Getting Out in the World: My Time Beyond the Blog

Though I love writing this blog and getting my ideas out of my head and down in writing, I absolutely love having the chance to share my creative confidence message with people in my community. It’s so much fun to talk with people about creative confidence and to inspire those around me to give creative projects a try. For most people, the types of projects I put in front of them are out of their comfort zone. It’s a joy to see people willing to try, willing to be vulnerable. Because if you’re not confident in your creativity or your ability to do a specific type of creative work, that’s how you feel, vulnerable. It’s so uplifting to know that people are willing to wade into that vulnerability, even to take the smallest step, allowing me to guide them forward.

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Last Friday, I set myself up at one of our local co-working spots (for the second time) to host a ‘creativity break’. This is a great chance for me to see what kinds of activities inspire people to step outside of their comfort zones and work with me on building confidence. It’s also a fantastic chance for a group of hardworking folks to get a break, to benefit from the relaxation that can come from dipping a brush into a pot of paint and smearing it across the page, or walking through the office with a notepad, writing down random thoughts and observations.

Last time, I had fantastic success with my activity based on Peter H. Reynolds’ Sky Color, which involved asking the participants to paint a sky without using the color blue. I brought that activity for a second time. Only one person participated this time, but he found the activity to be relaxing and I think he did a great job!

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Since it’s National Poetry Month, I thought I would feature a poetry activity this time around. People are quite intimidated by poetry, but I did manage to get a number of folks to grab a little notebook and a pencil and go jabberwalking. If you don’t know what that means, refer to my previous poetry post, wherein I highlighted the fantastic book Jabberwalking, by Juan Felipe Herrara.

I was so excited to see people walking around the floor of the co-working space, pencils drifting across the page, observing their environment. One even came back, poem in hand and exclaimed, “This is so fun!” I managed to convince another very reluctant poet to give it a try. Will he write more poetry in the future? Maybe not, but he certainly left his comfort zone, and that made me so happy.

Lastly, I presented a scribble drawing activity. My daughter provided most of the scribbles, though at least one participant wanted to draw her own. I loved seeing what everyone drew from the nondescript squiggles. It’s like looking at the clouds and finding a picture. It was a fun and simple activity that provided a short creative break. Though most turned the scribbles into something recognizable, my personal favorite submission was a fantastic abstract work.

These ventures out into my community really make me smile. I’m an introverted person. My comfort zone is writing, safely behind a computer screen, but I come a little bit alive when I talk about creativity, when I can stand face to face with people and help them face their fears, help them realize, even just a little, that they’ve got the ability within them.

I’d like to make this visit to the co-working spot a monthly event. I’ll just have to make sure I’ve got plenty of new material to help inspire creativity!

Next month, I’m presenting my very first creative confidence workshop to parents a local preschool. I’ve had a blast putting that presentation together and I can’t wait to share it with the parents. Hopefully I can get a conversation going on the importance of creative confidence and the opportunities that parents have to build that confidence in their kids…and have a great time doing it!

There is much to be gained from blogging and putting my ideas and resources all in one place, a creative confidence reference of sorts. But there is also something incredibly valuable in getting out from behind my computer and working with people face-to-face. That’s when I get the most out of my work. That’s when I find my joy.