Coffee and Creativity

It's the second week of summer vacation and I think the honeymoon is over. I'm in desperate need of very strong coffee or some very strong creativity.

If you're like me, you might have the tendency to start a lot of projects but have a tough time bringing them across the finish line. It can be tricky figuring out how to focus on creative goals when we're in the midst of chaos.

Last year, I enrolled in Finishing School with Cary Tennis to help with this very dilemma. Together, we defined our goals and broke them down into concrete tasks, assigned time to each job, became accountable to a writing buddy, received support, and celebrated our progress.

Every month started off cheery, basking in the accomplishments of the previous session. I finished an outline for my book Creating A Creative Life, I drafted several chapters, and even took a month to focus solely on finishing this website.

Surprisingly, the thing that helped me the most wasn't the goal setting or the timelines. What changed my thinking was the weekly support. Getting together with my Finishing School friends every Tuesday night, drinking coffee, and getting real about the fears and frustrations that accompany a creative life began to change my beleif system. The other folks in my group were slogging through book proposals and drafting their memoirs, submitting short stories and publishing their poetry. They were succeeding and just hanging out with them one night a week made me begin to believe that I could do it too.

Sure, I finished all of my assignments by the skin of my teeth, ditching perfectionism at the midnight hour. But I finished. I learned that no matter how crazy life gets, part of taking care of myself includes caring for my creativity.

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