Coaching for Creatives
Vinita’s work features in Inside Creativity Coaching and The Creativity Workbook for Coaches and Creatives both published by Routledge.
I’ll start with a confession: I find the creative life really challenging
Being a lawyer was not easy, but at least no one expected me to conjure things out of thin air. And, most of the time, I knew what I was supposed to be doing.
We can’t complain, because – whether as a career or as a hobby – it’s a privilege to be able to create. I know that; we’re living the dream.
But writing a book, or painting, or directing a film, or acting, or composing music, or a choreographing a dance, are pursuits filled with uncertainty. We can so easily lose confidence and heart at any stage of the process – from the initial choice of project, when actually making of the work (which can take years and countless revisions), through to revealing our efforts to its first audience.
And that’s before we even start talking about rejection and criticism.
So, I get it. Being a creative can be tough.
I subscribe to the notion that ‘you teach best you most need to learn’. It’s one of the reasons that, when I won an award for my coaching scheme for academics, I spent some of the money on taking the Advanced Creativity Coaching Training with Dr Eric Maisel. He’s a psychotherapist and a leading creativity expert. I wanted techniques and strategies to help with my own creativity anxieties which I could then go on to share with others. (The tips not the anxieties; I suspect you have plenty of those of your own.)
The bad news is that there’s no magic pill; a strategy that works in one situation, may be useless in another. The good news is that there are always things we can try when we get stuck or feel anxious or hopeless and want to give up. ‘Try’ because we have to be prepared to try and fail; to achieve a near miss; to accept that what we produce may fall short of our vision.
As Iris Murdoch said, ‘every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.’ I don’t know about you, but I find that notion comforting.
And then there are the occasional miracles: times when a beautifully phrased paragraph ‘writes itself’; when two disparate ideas collide to make something wonderful; when you can scarcely believe that this glorious thing was brought into existence by you; moments that, as creatives, we live for, but cannot conjure up at will.
If you decide to work with me, before we meet, I’ll ask you to describe your current situation. What sort of art do you do, what’s been your history with art-making and art-selling, what ups and downs have you experienced? You can say as little or as much as you want but enough to give me a sense of – as Eric Maisel puts it – “where you are and where you’ve been.”
You can contemplate those questions now if you wish. If they reveal something you’d be interested in exploring more deeply then please get in touch for a free initial session to discuss whether we can usefully work together.