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Here’s a swift motivational kick from ‘horror’ writer, Michael Montoure, to stir your juices.

“Don’t tell yourself, ‘This month I’m going to write that novel.’ Tell yourself, ‘Today I’m going to write five pages.’ And do it. Take your dreams and break them down into small pieces and you’ll have them in your hands before you know it.”

It’s worth reading the whole article …


Contributed (thanks) by my fellow blogger, Douglas E. Welch.



Author – David Keirsey

Of all the “personality tests” I’ve explored, I have found this one to be extremely useful as I consult with creative teams, songwriters who collaborate, design teams, any group that works together, to brainstorm projects or solve problems.

The first time I saw Keirsey’s ‘test’ was in his book Please Understand Me but now, you can take the Keirsey Sorter test online at and then read about your results. Of course, the two books featured below will provide you with an in-depth explanation.

[Yes, the test is similar to the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI), but then, both are based on the “Archetypes” work of Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung.]

For blog purposes, my brief translation of their terminology:

-Extroverted (you draw your energy from outside yourself)
-Introverted (you draw your energy from inside yourself)
-Intuitive (you operate from a hunch)
-Sensing (you require facts, figures, evidence)
-Thinking (more objective)
-Feeling (more subjective)
-Judging (more deadline-oriented)
-Perceiving (more open-ended)

We each possess a mixture of these in our behavior, but it’s helpful to see which quality is dominant in our personal work-styles. And equally helpful to you is to observe which of these qualities are operating in your co-workers.

Of all the tools in my arsenal, this one has been the most useful, simply for the vocabulary it provides. Once I’ve opened my workshops with this test, artists, co-workers and collaborators show a new respect for each other’s approach to a project. Things can flow again …


Great Book for Introverts


How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

by Marti Olsen Laney

I heard about this very helpful book recently on National Public Radio in an interview with the author. Valuable reading, whether you are an Introvert or an Extrovert. It explains a great deal about our work styles, creative process, and personalities … and how we, unconsciously, treat each other, rarely taking into account WHY others might not respond in the way we expect. It provides a useful perspective for:

– creative artists who collaborate with other artists

– parents with children who are more introverted or extroverted than themselves

– teachers with students who … (ditto)

– employers/managers who have employees … (ditto)

(More Kiersey information upcoming… next post.)


So, What’s Stopping You?

Here’s a helpful article for artists with ‘reasons’ why they can’t seem to get around to making art.

It’s a “Before & After” coaching success story from self-help author/lecturer, Cheryl Richardson.

Many thanks to my good friend, Linda Feinholz for providing this info.


Quick Creativity Exercise by Gerry Katzman

Here’s the good news: your creative muscles will respond immediately to even the lightest amount of training.

Here is an exercise that takes a second and will definitely increase your creativity by leaps and bounds.

Taking a composition notebook (the kind you had in school), write your phone number and the word “confidential” on the front. Get a pencil and place them next to your bed.

As you wake up, take whatever is in your mind — a thought, a feeling, a picture — and write it down. It can be one word, it can be one letter, it does not have to make sense or even be in a recognizable language. Whatever you’ve got in your mind, write it, draw it, scribble, or scrawl it. You are not making sense, you are simply catching an image and transferring it to paper. If you have nothing in your mind, write a line down the page and close the book.

You are done.

This exercise will reward your creativity more magnificently than you could ever think possible. With only one second every morning, you are telling your subconscious that what it has to say matters.

And with that, your unconscious mind will begin to flow you a river of new thoughts and ideas that will surprise even the most creative person among us.

Your conscious mind will be delighted to start the day with an easy task to accomplish and you may notice a greater sense of order throughout the day. But whatever the reason, this exercise works.

Soon, you will find your creative powers growing exponentially. Try it for one week and let me (Gerry Katzman) know your results. Write to Those who respond will be entered to win an opportunity to attend the next “Breakthrough Creativity Conference” for free!

This was found in Gerry Katzman’s recent article,

“Creativity — Key to Success,” published in Integrity Business & Consumer Journal, Vol. 1, #2),

Crisell Integrity Journal, 18421 Bessemer St., Tarzana, CA 91335.

