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Ignite Your Creativity Monthly Spark Newsletter ~ September 2011

Welcome Ignite Your Creativity’s Monthly Spark Newsletter!

This month we will feature articles, book recommendations, monthly writing prompts, free wallpapers, as well as tips, tricks and plenty of inspiration. For a downloadable PDF version of the newsletter click here:Ignite Your Creativity Monthly Spark Newsletter ~ September 2011

Ignite your Creativity ~For Writers

by Belinda Witzenhausen

Writing a story doesn’t mean just putting down thoughts on paper. You have to capture the imagination and interest of your readers and get them to want to read on by piquing their curiosity. The main ingredient in creating a piece is a large dose of creativity. While creativity may come natural to many people, some have to push themselves a bit harder. Many writers have literally pulled their hair out when faced with a blank screen or page and can’t seem to get their creative juices flowing. Creativity is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger and more available it is. Creating a story and putting words and images in the reader’s mind is an art. A clear and crisp depiction requires a certain flare that only creativity and inspiration can provide. Similes and metaphors help a lot, but the way a story is built word by word, sentence by sentence then paragraph by paragraph into a whole piece, is nothing but hard work, inspiration and dedication. So how do you find inspiration? There is no surefire ways to get perfect ideas but there are easy ways to get your creative juices flowing.

Keep an idea diary or a journal and carry it with you at all times. Ideas, snippets of dialogue and quirky stories can be triggered by anything you may hear, see, or smell. Use your senses as a guide. Write all of them into a journal and refer to it when you begin developing a story. Remember that ideas and creativity can come from anywhere; it is how you develop them that can make them unique and interesting to your reader.

Relax and take down time to flesh out ideas. A stressed out and taxed brain will often find it difficult to garner new and original ideas. Try to reduce all obstacles that can hinder your creativity. Brainstorm on some story idea and use writing prompts if necessary to get your creative juices flowing. Try to relax however, if something keeps popping up in your mind especially experiences and interactions with others that have been difficult, use them to inspire your writing. Not only is writing about problems cathartic, it can make for passionate writing. Your experiences are what shape your mindset and form your opinions all of which can be reflected in your writing. By expressing yourself and your ideas, you can grow creatively.

Create a workspace that can inspire the creative process. If your surroundings are overwhelming or distracting it can be quite a hindrance. If you are constantly worried about and seeing things that you “should be” doing instead of creating, odds are it won’t be conducive to igniting your creativity. Surround your workspace with objects that make you happy and relaxed. Make it your own, put up pictures, light candles, and surround yourself with objects or pieces that inspire you. If you can write with music on, create a playlist with music that inspires you. Set the pace and tempo for your mood and everything else will follow. Keep supplies and research materials close by and dive in!

Again, inspiration helps but it also requires sitting down and doing the work. Thomas Edison had it right when he said:

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~ Scott Adams

Creativity Coaching at Ignite Your Creativity

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 are now 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 endeavor 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. The “Ignite Your Creativity” 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

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot

Benefits of Creative Arts Based Afterschool Activities

by Belinda Witzenhausen

Several experts have suggested that when children participate in the arts it can nurture the development of social, personal and cognitive skills. Programs based on the creative arts can improve academic achievement and decrease certain behavioral issues. It helps children develop positive attitudes about themselves, thus building self-esteem. Creative arts programs often involve communication, expression, interpretation and understanding all of which are valuable skills for children to develop. Many of the programs encourage the child to think creatively, providing them the skills necessary for creative problem solving. Development of imagination, judgment and philosophy are also fringe benefits of a creative arts-based activity. As opposed to the short timed classes, oftentimes afterschool programs run for several hours offering extra time to get more involved. This results in more balance, offering a child more than the reading, writing and arithmetic and promotes opportunities for development of latent capabilities in the child. In turn, the child learns to set high standards of achievement. He understands what sustained focus is and learns that regular practice is the way to success. In the withdrawn child, theatre, speech or drama lessons may be an outlet for pent up emotions. As drama entails getting into the ‘skin’ of another person, the child learns to verbalize emotions and express thoughts. Art therapy is also helpful in assisting with issues such as autism and trauma, allowing children a safe way to express themselves. Children now commencing school will be entering the workforce in approximately fifteen to twenty years and it has been suggested that a basic education will not be enough. Jobs in the future will probably require more creative and critical thinking skills as society and technology advances.

This Month’s Affirmation: “I am willing to learn to let myself create”

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

Book Review

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything


Ken Robinson (Author)

Reviewer: Belinda Witzenhausen

‘The Element’ is a book that discusses the importance of creativity in our lives. Not a self-help book per say, but a book that opens up the mind to different perspectives asking one to explore the necessity of creativity, diversity and imagination to enhance life. To quote Ken Robinson, “The Element is where a person’s natural talent meets their personal passion.” Robinson explores the conditions required for us to uncover the Element in ourselves and encourages us to invite others to partake as well. “The Element” discusses creative people such as Matt Groening, Mick Fleetwood, Bart Conner, Paul McCartney, Meg Ryan, and Debbie Allen just to name a few. “The Element” also goes a step further, discussing the impact of our current education system and the drawbacks that will be facing children in the future.

“The Element” is a book written to incite thought and open our eyes to the diversity of unique abilities that we all have. In my opinion this book is a wonderful, intelligent, often humorous read that will definitely help one gain a much broader perspective about ourselves, and society as a whole.

List Price: CDN$ 28.50

For an interesting video from TED Talks~ Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

September’s Book Recommendations

Writing ~ Inspiration
On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft [Paperback]
Stephen King (Author)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
Writing ~ Instructional
Nancy Kress(Author)
List Price: CDN$ 17.99
How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day [Paperback]
Michael J. Gelb (Author)
List Price: CDN$ 21.00

September’s Writing Prompts

In the moment…

We all have, at one time or another become lost in a moment…Write about a time in your life when you forgot all your worries and surroundings. What were you doing? How did you feel? How can you regain that feeling? Contemplate on the page!

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Everyone has the ability to create their life! You are a brilliant artist working on the masterpiece of your life. What medium do you use? What colours will you choose? Will it be bright and cheery or intricate and delicate?

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

Visual Spark~Ignite Your Creativity

Photographs & Graphics by Belinda Witzenhausen ©2011

Music by Mike Witzenhausen ©2011