Welcome to our Ignite Your Creativity Newsletter. This month we will feature articles, a book review of Anne Lamott’s, Bird By Bird, a monthly writing prompt, free wallpapers,monthly book recommendations as well as tips, tricks and plenty of inspiration. For a downloadable PDF version of the newsletter click here:Ignite Your Creativity May 2011Spark Newsletter
Finding the Time to Be Creative
Try to fit creativity in to your schedule!Feel overwhelmed, wish you could find the time to be creative – well you can!
In these times it is easy to let creativity escape us. We work longer hours, commute and sometimes have more obligations than we did ten years ago. Most of our “downtime” is probably spent in front of the television, surfing the internet or folding laundry. How much time can we carve into our daily schedules? Fifteen minutes? One hour? Two hours? Did you know that John Grisham wrote his novels on his commute into work at a law firm? J.K. Rowling wrote with her children in tow. I, like many of you thought that I didn’t have enough time in my schedule to be “creative”. My biggest influence in my “creative life” has been my husband. A banker by day he is a professional musician by night. Orphaned at the age of thirteen and in order to find solace he taught himself how to play bass. He has now been playing over 35 years and has had some success playing on award winning CD’s as well as appearing on television. He is living proof that you can have a professional life and still live your creative dreams. His music has carried him through many rough times but he has always remained a positive and outgoing person. It is his enthusiasm, which has helped me regain my love of writing. Up until a few years ago, I worked a full-time job, edited part-time, was taking courses, and managed on my one-hour commute to work to write. Even if I only wrote two lines, I was still writing. The saying “a journey starts with a single step”, applies to “a story starts with a single word”. Eventually those two lines lead to four, lead to six, lead to 10…in time I would have the beginning of story. Whether you attempt to create or not life still goes forward, is it better to regret not doing anything, or gain satisfaction for accomplishing at least part of a project? Since rediscovering my creativity my life has definitely changed, anything is possible; creating is not work but is fun and makes each day fulfilling.
“This time, like all times is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Creative challenge for this month: Write out your daily schedule, be realistic. How much time do you have waiting while picking up a child from soccer practice? How much time do you spend watching television per week? How long is your train ride to work? When done, take a look at your timetable where can you fit in fifteen minutes. Try to pencil in three fifteen minute creativity sessions. Please feel free to post your results on the discussion board. This Month’s Affirmation:” This month I find time to create”
“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” ~ C.S. Lewis
~ Coming Soon~
Google “Creativity Coaching” and you will discover thousands of links to people who dedicate their lives to help everyday people reach their creative potential. Ignite Your Creativity is pleased to announce that we will soon be offering creativity coaching as one of our services. What are Creativity Coaches? Creativity Coaches are life coaches who focus on one’s creative evolution. Our mission is to help you focus on improving and redefining your future by encouraging you to focus on creative pursuits. Many artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people live with anxieties, doubts, fears, and worries that often hinder their creative minds. A Creativity Coach’s main goal is to assist and guide you to reach your dreams and to help you live the creative life you desire. Ultimately, we endeavour to help our client write, paint, compose, find meaning and happiness where the main goal is to create. We will encourage you to set attainable goals and offer a level of accountability through assignments geared to your specific goal. We will inspire you to think bigger and to work on developing your ideas and energies into meaningful creative projects. Together we will help you identify, understand and work through any creative blocks that stand in the way of your goals. Working with us will enable you to become the creative person, you have always wanted to be. ~Stay tuned for more information!
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot
To use as wallpaper click on image to enlarge, for Windows right-click “Set as Desktop”
Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
Reviewer: Joanna Murray
As a new writer, I am constantly on the lookout for inspiration, that one book that could give me insightful and integrative ideas on how to effectively put my thoughts on paper. Although, published many years ago, this one book that has definitely made an impact on my writing style. Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones”, is definitely a book every writer should have on their coffee table, it offers advice to both beginners and well-established writers. This book covers many “tools” that which every writer should use; each chapter consists of well thought out strategies for in compassing your own writing ability. For me, the two things that really stood out for me are; getting your first thoughts on paper, being specific in your approach. In some aspects, it really comes down to composition, perseverance, and some goal setting. These well thought out tips which are incorporated in Goldberg’s book can help any writer succeed, daily writing exercises can strengthen your writing ability, it also will help you organize your daily thoughts about writing. This book covers everything from useful habits such keeping a journal of your work in which you wish to explore, to the basic organization of your thoughts. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to explore their creative side in writing it can open many new doors.
May’s Book Recommendations
May’s Writing Prompt
With summer right around the corner, many are starting to plan their summer vacations. If money were no object and you had no limitations describe in 500 words what your ideal vacation would be. Use your imagination, be creative and above all have fun with this!
How Music Changed My Life
by Mike Witzenhausen
One of my earliest childhood memories was ‘belting out’ at the top of my lungs, a current top 40 song playing on the radio. Much to my delight, one of my older brother’s girlfriends was surprisingly impressed, she actually liked and encouraged me, that is when it happened… the ‘performance bug’ had hit me – I was only 6 or 7 years old. When I was 11 years old, my brother had picked up a ‘cheapie’ beginner’s bass with the intention of forming a band with the drummer who lived next door to us and a guitarist from a block away. As fate would have it, my brother’s dreams of ‘rock stardom’ were not to be, courtesy of his newfound interest in a pretty blond girl. The bass sat neglected and collecting dust in a corner of his bedroom until baby brother (that would be Moi) decided to check out the poor neglected instrument. I found that plucking on the thick strings was quite fun and so I proceeded to sneak into my older brother’s room whenever he was out. It was awesome to pick out little bits and pieces (aka ‘licks or ‘riffs’) of some of the popular rock songs of the day. I surprised myself that simple bass parts came easily to me as my neophyte bass player’s ear was developing. Eventually my brother was wise to my ‘stealth’ bass forays and he decided to relinquish the cherished instrument to me just in time for me to form my first band with another drummer/friend who lived down the street (our street apparently had a high percentage of drummers at the time). Our new trio was rounded out by an awesome, to us at least, local guitarist, who thought nothing of barricading himself in his bedroom for 6 to 8 hours a day for guitar practice. As a young band, we used to rehearse daily after school for about 2 hours in my basement as we honed our talents to the latest progressive rock tunes. We were the bane of existence for our neighbours back then but for those 2 hours as more than a few doors and windows rattled – it was pure awesome ‘basement rock-star bliss’.
Shortly before my new found interest in playing bass blossomed, I lost both of my parents. First, my mom died unexpectedly when I was 12 years old, then just over a year later, my dad passed away due to lingering heart problems. In hindsight, I guess the bass showed up just at the right time in my life to help me overcome the loss of my parents. I found that focusing on learning to play bass helped me to channel my feelings and energy. I made it a daily ritual to pick up the bass and just feel the notes come alive under my fingers. Even today, over thirty-five years after I first picked up the bass, I still feel a sense wonder when the notes come alive. To this day, I still feel the daily call to the bass. When I am cranky, not that it happens often… of course, my wonderful and patient wife, aka ‘bass roadie extraordinaire’ and not to forget my number 1 fan knows enough to just hand me the bass and say …PLAY! For more information check out Mike’s Blog at http://mikewitzenhausen.wordpress.com/
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” ~ Ella Fitzgerald
To use as wallpaper click on image to enlarge, for Windows right-click “Set as Desktop”