If like so many of us you need a little help revving up your creativity from time to time you'll want to check out the latest book by Jill Badonsky, The Muse Is In: An Owner's Manual to Your Creativity.
Jill is the founder of Kaizen-Muse® Creativity Coaching and author of three books essential to any creative library including The Nine Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard, The Awe-manac - A Daily Dose of Wonder and her brand new book, The Muse Is In: An Owner's Manual to Your Creativity. (She also happens to be my mentor, former creativity coach and friend.)
As I shared last week, there are at least five reasons (actually there are hundreds!) that I'm thrilled about the arrival of her new book. Today I'm happy to share an interview I did with Jill about her latest gift to the global creative community. Hopefully it will give you some insight into her always inspiring, never boring, nine-times-out-of-ten hilarious take on our creative process, how to rev it up and keep it running smoothly. But first - check out one of her whimsical illustrations of a creative mind. Yep, that's right. She not only writes, she also fills her books with her own original artwork!
Creative Oasis (CO): Where do you come up with this stuff? I'm actually being serious. I have all of your books, am trained in the creative coaching method that you created and have been lucky enough to have you has my own creativity coach once upon a time. I am continually amazed at the stuff you come up with, as you say in this new book, to help get people's creativity working like "a well-oiled machine." Where do you come up with your unique ideas and methods for this?
Jill Badonsky (JB): I don’t know. Ideas are just THERE. I just assumed everyone has this accessory of ingenuity. I’m as perplexed about it as you are.
Maybe I’m wired into some plane of existence that feeds off-beat humor to willing and daffy recipients. Luckily I receive stuff that is actually useful as well.
Part of it I think is valuing humor and novelty so much that I surround and expose myself to it constantly. That predisposes me to come up with stuff. Thanks for the great compliment!
But, ya know, Jill, from my observations over the years I’ve noticed that YOU have a lot of creative ideas too, so there.
CO: What are one or two of your personal favorite tools that you use to when you feel stuck creatively?
JB: Often I’m stuck because I’ve been working too hard so I simply need a break. Taking walks with small question and getting out of the house to a café helps.
Also free-associating. Just fluidly brainstorming usually taking something already in existence and thinking of what else it could be, what it sounds like, what about it is funny, or what else it could bring to mind. My first book I started with the nine muses, the second one with The Old Farmer’s Almanac, and this latest one I started with an owner’s manual for a car. Starting with a structure just makes it easier.
CO: What do you say to those people who swear up and down "I'm not creative!"?
JB: This question is one of the reasons I wrote the book. I feel strongly that everyone is creative, in all different ways. But mostly I don’t say anything unless they ask for help because advice-giving doesn’t usually work. There are four pages that address this in the book. Here is part of one of them:
Some people think we are either born with creativity or we’re not.
Many people are indeed born with an innate talent. When they cultivate that talent through many, many hours of practice, amazing works of art, literature, music, what-have-you are brought into existence. But really, do you need to BE that person in order to discover the bliss, benefits, and rewards of creativity? No.
You can develop skill with practice, but the process is what makes life more wonderful. Talented people are not necessarily happy; the ones who are also happy, know how to create joy within themselves.
Passion, curiosity, healing, need, problem-solving, angst, joy, amusement, reckless abandon - these are ALSO drives that result in creativity. Everyone has the ability to be creative in these ways. Everyone gets to be creative.
CO: I'm guilty of sometimes buying books on creativity (or other subjects) and then not reading them. Any tips for ways people who are intrigued by your books and buy them to actually make the time to read them?
JB: Keep them in the bathroom.
CO: Thanks, Jill...for the interview...for the books...and, of course, for having the mind and heart that continue to generate creativity-instigating goodness for all of us!
Note the devilish creative twinkle in our eyes
Until next time, all the best from my creative oasis to yours,