Part of my Napkin Dad plan for 2014 and beyond is being a Creativity Coach. I have been an art and drawing instructor at the college level, have lectured locally and nationally on everything from Photography to ‘Coping with Change’, have been writing advice and insights on creativity on this blog for over 6 years and I have been hired a number of times to help people one on one to implement their ideas in fashion, social media, real estate and branding.
In one form or another, I’ve been a creativity coach most of my life. There is more information about this at the end of the story.
I met Marla for lunch recently at Cosmo Cafe in Brookside. We had met a number of years before when I had been doing a project called ‘In Public/In Private’ about reporters and anchors in the Tulsa area. At the time she was kind enough to share some of her poetry with me and I thought it was pretty good.
Fast forward a few years and recently I asked her how the poetry was going. She mentioned it was tough to find the time and I gave an encouraging word or two, hoping to help motivate her to write some more. We set a time to meet to talk about her writing and how she might be able to move forward with it.
I asked a number of questions about her creative process; how she goes about being creative, what works and what doesn’t, and that led us on to possible directions, experiments and exercises she could do to build momentum in her creative pursuits, both at work and on her own time.
As a running coach for the last 4 years I have learned the value of small steps. No one goes from couch to marathon. They go from couch to 5k. And that takes 12 weeks. And it’s hard. They can get to whatever distance they want but it happens in small increments.
The same is true of creativity development. If we are stuck, we often want a BIG PLAN to get unstuck. But the big plan, while maybe great for ultimate creative career goals, is not going to be effective in bringing out your creativity. Why? Well, big plans are pretty intimidating, they take a lot of time, and there’s the demon of high expectations looming over it all. It’s very easy to become paralyzed by the intensity of the process.
But small steps are doable. You don’t have to shout them to the world, you don’t have to get some ego validation for it because it took so much out of you. All you have to do it write that one line, draw that one drawing, sing or play that one song. The rest will take care of itself.
As part of our coaching collaboration, we plan to meet a number of times over the rest of the year. The purpose is to build on the momentum she has started, explore avenues for creativity in her work and her private life, and, most importantly, keep taking those small steps.
As is the case often with reporters, she had to take a number of calls and texts during our lunch. I used the time to draw her.
Here she is after I had done the original line drawing.
If you need a jump start in some area of your creative life, I would love to help you. You might want honest feedback about something you have created in a safe, supportive environment. You might want to talk about where you can go with your creative output. Perhaps you have put your creativity on the shelf and don’t know how to take it down off the shelf and get it to work again.
Whatever it is, I can help you. contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-760-0581 and we can talk about the particulars.