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Creativity Calling

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the December issue of Creativity Calling!

Seasons Greetings to you with high hopes that your holidays have been stellar!

As you say farewell to 2015 and ready yourself for 2016, how are you thinking and feeling? Are you feeling grateful for the challenges you've met, the lessons learned, the gifts you've received and those you have shared? Are you excited about the new year that lies ahead?

The CCA is here to assist you in transitioning more fully into the coming year! This issue of our newsletter is brimming with special gifts! Our creativity coaches offer you tips, tools and suggestions for wrapping up the past year and preparing for the new.

Starla offers a refreshing new perspective for approaching 2016...calmly. Miranda shares an excellent organizational tool for creating a year filled with our truest desires. David shines a light on the debate regarding when to share our creative projects with others. And Dianne Martia enlightens us with words of wisdom for the lessons she has learned along her journey to becoming the newest CCA Certified Creativity Coach. Congratulations, Dianne, for your commitment to going the distance and following your calling!

We hope you are able to join us on January 4 for a "free" CCA Tele-Call entitled, Your Story Unlocks Everything. This is a live event and I look forward to interviewing Steve Harper on this subject! You will find all of the details below. Also, beginning January 18, Steve instructs a 5-week online course on the same subject (under the auspices of the CCA) for those who feel a calling to take this information to a deeper level in their lives. More details are found within this newsletter, as well.

The CCA is committed to supporting you in creating your best year to date! And the new year holds this potential for each of us. The best IS yet to come!

As always, feel free to forward this newsletter to others and keep sending us your great ideas for future newsletter topics. We love your input and suggestions!

With Love, Joy and Success,


Beverly Down

Beverly Down , President & CEO,
Creativity Coaching Association

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By Starla J. King

Goals lists. Try-again-next-year lists. To Do lists. Thank you card lists. Finish-all-the-critical-work-before-the-year-end lists. Hit-the-new-year-running lists. Schedules, planning, visiting, cooking, eating, cleaning, giving, getting, hoping, regretting. Sounds about right for the end of one year and beginning of the next, doesn't it?

Sure, we get a lot done in the mad rush, but what's the use in ending one year frazzled and starting the next desperate for a 36-hour nap?

What if we approach the new year differently this time around by doing less and paying attention to more? Wouldn't it be a relief to start the new year (2016!) with a full tank of prized memories, creative energy, and---dare I say it----calm?

It's all about paying attention to each moment. As creatives, we are primed for this: we're naturally inclined to notice details, to experience life through our senses, to feel into things and live our moments fully. Yet sometimes, like around the change of year, we could use a quick refresher on how to stay present in each moment.

1. Set your intention: decide right now that your holidays and into the new year will be about moments, not lists.

2. Set a reminder: set your phone or watch for an hourly reminder to stop and find something to savor in the current moment.

3. Cross 3 non-critical tasks off your "To Do" list: you don't need to win at everything all the time.

4. Play "I Spy": choose a color to notice each day, all day. Encourage others to join in.

5. Stop everything and take a sensory stroll: deliberately engage each of your senses as you walk.

"Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused." ~ Martha Graham

Happy merry everything to you and yours, and a calm, creative 2016!

~ Starla J. King is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, writing coach, creative and technical writer and editor. She is also an author whose "Wide Awake" books focus on the personal power of everyday awareness. You can reach her through http://outwriteliving.com.


The Steam in the Kettle? By David Smith

In Bird by Bird Anne Lamott advocates showing our work to others while it's still in progress. Her advice runs contrary to popular wisdom, but then, her nuts-and-bolts style is refreshing and we always find a lot to love in what she says. Although the advice is addressed to writers, the question is important to all creatives: Do you show your work-in-progress and benefit from the reactions of others? Or do you hold your vision close until you declare it ready for the world?

This was the topic of a lively discussion at the CCA conference in Lake George, NY in September. Most felt that when we show our unfinished work to others, we invite judgment before the piece is able to stand up to judgment---that the creative process is too fragile. And it makes no difference whether the judgment is harsh or enormously complimentary.

A talented jewelry maker told our group that one of her pieces was almost finished when someone raved about her work and promised to buy the piece as soon as it was done. After the compliment, the artist couldn't see the piece in the same way again even though she knew exactly how to finish. What had happened? Had the creative process lost its freshness? Did she feel she was working on a piece that was no longer hers? The point seems clear from creatives of all types---as soon as we see our work through someone else's eyes, our creative process is disturbed and our original vision is upset. There's a kind of pent-up energy in the creative process. There's a kind of secrecy about our private vision. When we show our work to someone else, that concentrated privacy is released too soon, or as some say, we "let the steam out of the kettle."

But wait! Are we being too precious about this? Are we holding ourselves back? Is Lamott pointing us in a more realistic direction? Should we adopt a more workman-like process----show our project to other and learn from them?

It comes down to personal preference, I suppose. So it's beneficial for each of us to ask ourselves about our own style. Do you hold your creative vision like a fragile butterfly's wing or like an engineering project? It makes a difference in how close you let others come.

~ David Smith, M.Ed. is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach who coaches writers, artists and other creatives through Creativity Smith, his on-line coaching practice. He is a published and award-wining playwright and has also written for children's television. David can be contacted at david@creativitysmith.com or www.creativitysmith.com

2016: Your Positive Plan by Miranda Hersey

Originally developed for organizational change management, Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an assessment framework that can easily be applied to one's personal (and professional) life as a means to build on what already works. The premise of AI is that we get more of what we focus on-a maxim that will sound quite familiar to anyone versed in the Law of Attraction. Using the four steps below, review the past year, dream big, and decide on what you really want to realize in 2016.

