Here we are - the first chapter of "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women" by Gail McMeekin. The good old Barnes and Noble at the mall came through and the book arrived Friday just in time to get started with the rest of the folks in the book club.
I'm very excited about this! I'm choosing to make my posts before reading anyone else's, so that I will try to express my own vision. We'll see how that goes! Can't wait to see what others are thinking too.
Jamie Ridler who is leading the group asked us to start in this way:
"Let's start by celebrating that simply by being here, by signing up and putting your name on the blogroll, you have acknowledged your creative self! You have stepped up and stepped in and said, yes, to your creativity. What a great way to start 2009!"
A bit about how the book is laid out. The book is divided into four gateways. The first is Engaging Your Creativity. This Gateway includes four secrets. Each week we will be reviewing a chapter.
This Chapter and the others to follow provide us with keys to unlock the gateway. I think I'll plan to share my thoughts on each key...
Responding to Creative Callings: I had never really considered myself 'artistic' but I had known that I had a wonderful sense of the creative. Seeing beauty where others didn't. I was a young thespian and have always enjoyed crafty things. I have always been one to notice the world around me, the beauty of the sky, changing of the colors, how things flowed together or did not. One of the blogs I read regularly, Magpie Girl, has a banner tag line which says, "distracted by sparkly things since 1969" a kindred spirit! I do love the shiny! Would an ordinary person stop to take a photo like the one above? I love a good distraction!
At no time however, did I consider this gift particularly valuable. Sure - I could put together a lovely board for the science fair, and the stage does prepare one for public speaking and networking, but I wasn't particularly good at ART. Just ask my teachers. Actually, that's not fair. Senior year in high school I took Freshman Art (I had already taken every science class and math class, study hall would have been a waste of time what with all the kids taking it to hang out, and all the good office and library jobs were already taken and besides, an art credit makes one look well rounded on the college applications right...?) Mr. Nicholson gave me an "A" each term. Perhaps it was because I sat still, was quiet, and didn't chew gum. I turned in every assignment complete and on time. But, perhaps he did think I had talent too.
Of course confusing art and creativity may be at the heart of that issue.
Problem solving is generally all about being creative. Finding solutions. Looking at things new ways. Stimulating new ideas.
Work in the laboratory is all about charts, record keeping, data, control, but also problem solving. When I look I look at my hobbies, they are all about being creative. It started with scrapbooking. Then when I found a copy of Artful Blogging it was out of control! Now it's art journaling, jewelry making, photography. I'm busting out all over. I had been questioning whether this was a real manifestation of my own self, or a desperate need to seek a common bond with my son, the real art student. Probably I am allowed to own it.
The author cracked me up when she spoke of noting the publications she was reading being about beauty and creating a change... if you could see my google reader and my bookshelf... I'm owning that one too!
Experimenting With New Processes: I think I have been taking on many new challenges. Also, dropping some other ones. Some of you may not realize the significance of that last statement. I dropped some other ones. I must say that allowing myself to quit something without guilt was clearly the highlight of my personal year last year. There are a few more things I need to work on quitting. That process is probably going to be the key to my happiness. Allowing myself to see the things which are not adding to my success and discarding them is one of my goals.
Life is about the choices we make. Mine have often been made based on the path of least resistance. My son and I had a conversation early in his college career in which I was trying to explain that most adults still don't really know what they want to be when they grow up - including me. I like my job. I'm good at it. The people are mostly great. It is stimulating, but not exactly fulfilling. I need to find a path that is. I'm tired of saying I don't want to go to work each morning. Kind of like the bird in the photo above - some choices may not be all they seem!
Seeking Success Stories: I'm excited to read the words of the women in this book. I agree with the author that not enough women's voices are heard. Those that are, we find a way to tear down. It doesn't matter how smart you are if you aren't pretty enough or thin enough. If you are pretty, you can't possibly be smart. Powerful? Bitch. Rich? Greedy or shallow. Talented? Undeserving for any number of reasons. Oprah Winfrey. Rosie O'Donnell. Caroline Kennedy. Paris Hilton. I can't even name any role models I have because I have fallen prey to this school of thought. Time for some changes.
Learning the Secrets: That's why we're here!
Won't you join us?!