Please help me welcome Cathy Spangler as our guest blogger today.
Yes, that’s a rhetorical question (duh). Of course you have creativity. If you’re a writer, your work begins and ends with your creativity. It’s your lifeblood. But it applies to all humans. We’re all creative in one way or another. It’s a divine, inherent part of us, a magnificent gift from the Great Creator. We are co-creators with God. We create new life; we create amazing inventions and light-speed technology; we create civilizations, war, peace, art, music, literature, movies, cities, medicine, monuments, and places of beauty and wonder.
As a writer who’s between contracts right now (as are many writers in this economic downturn), I have struggled with whether or not to keep writing, or what I should be doing instead. This led me to an online course of The Artist’s Way, based on the book by Julia Cameron. I can’t recommend the book or this course highly enough. It helps all artists understand creativity, the process, and their own personal roadblocks. Based on what I learned from the course, I have compiled the following:
CATHERINE’S TOP-TEN FACTS ABOUT CREATIVITY
1) Creativity is a divine gift from the Creator. It is a spiritual endeavor. As such, it flows much more freely when you acknowledge the divine link and work with God/Goddess/The Universe/Supreme Being of your choice. The added bonus is that God/The Universe is ready and willing to aid you in your endeavors, if you will only ask. “The universe is prodigal in its support. We are miserly in what we accept.” – The Artist’s Way
2) Creativity is not a luxury; it’s crucial to your well being. We all need to be able to express our creativity. It’s a gift, just bubbling to be out, and we suffer if we don’t use it. Because it is essential your well being, it is NOT selfish or silly or a waste of time to express your creativity. Throw away your guilt!
3) You have no control over having creativity. It’s as intrinsic as the changing tides or the sun rising and setting. It never goes away—and isn’t that a good thing!
4) Creativity can be harnessed, however, just as we harness the power of the sun. So you can channel it, direct it, and use it in a multitude of ways. It is limitless and fluid.
5) When you honor your creativity, you honor both the Creator and yourself. This is the time to acknowledge that your needs are as just as important as those around you. As you would honor others, you should also honor yourself.
6) Your inner artist is a child and must be nurtured. Having fun is important to keep the artist child happy. The Artist’s Way recommends artist dates as a way of refilling the creative well and nurturing your artist child. The date can be anything fun and engaging for you. It is something you should do alone (although you can go where people are). Examples of artist dates that participants in the online course did: Going to a quilt shop to look for new fabrics, going out with your camera to take interesting photos, working on a vision board, going to a movie, window-shopping in a mall, visiting an art gallery, staying home alone and watching movies, a long walk, visit to a craft fair, etc. The list is endless. It just needs to be something you enjoy. Artist Way recommends at least one artist date per week, more often if you’re involved in an intense or demanding project.
7) The creative process—not the end result—should always be the main focus. Understanding this gave me a tremendous sense of freedom. It reminded me to have fun just writing, without worrying if the work is good or if anyone else will like it. Just go with the flow and know the Universe is behind you.
8) The creative process works best when no expectations are attached to it. As with number 7, this gives us immense freedom. Just write, without worrying if the book will get you an agent or if it will sell, or if your mother will like it. Writing freely and spontaneously and with joy will produce your most amazing work.
9) According to A.R.T.S. Anonymous http://www.artsanonymous.org, it only takes five (only five!) minutes a day to keep your creativity primed and active. You don’t have to worry if you don’t have a lot of time for your writing. Even a little keeps the flow going.
10) Solitude is essential to creativity. Healing time alone allows our inner artist to recharge. Basically, we all need down time. So take that bubble bath or that long walk or curl up with a book or take a nap. You’ll be nurturing both your artist child and your creativity and honoring yourself.
Now that you have the facts, go forth and be creative!
Feel free to ask Cathy about her books, her career or her first boyfriend.
Cathy has offered to give away two of her books, Touched by Light, so comment for a chance to win one of them.
Posted by Mary Marvella | 11:09 PM | A.R.T.S. Anonymous, Cathy Spangler, Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way, Touched by Light | 23 comments »