creative process

Creativity and the Law of Averages

Surely you have heard about the average of five.  It goes something like this.  
If you take the average income of five of your friends it will reveal what your income will be.  They’ve been touting it for obesity as well.

So is the theory, you are who you hang out with?

In some cases, I hope not.  What about folks who work at jobs surrounded with people they wouldn’t ride with in an elevator in another situation?  

However, I can say that hanging out with other creative people who are actively pursuing a creative path has great power.  

Creating against all odds is too hard to do without knowing someone who has done it.  Surrounding yourself with others who are passionate about the creative process is a gift to you and your creativity.  Is the average of five at play when you think of your creative friends?

The reason that writing groups, art critique groups and creative mastermind groups work is that they lift up the creative output of the whole group. (Ideally they are done in a safe respectful environment.)

What about creative ideas that you surround yourself with?  Are you clear about which ones are worth pursuing and which ones need to be retired?  Most creative geniuses have more than one project percolating at a time so it is good to notice if one project is an energy drain and which one still thrills you.

Creativity Energizer Break:

Survey the landscape of your creative world.  

•    Are you living out the law of averages?

•    Do you get enough support from other creative geniuses like you?

•    Do you surround yourself with quality ideas and projects?

I belong to a wonderful, supportive and amazing group of creative women.  I would consider myself very lucky to be the sum total of their combined creative power, wisdom and output.  

Some days, it’s good to be average.

Have a creative week!

Aknowledging Your Past Creative Efforts

I was dragging my feet the other day to get started on a creative writing project.  I had already worked my way through two boring jobs that I didn’t want to do as a way of blocking myself to the work I needed to do. (A technique I’ve used before that still doesn’t work for me.)

So instead of forcing myself to sit like a petulant little girl with her arms crossed in front of her computer as if I was being punished, I opened a document that I had already written and read it.

You know what; it was good!  I enjoyed reading it.  I was clearly amazed that I had written it.  What it did for me was quite Blockhead’s yammering that, “Writing is hard,”
“You have nothing to say,” blah, blah, blah, and it energized me enough to move me out of self-banishment in the corner of, “I can’t do anything” to hey, “Look what I did!”

Acknowledging and noticing your past efforts is a good thing.  It will lift you up when you are feeling low and not very creative.

There is nothing wrong with having a little party of appreciation for what you have done.  Too many of us were taught not to brag or get too high and mighty or sing the praises of our own accomplishments.  There is no danger of that here.  You are your own audience. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and see if it doesn’t inspire to do more.

Creativity Energizer:

Select a piece of your work and spend some time with it.  Refuse to be critical. View it with loving eyes.  Let it speak to you.  Admire the craftsmanship and the detail.  Acknowledge the difficulties that were overcome.  Thank the person that created it with all sincerity.  Allow yourself to be inspired to do other work.

Have a creative week!

Hugs, Diana

Dreaded Deadlines

Do You Dread Deadlines?

I hate deadlines.  I don’t like to be told what to do. 
Deadlines are
•    the voice of authority commanding that I get busy
•    doing what I said I’d do
•    doing what’s expected of me
•    doing something by this time or else

Or else what?  Death or Humiliation?  (It can certainly feel that way!)

On the other hand, if I don’t have a deadline
•    I procrastinate 
•    I create mountains out of molehills
•    I whine
•    I put off the difficult parts until my work suffers
•    I take frequent avoidance naps and eat avoidance cookies

Deadlines feel like grown up stuff and my artist is a playful kid who wants to ignore them, (except when they are made to her!).  Using a deadline to accomplish a task is an old standard productivity trick worth using. 

However a little EFT can take the sting out of an annoying deadline and possibly get you going on the right track.  Here are some EFT statements to help you let go of the resentment for the need of a deadline, or the fear that you won’t make it, or the rebellion induced procrastination that accompanies it.

Energizer Break:
Set up statement for EFT:
(Tap on the karate chop point)

Even though, I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I set this deadline and I’d rather be doing anything than fulfill my obligations like maybe give my pet a bath or wash down the sidewalk with a toothbrush, anything but this, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though, I have this annoying deadline that I promised myself I would honor and I made these ridiculous promises to others and I will look like a fool and a flake if I don’t do what I said I would, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though, I have this deadline that is making me crazy and I don’t want to complete it because there is this part I don’t want to do, I know I will feel better when I accomplish this task, even if I can’t even imagine what the outcome will be, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Now take the part of the project that is causing the most resistance and tap on that.  Take time to tap on all facets of the projects that you are avoiding.  For instance, here is one of mine:

TOH:  this project (substitute yours)
EB: this part of the project I don’t enjoy (substitute yours)
SE: this need to (substitute yours)
UE: this belief that I can’t (------)
UN: this burning desire to take a nap (substitute yours)
CH: this wishing someone would do it for me
CB: this deadline
UA: this stupid deadline

TOH:  this doing it by myself
EB: this looming deadline
SE:  this why did I commit to this in the first place
UE:  this resistance
UN: this gotta get it done
CH: this annoying deadline
CB: this work I have to do
UA:  this willingness I don’t have

This should get you started tackling a deadline with less resistance than when you started.  If not, do more rounds using more descriptive feeling words.

