When my colleague, Ginger Moran, told me she was co-teaching a new course entitled “Lean Inner: Become Your Own Creative Director” I loved the title and asked her to share what it means to become your own creative director.
Lisa: What do you see as the biggest challenge for writers, in general? Can you give readers a tip or two about how to meet that challenge?
Ginger: I so often talk to people who have a great idea for a book or possibly have started one and gotten stuck somewhere along the way. When we go deeper with what is going on, I notice that people often aren’t acting as if they are their own Creative Director.
Lisa: Being your Own Creative Director: what does that mean and why is it important?
Ginger: A Creative Director in an organization is the one who decides what is going to be produced—written and designed—when, by whom, and for whom. If we think of our own creativity that way and that we’re in charge of it, we’re able to make different decisions. Sometimes in our own creative lives, it feels like so many other aspects of life are driving those decisions.
Lisa: I get that—we’re all so busy! Say more about the Creative Director…
Ginger: I feel more and more strongly that we’re driven by the urge to create—Freud called it the life force or eros, Jung saw it as no less than the connection to the soul, to the greater consciousness. I think that when we connect to our creativity we can generate some pretty imaginative solutions—or, alternatively, some pretty imaginative roadblocks.
There is so much research now that shows how important it is to be creative—to write in particular. For instance, simply writing out one’s thoughts in a journal actually increases disease-fighting blood cells.
Lisa: Yes, and I think of all that research by James Pennebaker about the value of journaling.
Ginger: Research is also showing how “plastic” or shapeable the brain is, how we can retrain it from old, habitual paths to new ones. It actually requires deliberate effort and practice to do this, though, so it doesn’t just happen automatically.
Lisa: What are some of the methods you help people use to retrain the brain?
Ginger: I like the Martha Beck life coaching tools for creating inner change. The reason I became a certified Martha Beck life coach is because I worked with some many people (including myself!) who wanted to be less driven by outer motivations and more connected to their inner creativity. I saw the tools in this coaching practice as ideally suited to help creative people release the beliefs and habit that stand in the way of their creativity. Of course, there are many real, practical reasons that we don’t spend all of our time writing our books, but there’s also some time-wasting, procrastinating, avoiding behavior going on too!
Lisa: Can you share an example of a tool that can help?
Ginger: One example is using the Living Space Tool—a mediation on some part of our living space that we are dissatisfied with—as a metaphor for beliefs that might be holding us up. For instance, my basement had some cracks in the foundation that I needed to get a structural engineer to look at. As a metaphor, I used that to ask whether or not there were basic, foundational beliefs I had that weren’t supporting my creativity.
Lisa: I love it. So, I just cleaned out my basement and closets—letting go of things I was holding on to. I’m going to take that as a symbol that I’ve just let go of some beliefs and habits already! But maybe I should also identify the beliefs and habits I’m letting go of.
So, Ginger, tell us about the free call you’re offering. It’s just the day before my Writing in the Zone free call—and I would normally not promote two programs at the same time, but it seems to me that these are complementary programs to empower writers—and I know what value you deliver as a writing coach, so I encourage readers to register for both!
Ginger: Lauren Russo, also a Martha Beck life coach, and I are offering “Lean Inner: Become Your Own Creative Director” a program that explores the issues that keep us from being fully in charge of our lives and creativity. On Oct 1 we’ll do a free introductory call in which we’ll discuss these tools and methods and then we’ll take a volunteer through the Living Space tool. Our goal is to help people genuinely “lean in” to their lives and creativity in ways that are easy and natural, that are based in their own authentic selves and their true authority.
Lisa: I notice that the tag line for the course is “Change Your Story, Change Your Life.” Will participants be writing their story?
Ginger: Yes, that’s one of the things we’re most thrilled about. Lauren and I are both English majors, so there’s nothing we love more than a good story. As people get some clarity about what’s holding them back, they’ll begin to create a narrative that supports moving forward. Anyone considering writing a book or already writing one can use that as a map to keep going and it may easily be the basis of the book itself.
Lisa: Sounds good. How do people register for the call?
Ginger: The call is at 7 PM eastern time on Oct 1 and you can register here.