Guest Bloggers

Surrender to Creativity

  Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray encourages creativity by surrendering.   SURRENDER IS CRITICAL TO CREATIVITY We can’t force creativity. We know this intuitively. If we told a painter that we wanted a masterpiece by five o’clock tomorrow, they would look at us like we were crazy; that we clearly didn’t understand what being creative was all about. An important part of being creative is learning to surrender to the flow of the universe, allowing something greater than our everyday self to move through us. It’s not something we can figure out with our linear mind. Of course, if we want to paint we need to learn how to work with our chosen medium and studying the work of the masters can help. If we want to write it’s really valuable to read widely and deeply, to show up daily to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and perhaps…

Guest Bloggers

Calm Your Brain

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray has this to say: With anxiety and fear running high in the world these days, I wanted to share how we can make friends with these feelings and use them to our advantage. Anxiety and fear can prevent us from being creative or living a life we love. To live and create fully, we be must be willing again and again to step out of our old comfortable life and into unknown territory. This always feels scary. Many years ago I read the self-help book Feel the Fear, And Do It Anyway which presents the premise that just because we feel a sense of fear about a project or moving in a new direction in our lives doesn’t mean we are supposed to stop ourselves from proceeding. More recently I’ve been fine-tuning my understanding of what this really means and feels like, how to best use it in…

Guest Bloggers

Help Your Creativity Blossom

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray shares why freewrites inspire writing: I have taught the creative writing process for more than twenty years, working in part with a technique known as “freewriting” where I encourage participants to “just let it rip”. We don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, grammar or whether it is good. We suspend the censor and let our first thoughts spill out onto the page. People new to the class are always nervous about this kind of letting go. Since I write and share my own raw writing with the group, I was rather nervous when I first started teaching the classes but found that by maintaining a safe and sacred atmosphere of unconditional acceptance for whatever wanted to come forth it really calmed the fear for everyone. We learn quite early to fear making mistakes. We all have a well-developed censor that confines us within the limiting parameters of…

Guest Bloggers

You Can’t Wait For Inspiration

Today’s Guest Blogger post is about inspiration, by Suzanne Murray. Excerpted from Suzanne’s September 5, 2020 Creativity Goes Wild Blog Post. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” — Jack London Recently a new writing coaching client emailed me to say, “I haven’t been writing. I just don’t feel inspired.” I immediately shot a message back, “You can’t wait for inspiration. If you get nothing else out of our coaching together, this awareness will make a huge difference in your creative life.” No writer or other artist waits for inspiration before showing up. Painter Chuck Close said, “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.” Flannery O’Connor, the noted Southern writer, described her habit of going to her office every day from 8 am to noon, “she wasn’t sure if anything was going to happen but she…

Guest Bloggers

Uneasy? You’re not alone.

Today’s Guest Blogger Lara Zielin:       I often have the feeling I’m in trouble.        It’s this pervasive unease, like I’m doing something wrong.       The problem is, I don’t know WHAT I’m doing wrong. Which means that if or when I get in trouble, it’s going to be a terrible surprise.        Because of this, I have my antennae up all day, scanning, looking, wondering what I could be doing that’s awful. I mind my P’s and Q’s and I try so hard to do everything right. I try to stay busy.       I try to be so, so good.        But some part of me knows it won’t be enough. Trouble is still a-comin’.        Which means by the time I get to the end of the day, there is this exhausted part of me that is BEYOND…

Guest Bloggers

Cross new thresholds into being creative.

Today’s Guest Blogger, Creativity Coach, Suzanne Murray, asks: DO YOU RESIST ENGAGING YOUR CREATIVITY? Suzanne’s thoughtful answer: Recently I got a note from one of my writing students saying that she was really enjoying writing when she managed to find the time. The three top reasons that people give for not being able to fully show up, move forward or change some area of their life are, “I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money or my health isn’t good enough.” On the surface these excuses appear valid and hard to argue with. In truth they always cover up some deeper resistance. When we really want to do something and commit to it we can always manage to find the time, the resources and a way to work around any physical limitations. Robert Olen Butler who won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection of short stories A Good Scent from…

Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray and the power of commitment.

Today’s blog post is by Suzanne Murray. THE POWER OF COMMITMENT Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. – Rumi   I’ve been thinking about the difference between trying and doing and how it applies to our creative lives.   Consider how it feels to say “I’m going to try to write a book versus I am going to write book.” The word try brings with it a lot of resistance and a sense of effort, whereas I am going to do it carries the sense “I can do this.”   Perhaps the most well-known line in the Star Wars movies is when Yoda says to Luke Skywalker “do or do not, there is no try.”   Yoda is encouraging Luke to commit fully because he know that if Luke is uncertain that he can achieve the goal,…

Guest Bloggers

Ignite Your Creativity

Today’s post is inspired by Creativity Coach Suzanne Murray.               Photo by John Pierce. Suzanne writes: CREATIVITY COMES FROM BEYOND THE MIND All the things that truly matter – beauty, love , creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. – Eckhart Tolle Once years ago when someone asked me what we did in my writing workshop I laughingly responded, “I’ll teach you to lose your mind.” I was delighted when they signed up on the spot. One of the reasons most people don’t think they are creative is that the mind doesn’t understand how creativity works. I remember early in my writing life when one of my personal essays won a significant award, including a grant to support my work, I went into a bit of a panic because I wasn’t completely sure how I had written the piece. I was…

Guest Bloggers

Suzanne Murray: Using imagination for creativity

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray writes about using imagination with a quote from Thoreau. This world is but a canvas to our imagination. – Henry David Thoreau   We use our imagination all the time, whether we realize it or not. When we are worrying about a future event we are imagining the possibility of a negative outcome. When we are thinking about our next dream vacation we are imagining the place and what we may be doing there. When we are being creative we are imagining scenes as we write, the cake rising as we mix the ingredients for baking, or the blank canvas giving rise to color. Yet most of us don’t think much about the ways we use our imagination and the mystery of how it works. Most of us hold tight to the confines of the mind, living from its repeating pattern rather than being open to the infinite…

Guest Bloggers

Trust your intuition for creative writing.

Guest Blogger Suzanne Murray inspires our writing to flow from a dream-like state of consciousness and to trust our intuition. Suzanne writes:  How Do We Allow Creativity to Flow? When we get lost in a good book it’s because the writer got lost in letting the story come through as they wrote. I remember the first time when I got on a roll with my writing, where I knew I was writing something good. I stopped and looked around the room to see where it was coming from because I knew it wasn’t coming from my everyday self. Since then I have come to understand writing comes from a dream-like state of consciousness of allowing what wants to be written to unfold. It doesn’t involve thinking or trying to figure it out but rather feeling and sensing what wants to be born and following that golden thread. All creativity comes…