Have a creative week,

P.S.  I’d love to hear from you if this helped.

Happy New Creative YOU!

Happy New Year Creative Friends,

I always want to say Happy New You because New Year is the time we traditionally think about how we want to do things differently.  Even if we as humans resist change, even a tiny bit of change can impact our lives on a massive scale.

Think of a decimal point: Tiny, insignificant dot on a piece of paper.

Change the decimal point in .1000  to 1000. and things get interesting, especially if you are talking money.

I don’t like New Years Resolutions much, so much that I created a workshop called Resolution Revolt.  More about that later.

I used to set my self up for failure every year by making grand promises that I couldn’t keep so here is my tip about this if you are inclined to make resolutions.

Make tiny resolutions that you have a chance of keeping.  You can use these to balance out the ones that might be more difficult.

Here are some examples of tiny resolutions that I am trying.

  • I resolve to use the color red in my art work on the next three pieces.
  • I resolve to clean the screen on my laptop before I can no longer see the cursor.
  • I resolve to take at least two naps a week. (Falling asleep at my computer does not count.)

These I can do.  These feel good to me.  They are tiny little actions that can make a big difference just like the tiny little decimal point.  They meet all the standard goal setting criteria of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Smart Goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

When I set these goals, I don’t get a lot of grief and lip from my internal critic, Blockhead. 

Creativity Energizer Break:  You know what I am going to say.  Pick three tiny goals that can make a difference in your creativity and make sure they are ones that you can easily do.  Success breeds success.

If your Blockhead starts telling you that you can’t or won’t do this goal, then you are setting a different kind of goal.

For those kinds of goals that provoke your Blockhead to admonish you for even thinking  of such impossibilities, I have got a workshop for you.

I am offering an online Resolution Revolt Workshop January 12, 19, and 26 at 7:00 CST.  The greatest threat to setting a goal and following through is your own internal critic.  Join me as we revolt against your Blockhead and the traditional ways of trying to keep your resolutions past February.

For more information here is the link:


Be A Beliver

“There is no use trying; one can't believe impossible things." (Alice)

"I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Red Queen)

                                                                     ~* ~* ~*~

To be creative is to believe in the possibilities.  Too many times we nip our possibilities in the bud before we ever take time to consider them. 

If the universe of great ideas is going to continue to send them your way, you must respond with consideration.  Not every idea becomes a reality, of course, but not every wild idea is impossible.

Why not try this technique: When something seems impossible, use the words “What if,” to speak about the possibility so that you don’t automatically discount and disallow a budding idea before it ever has a chance to bloom. 

“What if I did self-publish my poetry?” 

“What if I were able to save the money for that trip to take classes in Italy?” 

“What if I went to work early so I could get home while the light is still good?”

Your mind loves questions.  Posing your considerations as questions can interrupt and quiet the internal censor until possibilities can become possible.


So try using, “What if, questions.  I’ll leave you with this example:  What if this helped you believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast?

Hugs, Diana

“Like sands through the hour glass, these are the CREATIVE days of our lives.”

Do you have issues with time?  My friend and I will be talking about a creative project and one of us will invariably say our time mantra, “Oh, that shouldn’t take too long,” and then we laugh, knowing full well that we are wishing out loud – hoping the words will make it so.

As I’ve gotten older, I want to spend my time more wisely.  As a youngster, the days stretched out in front of me seemingly forever and I thought I could afford to squander hours on end sitting in front of dumb TV or tolerating people I didn’t like.

I am coming to this conclusion with my creativity as well.  I want to spend my creative time on something that makes my heart sing, that invigorates and energizes me or connects me to my spirit.   

There will always people, place and things that threaten our creative time, but what about the time we spend inside our art that is no longer satisfying or necessary?  Maybe you can eliminate steps that you used to do when you weren’t as sure of your abilities as you are now. 

One time waster I have tried to eliminate in my creative process is the “agony hour.”   That’s all the time I waste worrying if this piece is good enough, or if someone will like my work enough to pay for it.  The agony hour is also time spent dreading a difficult project before I get down to business.

I have other creative project time drains that I am deleting.  I used to make tons of gifts to give away.  Untold amounts of time was invested in handmade gifts and the (handmade card to go with it) that often delighted me more than the recipient.  I rather spend my creative time (and energy) in other areas now.  

Creativity Energizer Break:

  • Examine how you spend your creative time.  Are you making the best use of what time you do have? 
  • Can you let go of unnecessary tasks that no longer interest or challenge you? 
  • If you participate in the “agony hour,” see if you can reduce it or eliminate it altogether.

Like sands through the hour glass…

Have a creative week!

Hugs, Diana