I’m very excited to introduce you to our guest speaker for the February 16 meeting, Romney Nesbitt.
Romney is a creativity coach and author of SECRETS OF A CREATIVITY COACH, (2008, BuoyUp Press). In February, she will be speaking in both the morning and afternoon sessions, offering suggestions and exercises on how to unleash your creativity. She is also an artist and art teacher with a B.F.A. in art, M.A. in Art and a Master of Divinity degree. Her book is available online at Amazon.com and www.AWOC.com.
Recently, I interviewed Romney to get to know her better:
1. What led you to become a creativity coach?
Eric Maisel’s book , COACHING THE ARTIST WITHIN. I knew I had the right background and life experience to be a creativity coach. After completing my coaching training with Maisel, I discovered that while my arts background helped me relate to my clients’ work experiences and struggles, my training in listening and spiritual direction was what really made the difference in my ability to help people move past perceived limitations. After teaching a few workshops and classes on creativity and building my client base I wrote my book, SECRETS FROM A CREATIVITY COACH.
2. In your experience as a creativity coach, what have you found to be the greatest block to creativity?
Busyness and self-chosen distractions. Most people are so overwhelmed with life—jobs, kids, health, chores, financial struggles, etc., that there’s simply no time to stop to think about what’s really important in their life. In a coaching session I provide time for my client to think and focus on their goals and then together we develop a plan. Regarding the self-chosen distractions: people are becoming aware of how their free time is being consumed by compulsive texting, phone app games, etc. As a coach I remind people that technology is meant to serve us, not the other way around! In order to create one must commit to deep and sustained focus. “Flow” happens when we allow our brains to rest in our creative work. Interruptions disrupt flow. Making a decision to create changes everything—attitudes, actions, choices about time and interactions with others.
3. OWL membership consists of many talented writers, artists and photographers. Have you found any of these creative types to be more challenged by creativity block?
Not really. Each creative person has his or her own set of challenges. In general, most “creatives” are challenged by TIME—specifically claiming time to work. People have to decide that their creative work matters enough to do it and then they have to find a way to add their creative activity into their day. The hard part is to choose which activities to eliminate in order to find new time slots! People hate to choose!
4. You wrote Secrets from a Creativity Coach and did the illustrations. Do you find you’re more challenged with your writing or artwork?
I’m more challenged by writing. Art is easy. Writing is hard. My art flows naturally from a lifetime of practice and training. Writing is my second career. I still have a lot to learn.
5. In Secrets from a Creativity Coach, you talk about “both/and instead of either/or.” Can you expand on that?
“Both/and” and “either/or” are phrases that relate to the way a person makes choices. If a person is rigid in their thinking he or she may believe that all conditions have to be absolutely perfect before any work can begin. This is the lie of perfectionism and it comes into play in either/or thinking too. For instance, I’ve heard so many clients say “If I didn’t have a full-time job I could write my novel.” This person is trapped in “either/or” thinking and perfectionism. “I can either have a full-time job or I can write, but I can’t do both.” We all know that most writers and artists have day jobs and do their creative work too. Either/or thinkers close off possibilities and limit creativity because they’re always waiting for the perfect scenario.
Both/and thinkers are able to adjust and shift according to the needs of the day. A both/and thinker would say “My job is demanding and takes up a good portion of my day, but I can almost always find a few minutes to work on my creative project.” Both/and thinkers keep their goals on the front burner. They’re always looking for a chance to get back to their true love/creating. A both/and thinker knows that a small step toward their goal is better than no progress at all.
6. Is creativity nature or nurture?
As an artist and art teacher I know that some people are naturally talented (nature) but unless that person practices their craft and learns new techniques, their natural talent won’t develop. There’s simply no way around hard work and effort . Our gifts increase through practice over time. I recommend your readers Google the “10,000 hour rule” to learn more about the nitty-gritty of success.
Learn more about Romney at her website:
She is also writes a creativity coaching column titled “Ask a Creativity Coach” and articles on the business of art for Art Focus Oklahoma Magazine. To read her archived articles log on to www.ovac-ok.org and look for the “Business of Art” section in the table of contents. Nesbitt is a speaker for the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s newly formed ARTiculate Speakers Bureau. For a listing of her workshops go to www.articulateOK.org.
We look forward to seeing you at the February 16 meeting! For information on February’s meeting, click here.