A New Year – Renewed Creativity. Reflections on Susan Blackwell Creativity Workshop

Hi my loves! Wanted to share some amazing creativity insights I experienced this weekend as a result of the 2019 Creativity workshop with Susan Blackwell I attended.

If you don’t know, Susan Blackwell is a Broadway & Film/TV actress, interviewer, and creativity coach/guru. She is an inspiration to us all.

Starting 2019 off with this workshop was the perfect way to launch into this new year.

It is day 7 of the New Year and I’ve already

  1. Booked a solo trip to London in February! (aaah! I’m planning to have a total artist writer’s retreat and I’m so excited)
  2. Saw a show at the Tank in NYC and put the feelers out there to submitting my one woman show and got a resounding YES from the universe (now just gotta submit and wait 4-8 weeks for them to schedule it)
  3. Scheduled a reading of my one woman show for the staff at my work for this week
  4. Took a 7 hour creativity workshop with the one & only; Susan Blackwell!

The biggest questions I had going into the workshop were

  1. What do you do when you’re not “feeling” creative?
  2. Why? What’s the point of it?

I deal with the existential WHY sometimes and wanted to hear from a seasoned creative how she deals with it.

Susan really de-mystified the creative practice and it became clear to me that:

  1. Creativity is a practice. It is a skill. It is learnable and teachable. It is not some “magical, mysterious” thing. It is the work you put in each and every day.
  2. So many people have so many deep seated fears about the creative process and putting themselves out there. We all struggle with “not feeling good enough” and having ourselves be the biggest obstacle in achieving our dreams.
  3. EVERYONE IS SCARED. EVERYONE. The people that are out there doing it are not “less scared”. They are not “less nervous”. They simply are just the ones DOING IT.
  4. That “scary” feeling I get when I want to do something: wanting to run away, heart beating, hands clammy, throat dry, face red, is the feeling of RISK. Risk may be synonymous to FEAR. Which means we have to face the fear in order to risk. It’s the only way we grow. And it’s oh so worth it.

Honestly, the last one was the biggest take away for me. That having the fear feelings doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something. In fact, it’s the opposite. When you have those feelings LEAN into them because that’s where the juicy treasure lies.

In other words, follow the fear.

Follow the things that make your heart beat faster, your hands sweat, your face get flushed.

Acknowledge these responses to thinking about taking action on your goals or even TAKING action on your goals.

This “fear” or “risk-taking” is what will fuel you to get the shit done. To do the damn thing.

It was comforting and empowering to realize that:

a) literally everyone has these feelings. YOU ARE NOT ALONE

b) they’re just feelings. You are stronger than your feelings and can overcome them once you acknowledge, accept, and release.

c) they’re not necessarily a bad thing! That strong, visceral response is actually the universe and your mind & body telling you: HEY THAT’S THING YOU SHOULD FOLLOW! What a gift.

We also got down into the nitty gritty of making and keeping process goals and had to acknowledge that THIS IS WHERE THE WORK COMES IN.

It’s fun and playful and amazing to be in that creative flow and just create, create, create, create, but if you are committed to make something of value then you have to be willing to put in the work (in my mind, lean into the masculine energy) and get the shit done.

That means doing the “hard” stuff of editing, finding resources, networking for colllaborators, and whatever else it is you need to launch that baby into the world.

My question of “Is it all worth it? Why does this matter” is answered by a very specific and powerful purpose. Your mission statement.

Susan’s is “to free myself and others”

Identify your purpose/mission statement and you will realize the why. You will learn that yes, it is all worth it.

I left her workshop feeling rejuvenated and inspired to commit to doing the work to reach my goals.

I know I have the tools I need when I get in a “creative rut” and the FEAR to keep following the path.

Whatever happens, I commit to living a vibrant and creative life. 

I’m so grateful that I am going through all these lessons NOW and realizing this stuff now, because I think the saddest thing is waking up one day when you’re mid-life and realizing how much time you wasted.

If you play it safe, you will wake up day and wonder where the time has gone.

If you’re willing to RISK and feel the fears, then you will have lived a vibrant, creative life and THAT is worth everything.

I realized that my biggest fears are:

  1. Not living up to my potential
  2. Living up to my potential

That was a big realization for me – that I am actually scared of becoming successful because it will mean that I have a lot of work ahead of me and I am afraid of being SEEN.

I feel like 2018 was about clearing the clouds. I couldn’t even see what was behind all the fog and mist.

In the start of 2019, the fog has lifted and I can see this huge mountain that I need to climb.

While the mountain scares me, I am grateful that I can finally see it and am relishing being in the now. Being in the start of this amazing adventure.

…and with that…I’ll keep on hiking. 

mist misty fog foggy

agriculture asia cat china

cottages in the middle of beach


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