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The history of art is filled with artists who supported each other in bringing new things into existence. Painters like Joan Miro and Salvador Dali. Writers like Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman; Gertrude Stein and Hemingway. Musicians like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Or John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Artists may work alone but the biography of a great artist always includes the support of mentors, friends, allies, lovers and even rivals. None of us gets where we are going alone.

In the 1920‘s, Anais Nin said established writer Henry Miller was the first person to see her as a real writer — indeed he thought she might be one of the best writers of their century. In her day, people judged her famous diaries as “private” and didn’t think they should be published, but novelist Miller disagreed. He encouraged her to publish anyway and the ten volumes of The Diary of Anaïs Nin are still popular.

Me With Creative Buddies Maggie and Alan. That's me on far right.

Me With Creative Buddies Maggie and Alan. That’s me on far right.Over the years I’ve had several creative buddies. Deborah and I listened to each other’s first drafts of poems. James Bolt encouraged me to perform. My father and I read each other’s writing and gave each other notes.

A GOOD CREATIVE BUDDY:

1)  . . .  listens and offer insights so you can find solutions to problems and process emotions, make better decisions. Mostly, they must tell you the truth and believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.

2) and at the same time supports you in developing healthy habits like walking and eating better. These healthy habits will keep your creativity and passion flowing for the long run.

 

The Shape Up Your Creativity Program is all about doing things that will help you feel better physically so that your creativity will flow.  One of the ways to do that is to walk more. Last week a tango dancer who, like me, teaches workshops wanted to come up  with new ways to promote our classes. Instead of meeting in a living room or coffee shop (as I would have done in the past), we took a walk. Not only did we came up with ideas, we had fun and got to know each other better than we might otherwise.

In fact, since I started the Shape Up Your Creativity Program,  I’ve walked with many creative buddies. For example, during these walks I listened to Maggie’s new lyrics and jokes and she listened to poems and business ideas. On walks with my creative buddy Sue, we came up with the idea for this  program as well as articles for the blog.

Scheduling a walk with our Creative Buddies blasts through our excuses and helps us do what we know we ought to be doing.  If you’re like me, heck, like most people, most days you’re so busy it doesn’t matter that you know walking is good for you. You have a hundred good reasons NOT to walk. But once I make an appointment with a creative buddy, I show up even when I don’t feel like it. And am I ever glad. After I walk, I  feel virtuous which makes me feel good. Plus walking creates endorphins which also make me feel good too. All that feeling good definitely helps me finish projects and write with more clarity. Other people who are walking with their creative buddies tell me they are experiencing the same benefits.

 

TRY THIS:

Creativity is about bringing new things into existence.  Art. Relationships. A Career. In my workshops, people are always relieved to find others who will support and encourage them while they are bringing new things into existence. But you don’t have to be in a workshop to find supportive people. They may be all around you. Make a list of people who are most likely to encourage rather than discourage new ideas. Include people on the list whose advice and insights you respect. Include people who are good listeners and who you can give the same consideration in return. This is your list of possible creative buddies.

Next, ask one of your creative buddies to go for a walk with you today or tomorrow. If they’re not available, ask someone else on your list.

If you don’t have anyone on your list who would make a good creative buddy, sign up for a class with other people who are passionate about what you are passionate about. Later, invite people in the class to walk with you.

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