Eric Maisel’s book, Coaching the Artist Within, offers a twelve lesson program aimed at writers, actors, visual artists and musicians who want to learn how to encourage themselves to be more creative, or in fact everyone who wishes to develop or improve their relationship with the creative process. As a clinical psychologist, creativity coach and writer, Maisel is uniquely equipped to offer insights into why we struggle the way we do. In this book, he offers a series of tools and techniques to help us on our creative journey.
Take Responsibility for Your Creativity
At its most basic foundation, Maisel points out we alone are responsible for our own creativity. To be an effective self coach, you must be willing to step outside yourself and be self-aware enough to look honestly at your situation and take responsibility for what you can control – responsibility for your actions in terms of how and when you create and for the significance or meaning you assign to creating.
Know Your Bad Habits and Excuses
Taking responsibility requires us to recognize the less desirable, less useful of our habitual attitudes and to identify the excuses we use to avoid taking action. This level of self awareness, this degree of self examination and honesty, can be difficult to achieve but it is necessary. Once you gain awareness, you begin to have understanding and more control.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions
Maisel insists we must learn to talk to ourselves in a truthful way, and ask ourselves the tough questions we already know we need to answer — but prefer to avoid. In other words, examine why we are not creating the way we would like and what we can do about it.
Become Your Own Best Creativity Coach
Become your own best friend. Give yourself some tough love. In other words, decide:
“I am going to grow aware of my own antics and become my own unflinching friend, guide, and advocate.”
Are you familiar with your own personal antics? I have some, and I bet you have some, too. In upcoming posts, I’ll look at some of the self-coaching methods recommended in Coaching the Artist Within. For example, coaching yourself one on one.
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