a difference in my energy when I consciously seek to balance my work and play. Awareness first, then taking action steps to create the content and the pace in which I want to live my life, usually works for me. How about you? Do you have enough pleasure and joy in your life? Or do you feel a constant stress and overwhelm at never having enough time? We have all been there, so please don't feel alone.
This month, our CCA coaches have written some thought provoking articles, allowing us to expand our awareness of the lives we most want to create. Lynn offers fresh insights for better understanding and connecting with our creative work. Diane gives us compelling reasons to pay attention to our internal vision and letting it guide us. Kris reminds us to seek balance with high touch activities in our ever increasing high tech world. And lastly, Starla shares important research findings in how to consciously and purposefully build beneficial creative habits for our work and lives. Lots of great inspiration this month; we hope you find a pearl or two and use them to help create the life of your dreams!
Perhaps this is a good time of year to think about giving yourself the gift of working with a creativity coach? Please check out our database of over 100 professional and skilled coaches as each one would love to help you take your creative work to the next level!
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.
Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association
Spotlight on You
By Lynn Wyvill
We've all seen the articles in magazines and newspapers that are interviews with business leaders, artists, sports figures, actors and anyone else a reporter thinks would be interesting to readers. They are written in a Q and A format and, even though the answers are typically short, they give the reader some deeper insight into the person, their thoughts and their work.
I love these kinds of articles because it feels like I've had the conversation with the person that is more than information. I also get a sense of their personality.
A few years ago, I used this format to spotlight some artists for a local arts group newsletter. Even though I knew them, I learned something new about each person and was fascinated by the descriptions of their artistic process.
Depending on the interview I read, I like to answer the questions, or a variation on them, myself. Sometimes, my answers surprise me!
So let's pretend that a magazine or newspaper is very interested in you and your work and has called requesting an interview with you. Here are the questions they will ask you.
How would you describe your creative work?
Why did you choose the creative work that you do?
What are you most proud of with your work?
Where do you go for inspiration?
What techniques do you use when you are stuck?
How has your work changed over the years?
What's your next project?
What do you still want to accomplish with your creative work?
Who is a creative person you admire the most and why?
If someone gave you $100 to spend on your creative work, what would you buy?
If you could be granted one wish for your creative work, what would you ask for?
Write down the answers to these questions. They will give you a snapshot of the past, present and future of your work. Your responses may surprise and inspire you.
You could use your answers for posts on your blog or website. Readers love to know the story behind the work and the person who created it. It may start a dialogue with other artists, and it could introduce you to a new audience.
~ Lynn Wyvill,
a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, has finally finished the first draft of her book of essays about nature and is looking forward to publishing. Contact her at email@example.com
Identifying Creative Vision
By Diane Eastham
When we get angry about the clear-cutting of arboreal forests, or the over-fishing of the oceans, that angry emotional response is the beginning of vision. When we realize that we can do something about it--take photos or make a documentary film exposing the issue--suddenly, we have a vision for our creative work. Or we watch a sports competition, are inspired by an athlete's struggle to overcome the odds, and realize we can write that athlete's story: that is vision. When we understand that the medium of dance can be used to portray joy and sorrow, that is vision.
Vision encompasses how we see the world today and how we wish things could be tomorrow. It includes that which antagonizes and outrages us as much as what pleases. Vision can take the form of anguished protest or rhapsodic love song. Vision is dynamic. It shifts and grows as we are inspired by new things and re-inspired by familiar ones, perhaps in new ways. We have an amazing capacity to absorb and integrate information from the external world and our own internal one, and generate responses. By becoming aware of our responses ("I like this!" "Where's the justice in that?") we begin to identify our personal creative vision.
Our thoughts and ideas (our inspiration), what we express (our vision) and the form our creative work takes will resonate with each other when our creative work is guided by the internal vision unique to each of us. That resonance is what gives our work authenticity. Whether we are aware of it or not, expressing vision involves an amazing synthesis and interweaving of the particular talents, abilities, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, skills and experience specific to each of us. We do not need a brilliant level of inspiration or vision to undertake our creative work. What we already have in our minds is sufficient. We just need to pay attention, act on it and allow amazing creative work to emerge.
