In this issue ~~
The creative process seems so elusive to us, and maybe in some respects it is. But when you're feeling blocked or unable to even start, breaking the process down into workable components can help you through that hurdle and assure that the job emerges more smoothly and effortlessly.
Roger Von Oech, in his book, A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, offers a model for creativity that consists of four "personalities": the Explorer, the Artist, the Judge and the Warrior. We've already agreed that creativity can be applied in business as well as art, and this model applies equally to writing an annual report, a novel or a song.
The Explorer begins the process by doing the research and collecting the data. This could mean researching facts and figures, coming up with plot ideas and how to make them work, or deciding which medium or style would best express your vision. The Artist then sits down and writes or paints or compiles the data. The Judge shapes and edits, and finally, the Warrior goes out and sells the finished piece, whether to a publisher, a gallery or a client.
When each personality does its job at the proper time, the project goes smoothly. But if the Judge kicks in when the Artist should be at work, you may find yourself paralyzed, judging each word as it comes out of your keyboard. Or the Warrior will be worrying about how commercial your novel is, rather than the Artist delighting in its unfolding. Conversely, the Artist, whose work is very personal to them, shouldn't be the one trying to sell it. And if you get stuck in the Explorer, you'll never complete the project.
So our job is to keep each personality in its proper place. When you're in the creation stage, as personified by the Artist, give yourself the freedom to go with it. Have fun. Don't judge. Give the imaginative child in you free rein. Don't worry what anyone else will think. While you may eventually have to become the Warrior and sell your work to someone else, when you're in the creative process, stay present, in the moment, and let your creative juices flow. And when the time is right, chances are the selling process will come that much more easily because of the sparkle and originality in your work!
In the old days, looking for a job meant searching the classifieds or contacting an employment agency, hoping to squeeze yourself into a prescribed slot. You acquired skills to suit the job. But the new way of job hunting is to create a job that suits you. A job that fits your skills.
One way to do this is to create a vision of your ideal job and let it find you. What are the qualities or essences that you want? A friendly, cooperative environment? Challenging, satisfying work? Congenial working companions and a compassionate boss? Do you want to work for yourself? And don't forget about the down-to-earth logistical issues. Do you want a short commute or to work at home? No overtime so you can spend more time with the kids or on your own interests? A large company with room for advancement?
Some key areas to look at:
Sit down and make lists of all these items, or at least get clear about them in your mind. Think about them. Enjoy them. Feel gratitude that you can have them. And then expect them to show up.
Now this doesn't mean that you don't have to take action. Personally, my belief system doesn't allow me to sit home reading or watching TV, secure that the phone will ring with my dream job. Do what works for you. Put together a nice resume. Read the classifieds. Call your friends and let them know you're looking. Go visit some headhunters. Knock on doors. But go into the hunt with a clear picture of what you want, and you'll be much more likely to find it.
Brainstorm ways that you can make money doing things you enjoy. Try putting together skills that you might not ordinarily think go together. For example, if you love animals and the outdoors, you might enjoy exercising horses. If you like children and books, create a "storytime" program for your local library. If you're analytical and creative, program web pages.
"You learn that wanting what you want is not enough, but that you must both want it deeply and create it every day, that you must bring it into being and hold it in being with your intentions."
(click on the book graphic to see a description at Amazon.com)
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