Ignite Your Creativity Monthly Spark Newsletter ~ June 2011

Welcome Ignite Your Creativity’s Monthly Spark Newsletter.

This month we will feature articles, a book review of The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path through Depression [Paperback] by Eric Maisel, monthly writing prompts, 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 June 2011 Spark Newsletter

Beating Creative Block

At one point in every creative’s career, one will face a creative block.  There are numerous possible reasons for creative block: fear of failure, frustration, procrastination, fatigue, and self-judgment.  Luckily, for every cause of creative block there is a solution.  Every creative despite their medium will develop their own strategies for beating that dreaded block.

Some popular strategies are:

Forget the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” At some point in your creative career you might look back and think to yourself you should have done things differently – you”should have done this” or “could have done that.”  If things aren’t progressing to the way you intended, it’s common to beat yourself up and doubt your abilities.  Often times you need to take a step back or put the project aside for a while to gain a different perspective.  To find the underlying cause of your feelings, write about your anxieties regarding creativity.  Reading biographies of others in your field can show you that you are not alone and any insight they may express may ring true for you too.  There are also a number of self-help or creativity books, such as ‘The Artist’s Way’, which focus on helping creative people acknowledge, and overcome blocks.  If professional help is required, there are counsellors and coaches who specialize in helping creatives reignite their creativity.

Create a support system Many creative activities are a solitary pursuit and can be overwhelming at the best of times.  Getting together with and talking to other creative people can help you reconnect with your creativity.  Having others who can appreciate the creative process and who will be a sounding board for your brainstorming can be all you need to get you back on track.  If procrastination is an issue, find a creative partner, coach, or group who will hold you accountable to deadlines.  Knowing others are expecting results can keep some you on track.

Take a break to refill the well Creative block can be a sign that the ‘creativity well’ has run dry.  If you are constantly producing without taking the opportunity to restock or get re-inspired, writing can become draining.  Sometimes taking some time to read, explore other art forms, gather new experiences, get re-organized or research new ideas can be enough to send creative block packing.

Vary projects to beat stagnancy When working on the same project for an extended period of time, one can experience stagnancy and boredom.  By working on other projects, you can alleviate boredom.  Sometimes something as simple as performing writing exercises, sketching or taking snapshots can inspire you to create something different.

Revisit your inspiration The final way to beat creative block is to try to find that one thing that stirred your creative passion.  Was it a particular artist, writer, or musician?  Perhaps visit a gallery, re-read that writer, listen to that “one song” anything to bring you back to that time when you fell in love with creating!  Try to find biographies or interviews with your inspiration to uncover another dimension of their personality.  If you can reacquaint yourself with that ‘one-thing’ hopefully, you can call on it and it will sustain you through your current and future blocks. Whatever method you use, don’t let creative block intimidate you.  Know that this is a natural process for those who pour their souls out in the name of creativity, to go through. One important thing to remember first and foremost is that you are creative!

“Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.”~Erich Fromm 

Creative challenge for this month: Make a list of things that inspire you.  Try this month to revisit one item on your list per week. i.e. reading your favourite author, listening to a song that inspired you, revisiting your favourite artist’s work.   You will find after doing this for a few weeks it will greatly improve your creative passion!

This Month’s Affirmation: “I am reigniting my creative passion”

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~ Maya Angelou

Creativity Coaching at Ignite Your Creativity

~ Launching July 1st, 2011~

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. My program consists of:

      • 4 weeks of creativity coaching via email (consecutive weeks)
      • 1 initial assessment email to get started
      • 4  emails with tips, inspiration and activities geared towards your particular goals
INTRODUCTORY PRICE $75 CDN

“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”

Book Review

The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path through Depression [Paperback] by Eric Maisel (Author)

Reviewer: Belinda Witzenhausen

With 30 books to his credit, psychotherapist, and a creativity coach Eric Maisel is a leader in understanding the creative process. In his book “The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path through Depression” Maisel explores the link between the prevalence of depression in creative individuals vs. the average person. Although Maisel does not dismiss that clinical depression exists he hypothesizes that in many “creatives” it can be a manifestation of a “meaning crisis”. Maisel’s “The Van Gogh Blues”, suggests that instead of looking for meaning creatives in essence need to make their own meaning. Throughout the book, Maisel makes some valid statements and offers pragmatic tools to help the reader create a life plan that helps them to define their own meaning. As a creative person, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it to be both informative and true on many levels. Although I did not agree with all of his points I do think this book is a valuable read for any creative whether they are suffering from depression or not and I would highly recommend it.

June’s Book Recommendations

Writing ~ Inspiration   Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Igniting the Writer Within [Paperback]
Barbara Demarco-Barrett (Author) 
List Price: CDN$ 15.95
  Writing ~ Grammar   On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition [Paperback]
William Knowlton Zinsser
List Price: CDN$ 18.99
Creativity   Making Ideas Happen [Hardcover]
Scott Belsky (Author)  
List Price: CDN$ 32.50

June’s Writing Prompts

Ooops!!

We all have had those moments; you know what I am talking about.  You know those moments that are so embarrassing that you hope and pray that the earth would open up and swallow you whole. Describe in 500 words one such occasion.  No matter how mortifying it was, try and see the humour in the situation, be creative, and above all have fun with this!

A picture is worth a thousand words…

If you could have any wish come true what would it be… 

Music Therapy

As life gets more complicated, people appear to be turning to alternative holistic methods when it comes to coping with stress, illness, disabilities, trauma, as well as to enhance their mental and physical well-being.  Music therapy is a form of therapy that utilizes the use of music as a therapeutic tool to balance, restore, and improve a person’s psychological, physical, and cognitive abilities. Music appears to be universal language; thus, its unique qualities make it an effective method of therapy for people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and challenges.  Music therapy is becoming a popular therapy for assisting children with disabilities as well as seniors battling dementia proving that music truly has no boundaries. Music therapy employs a variety of techniques; several can be applied to assist with various illnesses or disabilities.  The use of vocal sounds often helps stimulate speech, as well as provide the client a means to release tension and promote relaxation.  Playing an instrument can develop fine motor skills, stimulate auditory development, and improve cognitive function.  The use of rhythm can help clients learn pitch and patterns assisting with a variety of speech disorders.  Even just listening to music can induce images, thoughts and feelings providing a meditative state thus promoting relaxation. Whatever your situation music therapy can most likely, benefit you.  Music provides a positive and creative outlet for one to express themselves and obtain personal growth. To find out more about Music Therapy and to locate a program in your area, please check:

Canadian Association For Music Therapy (C.A.M.T.) : http://www.musictherapy.ca/musictherapy.htm

“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul”~Plato

To use as wallpaper click on image to enlarge, for Windows right-click “Set as Desktop”

Visual Spark~IgniteYourCreativity

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About BWitzenhausen

Writer, Editor, Creativity Coach, Artist, Amateur Photographer, Lover of Psychology/Neurology, Armchair Archaeologist, Palaeography Nut, Coffee Addict, Book Worm, Tea Lover & Hubby's Grossly Under-Paid Bass Roadie;)

Posted on June 10, 2011, in Monthly Spark Newsletter, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Ignite Your Creativity Monthly Spark Newsletter ~ June 2011.

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