~ Diane Eastham is a Creativity Coach, artist, photographer, teacher and author of Blaze of Colour: Embracing Creativity. You can reach her at http://www.dianeeastham.com
By Kris Reichart-Anderson
With a click of my mouse, I can examine the architecture of Angkor Wat, listen to any genre of music recorded in the last eighty-plus years, watch a video on glassblowing or follow a tutorial on brewing beer with the ingredients I ordered online last week.
Today, we have the Internet available, online shopping, magazines, books, videos, podcasts on virtually any subject. We can communicate with anyone on the planet in real time. With electricity, central air and heating we can work around the clock. We need never leave our homes or studios. No longer must a young artist travel to Florence to learn to paint. Handwritten novels are no longer personally delivered to editors in New York City. Women do not need to wear hat and gloves to go into the city to hear the symphony.
Ahh, don't we live in a wonderful time to be creative? Sometimes I'm not so sure. Why? Because we are human and social creatures. We need interaction with other people, especially those with common creative interests. It is not enough for us to sit passively and see and hear. We need to get out, shake hands, wait in line, strike up conversations with strangers, bend, fold, spindle and all that. We need to engage all our senses. Eat at that funky café around the corner from the conference. Fondle that hand-spun yarn at the festival.
Oh, Kris, you make it sound so great but I can't afford to go to National Thingie with Big Name People. OK, maybe not this year, but what about next year? Why not something small and local like the 4-H Fair or the community Pumpkin Patch? Or even, just shopping or having lunch somewhere new?
I'll leave you with an example. Earlier this year, I went to the city's recycling event, about fifteen booths along The Creek. At one booth, I saw a flower tower, something I'd seen numerous times on Pinterest, magazines and garden center commercials. But that day, I could walk around it, lift the clay pots to see how it was assembled, smell the flowers. I went home and instead of continuing to admire from afar, I made my own flower tower.
For most of us, it's Fall, pleasant weather and lots to do. So go. See. Smell. Taste. Hear. Touch. Then create.
~ Kris Reichart-Anderson is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach living in Del Rio, Texas. Visit her at her website, http://theleapingnet.com/ or her blog, http://leapingnet.blogspot.com/
How to Build Creative Habits, Scientifically
By Starla J. King
What if we could find a reliable trigger that would launch us into creating mode with us barely thinking about it, allowing us to sidestep the dreaded power of procrastination (aka "resistance") almost effortlessly?
It turns out that's exactly what happens when we are able to turn our creative work into creative habits.
In his bestselling book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg reports that 40% of actions people perform each day aren't actual decisions, but habits. "Left to its own devices, our brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit," he says, because it is "constantly looking for ways to save energy."
In fact, our brain's mode of operation is so predictable that researchers have been able to identify a series of steps called "The Habit Loop" that, repeated often enough, creates automatic action--a habit.
The Habit Loop:
Cue à Routine à Reward à [repeat]
Cue: the trigger that says okay, it's time to automatically do this particular routine now
- Routine: the physical, mental, or emotional steps that make up the habit
- Reward: a result that makes the brain decide it's worth remembering this particular loop
If we do a particular habit loop often enough, our brains start to anticipate the reward as soon as we experience the cue, so we actually develop a neurological craving for the reward. That craving then becomes the fuel that turns an effort-filled routine into an effortless habit.
For example, an artist might walk into her studio and pick up a paintbrush (cue), which launches a craving for the physical feeling of the brush stroke on canvas or the emotional feeling of release (reward), so she automatically dips the brush into paint and begins painting (routine). Resistance doesn't even have a chance to show up!
Although possible, creating an effective habit is not easy, so here are three questions to help you identify your desirable habit loop(s).
~ Starla J. King
- What is that thing that will signal to your brain that it's time to create now?
- What routine(s) will help you make meaningful progress in your creative work?
- What is the reward you're going for, and the craving behind it?
In other words: get clear, get craving... and get creating!
is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach and writing coach at OutWrite Living, and author of the book "Wide Awake. Every Day. Daily Inspiration for Conscious Living." You can reach her through http://outwriteliving.com.
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- just starting out in exploring your creative desires?
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~ E.W. Wilcox
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Catch the Creativity Wave
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 October 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 email@example.com for information.