Video: Working with a Creativity Coach vs. Self-Coaching

A couple years ago, I did a presentation to the Ada Writers, a local wrters’ group, on the benefits of working with a creativity coach versus self-coaching. I actually remembered to record it, so it’s on YouTube. I decided to share it with you today for a couple reasons because it’s still relevant.

This is, in part, a test. I shared a post with a podcast episode embedded to see how it would do. I’m wondering if I will have similar results with a video or if it will do better or worse.

Happy creating.

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Motivational Ideas

Since I mentioned the difficulty I was having with “just not feeling it” yesterday, I thought I would share a few motivational ideas with you.

Once I got started, I wrote about 1,400 words. I credit it to a couple things.
1. BICHOK – Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.
2. Productivity music. I mentioned Evan Carmichael’s YouTube channel yesterday, but he has a couple music playlists: #EntVibes and Productive Music for Work. I listen to them both frequently. Neither one is better than the other, in my experience.

Something else that helps, but I (admittedly) don’t do very often is going for a walk. It doesn’t have to be very far, but be safe.

Doodle/draw/sketch. It doesn’t matter what you want to call it.

Watch the sunrise or sunset.

Take the cliched advice to stop and smell the roses (or whatever flower you prefer).

Sometimes it doesn’t really matter what we do as long as we do something. We can only do so much before we have to do some self-care and refill our well. With as much as I talk about the importance of creativity in everyday life, I don’t often remind you that it’s not an unending supply. You have to do things to refill your well. These are just a few.

Happy creating.

Some Days, I’m Just Not Feeling It

Today is one of them.

I feel about as motivated and useful as the old tires in this picture. There are many reasons for this that I won’t get into here.

I’ve thought about opening my novel file and making myself write anyway. Is there any use in that?

Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.

I’m really just not feeling it.

I’m not going to force anything. So here’s what I am going to do. I’m going to reread what I wrote yesterday. Then I will see if anything comes to me then. If not, I’ll call it done and go do something else. But, even though I’m not “feeling it,” I have to at least put forth some type of effort.

The fact that I’m doing this blog post right now is actually a positive indicator.

I have some productivity music on (courtesy of Evan Carmichael’s YouTube channel). That usually helps. And that brings up a question.

If you’re having a day where you just don’t feel like doing whatever needs to be done (except for paid work – that’s different), what do you do to get yourself motivated to do it anyway?

Happy creating.

A Dream Full of Creators

A few nights ago, I had an odd dream. I’ve sat on this a while, because in telling the dream, it will sound like a lot of name-dropping. But be that as it may, here it is.

I was living back in our house in McAlester (Oklahoma). The Sherwin Williams parking lot behind the house had been turned into a skate park. The gate was gone off of the fence around our backyard so people were lounging around and watching the skateboarders across the alley.

I opened the blinds on the living room window to check out what all the noise was. Casey Neistat had his camera sitting on the window ledge, doing part of his vlog in my backyard. Peter McKinnon just got there with his skateboard (I don’t remember if it was his boosted board or a regular skateboard – it’s been a few days since I had this dream.) Roberto Blake was there, but not skating. Some others were there, too, some skating, some not. I didn’t recognize all of them well enough to name them.

When I opened the blinds, Casey looked surprised then waved. The doorbell rang. It was a couple more people trying to get to the skate park. Instead of going around the block, they asked if they could just go through the house. I let them.

Someone invited me to go out to the skate park. I said, “I don’t know how to skate.”

They said, “It doesn’t matter. Just come hang out.”

So I did.

What does all this mean? My personal interpretation, with everything I have going on, is that I’m in a good place right now, creatively speaking. My YouTube channel may currently be suffering (that will be changing soon), but I’m in with good people and can learn a lot just by watching their videos and participating in the ongoing discussions.

Whether that’s what this would actually mean or not is kind of irrelevant at this point. I’ve never really been into dream interp, so that’s what I’m taking from it.

Is It Better to Work in Silence or With Background Noise?

There was a time that I would say it is better to work with some background noise. Hands-down. I thought I got more done and it felt kind of more like an office-with-coworkers environment. I typically had the TV on Food Network. It wasn’t ever up loud, but enough that I knew there was something going on.

Sometimes I would work with music and often found myself singing along. Obviously that wasn’t very conducive to getting anything done.

Then the cable company made some changes and we could no longer get cable through just the TV connection and had to have a box. When we moved here, I misplaced my box, so I was basically forced to work in silence. (I have since found the cable box but still have not yet hooked it up.)

I was surprised at how much more I got done. I was surprised to notice that my creativity had apparently been dulled by the background noise. I had effectively made it where I couldn’t hear myself.

That’s not a good position to be in.

I’m torn. I don’t know if I want to connect the cable box or not. I’m afraid it would mean reverting back to bad habits. (At the same time, though, I miss Food Network.) Now, the lack of TV does not mean I always work in silence. I’ve found Evan Carmichael on YouTube and his productivity music playlists. They’re mostly dance music with little-to-no lyrics. When I have a lot of stuff to do and I really don’t want to do it or I have a short time to work, I turn on one of those videos. (They’re about an hour and a half each.) One day, I got more done than I thought possible.

I don’t listen to the music a lot, but I have discovered it can be an effective tool for getting me in the mood/mindset to get things done.

What do you think? Do you work better in silence or with background noise?