Sunday, January 13, 2008

Creating In The Midst Of - Part I

Today is Part I of a four part series. We're going to be chatting about some of the challenges to creativity which arise because of the nature of our work, our personalities, and the responsibilities and commitments we have in other areas of our lives. We'll look at how to stay positive about our creativity in the midst of that. The call to create and to stay true to our creative vision is a challenge for most creators at some or many points in their life. Without digging too deeply we'll look at some of these challenges and talk about gentle ways to reward and honor yourself for doing the creative work you do.

Additionally while creative friends in the southern hemisphere are enjoying long days in the height of summer our creative friends here in the northern hemisphere could well be experiencing a down turn in spirit, perhaps full blown depression, brought on by less sunlight and shortened daylight hours. So I'll talk a bit about that as well.

Commitment to creative work - decide to maintain a consistently friendly, warm and genuine respect for yourself and for your commitment to your creative work regardless of the blocks of time available for doing your creative work. The need or choice to earn a living outside of or in addition to income from your creative work, caring for family and your self, taking care of other commitments that are important to you often mean time is short for doing your most meaningful creative work. Having made the choice to be responsible about these things can lead a creative person to question their commitment to their creative work. This is unfriendly to yourself at the very least and taken to extremes leads to undeserved self-criticism, feelings of hopelessness and self-betrayal. Give yourself permission to manage your responsibilities in ways that seem best to you at the time. If that means creating around other responsibilities, give yourself a pat on the back for being a well-rounded person. If the stress of managing too many responsibilities starts to weight on you, be open to exploring changing when you do different tasks, what can be shifted or re-arranged and find a different balance. Sometimes, taking a rest is all that's needed - a day or a weekend saying no to everything except truly absolute essentials. Honor and praise yourself all the more if it's difficult to negotiate the time you need to do your creative work.

The blues - also for the next four weeks I'll talk a bit about ways that creative people can help gently banish the depression which is so common in creative people. Creatives experience a special kind of blues-the existential blues-as we strive to do our meaningful creative work, think deeply about meaning and by nature explore issues which can be tiring and challenging. This week I'm excited to invite you to learn more about how to handle the depression that creative people so commonly experience. On February 15 I'll be interviewing Dr. Eric Maisel here at the Creative Circle Cafe about just that and in the meantime here's the link to interviews with Eric about The Van Gogh Blues recently released in paperback, click Read the Schedule (this is a pdf file best opened in IE not Firefox). In the series interviews Eric talk very specifically about creative people and the special kinds of depression they commonly experience. Dr. Eric Maisel is the author of more than thirty books include Coaching the Artist Within, Fearless Creating, A Writer's Paris, The Van Gogh Blues, The Creativity Book, Performance Anxiety, Ten Zen Seconds, and many others. He's San Francisco-based creativity coach and trainer of creativity coaches, a California licensed marriage and family therapist and a national certified counselor, who these days provides only creativity coaching and not any therapy or counseling. He has been working with creative and performing artists for more than twenty years and has been writing for thirty-five years. He holds undergraduate degrees in philosophy and psychology, Master's degrees in counseling and creative writing, and a doctorate in counseling psychology.

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