Posted in Monthly Spark Newsletter, Uncategorized

Ignite Your Creativity Monthly Spark Newsletter ~ October 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.

Strategic Planning For Your Dreams

by Belinda Witzenhausen

Have you ever had a dream that you believe is out of reach?

 Strategic planning requires not only taking the steps to accomplish your goals, but also realizing that things don’t happen overnight just because you will them to. Affirmations and positive thinking are great as long as you take the action that is required to reach your dream. You can start anytime. It is never too late or too soon to start but by not doing anything, your dreams will not come to fruition and they will always be unattainable.

What if you want to become a professional writer, photographer or artist? Could you quit your job tomorrow and jump right in? If you are fortunate enough to do that, wonderful but for many of us though this concept is just not a reality.

Many of us have responsibilities such as a job, taking care of a family or, we are not confident enough in our skill level to take off running. Start by writing down what it is you wish to accomplish. Writing these goals down is an important step, it helps keep you on track and cements them in your mind. Start with a six month, one year and three year plan. For each time frame, set reasonable goals but realize that things do come up and if you don’t reach every goal that it is okay, it is just a guideline to get you on your way. Here is an example to get you started.

You dream of being a photographer, here is a possible goal-setting scenario:

Six – Month Goals

  • Research photography or if finances allow, take a course.
  • Start by setting up a savings account to save for a new camera or equipment. You can set it up so that from every pay cheque, a certain amount goes in a savings only account. You might have to make sacrifices, for example, do you really need to eat out as often or go out to movies once a week? By not going out as often, you could save a large amount of money to help finance your goal.
  • Start taking pictures with a regular disposable or digital camera for now.
  • Download a free image editor such as Gimp, which has most of the features the more expensive ones do and begin setting up a portfolio.

One – Year Goals

  • Continue to build a portfolio. Aim to have at least 10 great pieces by this time.
  • Post some of your photos online.
  • Enter photography contests.
  • Volunteer to take pictures of your friends’ birthday party, engagement photo or, if you feel confident enough, even some of their wedding photos.
  • Start shopping for new camera equipment, it need not be expensive, but get something that is upgradeable or that you can build on.

Three – Year Goals

  • At this point, aim to have at least twenty-five pictures for your portfolio.
  • Start researching markets.
  • Start trying to pick up some freelance jobs to get your feet wet.
  • Create business cards and flyers. Place ads in your local newspapers or online.

These are just some of the goals, which you might do to become a photographer, but you can apply some of these principles to any goal you may have. You might need to set one, three and five, year goals instead, but make them realistic for you.

It is important to remember that by setting and following your goals you are taking action towards making your dreams come true. In three-years time isn’t it better to accomplish something rather than just saying “maybe one day”?

“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”

~ George Washington Carver

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

NaNoWriMo ~ Getting Ready

by Belinda Witzenhausen

(NaNoWriMo) National Novel Writing Month is a writing contest, which was started in 1999 by author of No Plot, No Problem, Chris Baty. The goal of the NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000-word novel between November 1st, and midnight of November 30. The contest is open to anyone, whoever reaches their writing goal of 50,000 words wins. There are no real prizes per se but winners of NaNoWriMo have the satisfaction of completing a novel.

NaNoWriMo initially began to instigate and inspire writers to create impromptu novels, and it has become an exceptionally successful contest. In fact, many of those NaNoWriMo novels became rough drafts for an eventually published novels.  Books such as Sarah Gruen’s Flying Changes, Rebecca Agiewich’s Breakup Babe, Dave Wilson’s The Mote in Andrea’s Eye, Sarah Dooley’s Livvie Owen Lived Here  and Gayle Brandeis’s Self Storage were all born out of NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo allows an individual to silence their inner critic, as it does tend to emphasize quantity over quality.  For those writers who are often intimidated by their inner critic the urgency of the contest motivates them to push through fears, the need for perfection and keep writing.  With the fast pace of NaNoWriMo, writers need to produce approximately 1667 words per day so there is not a lot of time left for editing, although writers who are quick typists could produce a fairly well edited work in that period. Writers are not limited as to subject matter and any fiction genre is allowed.

NaNoWriMo hosts writing events to provide participants with an active supportive community and raises money via donations as well as sales of promotional items, which it donates approximately 50% of its net intake to reading charities.

NaNoWriMo has proven to be a popular contest and does not appear to be slowing down. The first year only 21 people participated in 2010 the number reached 200,500 participants.

For more information or to sign up click here: and check out No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty.

This Month’s Affirmation: “I possess an abundance of creative energy!”

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

Book Review

The Writer’s Idea Book

Author Jack Heffron

Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books

Copyright: May 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0898798739

Reviewer: Belinda Witzenhausen

Every writer encounters some form of writer’s block that may impair his or her writing projects. The Writer’s Idea Book is designed to get you past those blocks and enable the creative process to become a little easier.

In this book, Jack Heffron offers over 400 prompts to enhance your writing. Each section also offers sage advice on the creative process itself with chapters devoted to everything from “Enemies to Creativity” to “Leading a Creative Life”. This book will definitely teach you how to generate usable ideas for your projects and advise you on what you need to do to utilize them while writing.

List Price: CDN$ 16.50

October’s Book Recommendations

Writing ~ Inspiration

No Plot? No Problem!: A High-Velocity, Low-Stress Way to Write a Novel in 30 Days[Paperback]

Chris Baty (Author)
List Price: CDN$ 17.95
Writing ~ Instructional  

Elements Of Writing Fiction: Characters & Viewpoint


Orson Scott Card(Author)
List Price: CDN$ 16.99

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life [Paperback]

Twyla Tharp (Author)
List Price: CDN$ 17.50

October’s Writing Prompts

Halloween Memories…

Write about your most memorable Halloween.  Describe every little detail from the costume you wore, your adventures in Trick or Treating, to the parties you attended and why has this Halloween stood out for you!

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Oftentimes we become overwhelmed by the day-to-day events in life that we tend to overlook all the positives we experience.  Each of us has a lot to be thankful for.  Take some time to write and reflect about all the positive things you have in your life!

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” – Brian Tracy

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



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