  1. Discover: Identify. Using your planner, calendar, notes, and/or journal, reflect on 2015. Make a list of all of your successes and accomplishments. These need not be things that are inherently "good"; perhaps you dealt with a major challenge that brought difficulty and pain-but you came out the other side with new wisdom and clarity. Good and bad are labels that often leave out the subtle positives.

  2. Dream: Envision. How would you like to feel at the end of 2016? What possible accomplishments fill you with excitement? What are you inheriting from 2015 that you want to develop, change, or repeat? What do you want to create that will make you feel like a rock star next New Year's Eve? Be as concrete and actionable as possible.

  3. Design: Plan. Now it's time to create a map based on your discovery and dreaming. Working backwards, establish timelines and deadlines to support the paths you want to follow. These targets should be realistic and motivating rather than overwhelming. And if you're focused on habits rather than endpoints, create opportunities to assess what's working and realign as needed.

  4. Destiny: Do it. Write a journal entry that sets the stage for all the badassery you're going to manifest in 2016. This is the empowering speech-to-self that you will return to during the year when you falter. You know you can do what you want to do; put it all down on paper. Make note of the resources, mentors, and friends you will turn to if you need a helping hand.
    Happy New Year!
~ Miranda Hersey is a writer, creativity coach, 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 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, happily overrun with people, books, and animals.

Congratulations to Dianne Martia,
CCA's Newest Certified Creativity Coach!

If Not Now, When? By Dianne Martia

"A year from now you may wish you had started today." - Karen Lamb

I recall when I first thought about signing up for the CCA Creativity Coaching Program. I reviewed the requirements for certification, thought about how it could help me in my work, decided it was something I wanted to do, and then...did nothing. Over the next several months the idea of starting the program kept nudging at me. Again, I reviewed the requirements, thought about it, decided it was something I wanted to do, and then...did nothing. But the voice prompting me to pursue it never ceased. Each time I finished a project I thought "maybe this would be a good time to start the coaching training." Then another project quickly surfaced and I put coaching on the back burner. Finally I signed up---24 months later.

Now that I've completed the program, I can look back at the journey leading me from that time to this time, and reflect on how I treat each creative endeavor in my own life, and how I reconcile them. Here are some key things that the program taught me about putting off what we are called to do:

When we need some extra time to do those things we want to do, extra time does not just appear. When our creative endeavors call us, what matters is how we manage the time we do have. We can find ways to carve out time from our existing time to accomplish our creative goals. And to take it a step further, we can eliminate the things that matter least to do the things that matter most.

Starting a big project can seem overwhelming if we view it as a single action. But breaking it down into small steps can open up the space for us to begin tackling it. It becomes less overwhelming, and completing each small step gives us a sense of accomplishment while moving us toward our goal.

When our still small voice relentlessly prompts us to do something, we should listen. Procrastination initially kept me from signing up for the coaching program; but through the program I learned techniques for dealing with putting off what I was called to do. How ironic!

~ Dianne Martia is a CCA Certified Creativity Coach, and an award-winning mixed media artist and instructor. Find her at www.diannemartia.com

The CCA has two "special offerings" for you!

Beverly DownOffering #1: Join us for a "Free" 1 hour tele-call event on January 4, 2016!

The Creativity Coaching Association invites you to join us on January 4, 2016
for a special one-hour live tele-call entitled:

Your Story Unlocks Everything!

Manifest your core truth and learn to use your story in life, your business and your art.

This is a "Free" event ... our gift to you! Please join us for an informative & inspiring talk to help you to begin your new year on a positive track!

What: A "FREE" one hour interview with Bev Down, CCA President & CEO and Steve Harper, prolific writer and CCA certified creativity coach.

When: Monday, January 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm, PST

Where: This is a live tele-callSteve Harper

Dial-in Number: 1-218-844-1930
Participant Access Code: 53537

Why: This call will explore the power of storytelling from a personal and creative perspective. People will discover the hidden magic behind understanding and crafting a story that relates to their work and their life. Listeners will become clear on how storytelling may help them establish the connections they're searching for.

Hosted by Bev Down, President & CEO of the Creativity Coaching Association.

And Steve Harper

Steve Harper specializes in helping people write dramatic scripts and has coached artists of all kinds since 2008. Steve is a TV writer, playwright and actor and a graduate of Yale, The A.R.T. Institute at Harvard, the playwriting program at Juilliard and is a CCA certified coach. www.yourcreativelife.com

Offering #2: Your Story Unlocks Everything

Special 5-week tele-class being offered January 18 - February 15,
from 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm, PST -- All Mondays!
Beverly Down

This class takes you through a series of exercises to uncover a seminal story about your life. Connect with your authentic self and find new approaches to your projects and new ways to communicate with the world. Knowing and owning your story is a valuable tool in your personal evolution. This is not a class about creating a rambling narrative or over-sharing. While everything personal is not relevant, learning to crystallize what is key to your work/life and art can move you ahead in a variety of areas and facilitate deep connection with clients and colleagues. Owning your story is a key tool for everyone, particularly self-employed people and artists.

For sign-up information, please use this url address: http://creativitycoachingassociation.com/coachtrainingprograms.shtml

Questions? : email info@creativitycoachingassociation.com

New CCA Coaching Certification Courses Start in January 2016

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.


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 100 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.

Shop the CCA Creativity Marketplace!

Click here to learn more

Ignite Your Creativity!

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.

This is the end of the December 2015 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 Beverly a note at info@creativitycoachingassociation.com with your questions or for more information.

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