Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer
Creatively Self-Employed Website
30-something Jersey gal working as a freelance writer. Starbucks addict, beach-lover, kitty mother.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Not long ago, I authored a post with 10 Tips for a Mindful Home, stirring up quite a bit of unrest over the suggestion that we begin each day by making the bed, a task that doesn't consume more than five minutes of a morning routine. Assuming we can maneuver out of those psychological bedclothes and into the workplace, we have eight or more hours to practice mindfulness doing things we might like even less. Mindfulness, or the practice of non-judgmental attention, is a wisdom practice, and wisdom always leads us in the direction we'd least like to go.
Learn more about Karen Maezen Miller here. It's worth the visit!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Nine Authentic Career Paths for Writers and Artists
Today's post comes from guest author Ingrid Stabb, co-author of The Career Within You.
Creative people come in all career types--not one personality type has a corner on creativity. In The Career Within You, Elizabeth Wagele and I describe nine different sets of career strengths. To be successful and fulfilled, your work life must reflect your true self, including calling upon the strengths you already possess.
Check out the quizzes and our individualized approach for determining your career type and forging the career path that best suits you: www.careerwithinyou.com. A wide variety of paths lead to successful, creative self-employment.
To win a copy of the book, leave a comment with your name and email address. Three winners will be selected by July 15, 2010, and will be contacted before books are shipped by the publisher.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Photo: Ali Edwards
I'm here. I haven't forgotten you.
I'm just writing something else. Somewhere else. Not online.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
can't wait to read:
Thursday, June 03, 2010
I found this super-interesting so I'm copy/pasting it.
Creativity is akin to insanity, say scientists who have been studying how the mind works.
Brain scans reveal striking similarities in the thought pathways of highly creative people and those with schizophrenia.
Both groups lack important receptors used to filter and direct thought.
It could be this uninhibited processing that allows creative people to "think outside the box", say experts from Sweden's Karolinska Institute.
In some people, it leads to mental illness.
But rather than a clear division, experts suspect a continuum, with some people having psychotic traits but few negative symptoms.Art and suffering
Some of the world's leading artists, writers and theorists have also had mental illnesses - the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh and American mathematician John Nash (portrayed by Russell Crowe in the film A Beautiful Mind) to name just two.
Creativity is known to be associated with an increased risk of depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Similarly, people who have mental illness in their family have a higher chance of being creative.
Associate Professor Fredrik Ullen believes his findings could help explain why.
He looked at the brain's dopamine (D2) receptor genes which experts believe govern divergent thought.
He found highly creative people who did well on tests of divergent thought had a lower than expected density of D2 receptors in the thalamus - as do people with schizophrenia.
The thalamus serves as a relay centre, filtering information before it reaches areas of the cortex, which is responsible, amongst other things, for cognition and reasoning.
"Fewer D2 receptors in the thalamus probably means a lower degree of signal filtering, and thus a higher flow of information from the thalamus," said Professor Ullen.
Continue reading the main story
Mark Millard UK psychologist
He believes it is this barrage of uncensored information that ignites the creative spark.
This would explain how highly creative people manage to see unusual connections in problem-solving situations that other people miss.
Schizophrenics share this same ability to make novel associations. But in schizophrenia, it results in bizarre and disturbing thoughts.
UK psychologist and member of the British Psychological Society Mark Millard said the overlap with mental illness might explain the motivation and determination creative people share.
"Creativity is uncomfortable. It is their dissatisfaction with the present that drives them on to make changes.
"Creative people, like those with psychotic illnesses, tend to see the world differently to most. It's like looking at a shattered mirror. They see the world in a fractured way.
"There is no sense of conventional limitations and you can see this in their work. Take Salvador Dali, for example. He certainly saw the world differently and behaved in a way that some people perceived as very odd."
He said businesses have already recognised and capitalised on this knowledge.
Some companies have "skunk works" - secure, secret laboratories for their highly creative staff where they can freely experiment without disrupting the daily business.
Chartered psychologist Gary Fitzgibbon says an ability to "suspend disbelief" is one way of looking at creativity.
"When you suspend disbelief you are prepared to believe anything and this opens up the scope for seeing more possibilities.
"Creativity is certainly about not being constrained by rules or accepting the restrictions that society places on us. Of course the more people break the rules, the more likely they are to be perceived as 'mentally ill'."
He works as an executive coach helping people to be more creative in their problem solving behaviour and thinking styles.
"The result is typically a significant rise in their well being, so as opposed to creativity being associated with mental illness it becomes associated with good mental health."
Have you ever felt like you really just needed to get away? I don't think I need to get far away but I feel a strong calling to recharge. To get away to some extent. To be solo--to travel solo--which I haven't wanted to do in years.
The thing that sucks is that every time I see a cool retreat, it's never near New Jersey. I know we have like, tons of smog and ickiness here, but there are normal people who want to get away and breathe fresh air and stuff. Which we have, you just have to go to the northwest part of the state.
I guess it's frustrating because I'm always on the lookout for a cool opportunity. Just can't seem to find one. I'm wondering if I'll have to get creative and go away for a weekend and make my own retreat.
Or maybe I just need to hit the beach. It can be very therapeutic that way and I do only live 10 minutes away, something I never want to take for granted.
Just a ramble.