Archives for Personal Growth
How do we engage with life to be actively creative, but not overwhelmed by circumstances or inner challenges? How do artists think about using creative talents? Julia Cameron first published her acclaimed book on the creative life "The Artist's Way" in 1992, and has written many other non-fiction titles, short stories and essays, as well as novels, plays, musicals, and screenplays. A teacher, author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, composer and journalist, she clearly knows how to be creative and productive.
The photo is food writer and TV show host Nigella Lawson in her London library. She is author of multiple books and, apparently, a dedicated reader. What can we do to be more engaged and prolific in our creative thinking and work? Author and mentor Julia McCutchen shares a number of ideas in her article below.
What fears can interfere with our creative thinking and creatively expressing ourselves? “The artist begins with a vision — a creative operation requiring effort. Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse
What emotions and thinking may hold us back from being more creative? The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence article "Creativity, Emotions and the Arts" quoted in Part 2 talks about students holding back from being creative out of concerns "that people might think original ideas are silly" - but this kind of retreating from creative work can apply to us at any age. An example might be Joss Whedon - one of my favorite artists, who has credits as actor, writer, producer and director of movies and TV shows including Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse, The Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. etc etc.
“I am the kind of person that feels so much that if I didn’t have acting (and music), I would burst from all of the emotion inside!” – Actor Gloria Reuben “I don’t like emotions… For some reason I’m more comfortable in imaginary circumstances.” – Actor William H. Macy Do you remember how much you felt and thought as a child? Probably a lot if you are creative, especially if you are gifted or highly sensitive.
Being creative is not some kind of personality trait; you need to have more than just creative ideas or innovative possibilities, you need to actually do something in the world: record that song, write a book or article, put together a smart phone app. As author and entrepreneur Seth Godin says, “What you do for a living is not be creative, what you do is ship.”
As an author, even if you are connected with a publisher, you have more to do than just create a book and expect it will be seen by the audience it could interest or benefit. Author, teacher and entrepreneur Joanna Penn finds: “To be a successful indie author means wearing many different hats.”
In an article, Suzanne Falter-Barns quotes Deepak Chopra: "Creativity is ultimately sexual - I'm sorry -- but it is!" Falter-Barns comments, "I couldn't agree more. I'd always had this sense that self-expression, passion and the stirrings of your soul were intertwined." The field of "energy medicine" claims to understand and help people understand and make use of subtle energy, including chakras or energy centers.
There are many personal reports and research studies on how meditation can help people be more creative. For example, In his post 5 Keys To Freeing Up Creativity From David Lynch, David Silverman comments that multitalented artist and movie director David Lynch has "talked about freeing up his subconscious to write screenplays using TM [Transcendental Meditation]. "He believes the process helps him catch ideas on a deeper level. He feels meditation expands his consciousness, giving him access to more and deeper information, which make hunting ideas more exciting."
Do you express yourself creatively - or in other ways - as fully and authentically as you want? If you're like most of us, the answer is No. For one thing, our inner dialogue can be less than helpful or encouraging. Author Pearl Cleage points out some of the ways our inner critic may dampen our creative voice: "I think one of the things that writers and creative artists generally have to deal with is the censors that we have in our heads, the voices that we have that say you better not tell that and don't tell that, and people will think you're not a good girl, and your grandmother's going to be mad at you and all of those things." [via brainyquote.com]