MAKE MEANING

In his book OUT OF OUR MINDS: LEARNING TO BE CREATIVE, Sir Ken Robinson writes that creativity “…is applied imagination. To call someone creative suggests they are actively producing something in a deliberate way…a first definition of creativity then is imaginative processes with outcomes in the public world…” It takes courage to put yourself and your creations into the world. With sharing comes risk–of rejection, of visibility, of success. Whatever your fear, applaud your commitment to creativity. Each creative offering adds energy to the collective desire to make meaning. Each creative offering is a message to others: Be courageous, take …

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IN YOUR LANE, IN THE ZONE

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps nabbed gold eight-for-eight at the 2008 games in Beijing. When his mother faced interviewers, she spoke of the challenges her energetic son encountered in childhood. Bullied by other kids, diagnosed with ADHD, Phelps needed a positive channel for his energy, and he tried several other sports before he settled on competitive swimming. The combination of clearly delineated lanes and visible goals made swimming his perfect sport. Hearing Phelps’s story got me thinking about Creatives–our inventiveness, productivity, fluidity, and generativeness; our creative mania, expansive vision, and the complimentary need for balance and focus and commitment to a …

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TEN THINGS I’D DIE FOR

When I asked Stephanie, a writer friend, to list ten things she would die for, her initial response was that she could handle it in one of two ways: “the mushy stuff you could get serious about such as dying for family. But I thought to myself that would never happen so I took the other approach…somewhat self-centered and fun and it has some mushy stuff but not much.”  The list is reprinted (fresh and wild) with her permission. *  A life size replica of Shaquille O’Neal as a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup *  The ability to fly *  A …

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Quote of the Day: “Lower Your Standards”

My friend Marty G., a professional writer and editor, who has been at it for thirty-plus years, does not believe in writer’s block. When a writer complains she can’t make progress on the first draft of her book, Marty advises, “Lower your standards.” When it comes to the craft of writing, Marty is an advocate for excellence, but he also knows the difference between writing a first draft and a third draft. First, get the words on the page; second, make it better; third, make it zing!

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THE 10-MINUTE-VENT

When it comes to encouraging and even enhancing flow in your creative writing process, the 10-Minute-Vent may become your most important tool. It’s the exercise I use to launch my writing days. Writer friends and clients who try it report immediate results: it is a powerful way to steer clear of self-sabotage, procrastination, the destructive inner critic, and creative block. All writers hear voices. We usually welcome those belonging to our characters and the narrators of our stories; but there are some we do not welcome, and, in fact, may fear. I call these internal voices my “cast of hundreds”, …

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