(949) 742-0979.

Gerry Katzman’s clients have included Microsoft, ADM, American Excpress, The Anthony Robbins Mastery Tribe, and more.


– How To Be Creative –

Check out the articles on the creative process at

[Thanks to Douglas E. Welch for turning me on to this link.]



Martha Graham wrote in a letter to Agnes De Mille

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all Time, this expression is unique.

And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine: how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.

You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open … no artist is pleased…there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

[Thanks to our good friend, Walter Rapaport, for bringing my attention to this.]

And here’s a book review I found at —

“It’s not every book that takes more than 20 years to write and to publish. But then, not every book allies two lifelong friends as author and subject–and, in the case of Agnes de Mille and Martha Graham, two leaders of 20th-century dance. Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham (Nonfiction Forecasts, Aug. 9), published by Random House, is just such a book. Written by de Mille, the choreographer of Rodeo, Oklahoma!, and many other acclaimed ballets and works of musical theater, this intimately informative biography of her peer is also, as it happens, a subtle self-portrait…”



I heard a wonderful interview on National Public Radio with author, Forrest Church. (Don’t you just love his name?)

He was talking about his book on St. Martin’s Press, Freedom from Fear,Finding the Courage to Act, Love and Be.

He summarized his writing in such a digestible way that I decided to take notes. I mean, after all, fear does impede on the creative process, [an understatement!] not to mention in so many other parts of our lives.

Excuse the shorthand, but here are my notes … on The 5 Types of Fear.

(1) Fright. Not long-lasting. More like when someone in front of us slams on the breaks. But often, it can dissipate into worry…

(2) Worry. Attached to a specific topic. Visits us from the future and we become preoccupied. Definitely takes us away from ‘living in the present.’ Worries live because of the attention we give them. Mark Twain said, “I’ve lived a long life and seen a lot of hard times…most of which never happened.”

(3) Guilt. Fear of being caught. Troubled conscience. Most guilt is totally unnecessary.

(4) Insecurity. Feelings of inadequacy. This is when we live not in Today, but in what we can do, can have, can love … etc. Best to look for ways to break out of our self-absorption.

(5) Dread. This is life’s fundamental insecurity. Existential vulnerability. Comes with feeling that life is not ours to control.

His quick summation of a cure, [somewhat simplified, obviously] recognizing that each of us is afraid to some degree, is to …

(1) Want what you have.

(2) Do what you can (not more, not less).

(3) Be who you are (not somebody else).

Sounds easy … maybe we should get the book!

Shop at


Helpful Reminder from BELL HOOKS…

“The heart of love is recognition — being recognized for who you are. If you can’t or didn’t get it from your parent, then you can get it from yourself. You can look in a mirror and say to yourself all the things that were never said to you. That’s the beginning of self-love — which is a requirement for loving others.”

— Bell Hooks, on Self-Love



Found this quote on a coffee mug at a friend’s office and thought it was worth repeating here …

“Remember as a child how important art was to you and how it satisfied you, and how you’ve learned over the years that it satisfies you still. What other activity — or thing — or place — can make this claim?

ART and MUSIC are the drugs of choice for millions of kids. If we expect them to ‘just say no’ to a chemical high, we must reorganize the healing alternative … their own creativity. Demand and support the real anti-drug program … arts in education.” © Fred Babb

Fred Babb is an artist of wonderfully whimsical works found in museums, galleries, art shops, on t-shirts, mugs and posters.


Here’s a very helpful article on the creative process, with 9 points to live by.

It’s written byNita Leland, a fine artist, who’s been teaching for 30 years.


You’ve heard of the magnificent dancer/choreographer, Twyla Tharp.

My good friend, Douglas Welch, recommended her book to me a few months ago, “The Creative Habit, Learn It and Use It for Life” … and another dear friend, Ruth Rivin, gave it to me this week. How fortunate!

Now reading it, I find myself making adjustments in my daily routine (not to mention my mental perspective) based on this beautifully presented and highly recommended book. It’s an inspiration.




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