Beat Writer's Block with Ease

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Tips and techniques for overcoming creative resistance.

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  • Hello and welcome, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Kate Arms-Roberts I help people excavate the buried treasures in their stories and share their glory with the world. I work with artists to deepend their work and bring it to market, with parents who want to live joyfully as they raise amazing kids, and with business owners and activists who have products and messages they want to share with the world. Most importantly for today's webinar, I am trained as a theatre actor and director and I have a wealth of knowledge about how to communicate effectively with an audience.
  • At the end of today's call, I will have shared with you what you need to do in order to speak with Confidence, authority, and believability so that you can have the impact you want in the world. These tools are particularly useful when you are talking about things you believe deeplyu, care passionately about, and feel vulnerable sharing. I am going to cover a lot of material today. To get the most out of it, you need to really focus for the time you are on the call with me today. Take a moment to close everything that might distract you during this time; facebook, email, your phone. Turn them all off, take a deep breath and bring your attention fully to this time and place.
  • Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and folks in sales and marketing with a product or service they truly believe in Artists, writers, musicians who want to sell their work and need to talk about it Activists who want to change the world in
  • Der in headlights = freeze Flight and fight are tradiional adrenaline responses.
  • Example: Aimee – a patient in a medical study She had no abilty to form new memories, but when her doctor shook her hand with a pin in his hand and pricked her, she stopped being willing to shake hands. She learned that shaking hands was not safe, but she had no memory of the reason We, too, may not be able to articulate where our fears come from, but we still need to manage them in order to create.
  • Adele suffers from stage fright and often vomits before gigs. John Lennon, Lawrence Olivier, Barbra Streisand, Carol Burnett all suffered. Symptoms: dry mouth, butterflies in the stomach, a pounding heart, shaking of the extremities, sweaty hands, facial ticks Notice: see it, label it as fear, acknowledge it and let the awareness pass with curiousity Relabel: same hormones flow through your body when triggered by fear and by excitement. It is our more conscious mind that labels something scary or exciting and we can influence that part of our mind and train it to label the sensations either as merely sensations or as excitement Refocus: the pyshical enrgy needs to go somewhere. One hand dance Isometrtic exercises: pushing into the floor and pressing the head up – active engagement of the muscles to use the adrenaline and oxygen that are flowing through your body.
  • Noticing can include excavating the fears, bringing unconscious fearsa to conscious awareness Can also simply be being aware that you are experiencing eresistance.
  • Example: Lemon water – taste, smell Flower – smell, sight Seat, cushion, keyboard – touch Music or silence – sound Condition for safety Retrain brain
  • To become present, yoga mountain pose, seated equivalent And the interplay seated warm-up
  • Why the five types: Exercise- energizes without stress hormones being released Sleep – required for learning Focus – multi-tasking gets in the way of creativity, thinking, and reflection – all elements of writing – many writerts of fiction and non-fiction talk about a sort of half-asleep state during wich the writing flows most easily – this is a light trance state that is easily broken - frequent distraction increase stress and frustration – trigger perfectionsim, fear, etc. Meditation- silence and stillness help; refill the creative well; energizes and centres and helps transition into creative mental space from basic daily life – meditation changes brain activity and increases the amount of time the brain spends in states where connections to others and the rest of the world are open and deep – also reduces the amount that non-life-threatening fear triggers the full blown freeze, flight, fight response. Play – work is often inspired by play; play creates emotional depths that enrich creatie work; Play is a seemingly purposeless activity that someone engages in because it is inherently attractive. Fun for fun's sake. Helps us learn social skills, how to moe, how to expand our imaginations 3 kinds of play – object play – play-dough, collage, etc., social play – interacting with others for the fun of it, body play – dance, running, swimming,
  • InterPlay sigh and vocalise Deep breath – through nose is good because it cools your brain and cooling your brain helps reduce anxiety Place
  • This is my 1-on-1 coaching time that I am giving away and my schedule will fill up quickly. You want to take action now.
  • “ The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on Resistance. This second, we can sit down and do our work.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
  • Downloadable .mp3 with the movement program that I use every morning to connect my body and my voice as I begin my day.
  • Beat Writer's Block with Ease

    1. 1. Easily Overcome Writer's Resistance or Writer's Block Kate Arms-Roberts
    2. 2. Kate Arms-Roberts  Founder, Improv Living  Improve Your Life With the Power of Improv  Mission: Using the tools of embodied creativity and improvised performance forms to empower people to change the world
    3. 3. Supporting Creative Work Theatre: Acting coach and Director Writing Circle Facilitator: Writing on the spot and critique groups InterPlay: Fun, easy practices and principles for creating improvisationally in a non- judgmental, environment
    4. 4. Today's Goal To understand the source of writer's block And the simple ways to reduce resistance
    5. 5. Who this training is for People who want to write, but find themselves having making it happen.
    6. 6. Problems You May Be Facing You set a time to write, sit down at your computer and fritter away your time on Facebook? You let helping other people interfere with your commitments to yourself to write? Or, when you sit down to write, you simply find that your ideas are gone and all the things you thought you wanted to write about aren't in your mind anymore?
    7. 7. The Goal  Understand where resistance comes from  Understand why resistance will never go away completely  Develop systems to reduce resistance and create anyway
    8. 8. The Ugly Truth  Resistance doesn't go away.  Any time to start a new project, you are stepping into the unknown and the unknown always triggers fear. The Good News  You can reduce resistance AND learn ways of writing despite it.
    9. 9. The Challenge Creative resistance is grounded in fear, but not all fear is conscious. With unconscious fear, you need a way of managing the fear. With conscious fear, you need to feel safe to explore and exorcise the fears.
    10. 10. Fear “If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    11. 11. Freeze, Flight, or Fight The faces of Resistance are the faces of fear: Freeze: Classic Writer's Block – sitting at the computer and nothing comes. Flight: Always finding something else to do. Fight: self-criticism, perfectionism
    12. 12. Two Sources of Fear  Fear of the unknown – writing into something that scares you, or just is unfamiliar  Fear based on a past experience
    13. 13. Dealing with Fear Fear doesn't go away. You need a system for managing it. Notice Reduce through Ritual Daily Practices
    14. 14. The first step in managing resistance is to notice that you are experiencing it. The fact that you are on this call means that you have already noticed yourself suffering from resistance and writer's block. Notice
    15. 15. Reduce through Routine Starting routine Ending routine As many senses engaged as possible
    16. 16. 3 Daily Practices to Retrain Your Brain 1) Process activities – creative play 2) Product activities – work towards a product 3) Self-Care
    17. 17. Process Activities To keep the playfulness from which creativity flows easily, cultivate creative practices that do not have any drive towards completion of a product. Take 15-minutes a day to keep yourself in play. Writing M usic Drawing Dancing Colouring Painting Singing Daydreaming Knitting
    18. 18. Product Activities Set yourself a small goal that you can actually make – 15 minutes a day Do more if you have time or inclination, but only make the 15 minute commitment to yourself. Idea Generation Research Mind-mapping Sketches Story-boarding Getting or givingfeedback Writing Editing Taking a class Querying
    19. 19. Self-Care Self-care gives you what you need in your life in order to be the writer that you strive to be. Sleep Exercise Meditation Time to focus on one thing Play
    20. 20. Record and Reward Recording your progress and rewarding your habit development will motivate you to build your habits. Because the commitments are for short periods of time, you want to focus on rewarding the doing, not the result. Rewarding the result stresses the brain and increases fear.
    21. 21. Celebrate When you create, acknowledge your successes!
    22. 22. What Now?  Take this information and put it to use now  Work with me and I will help you develop specific habits, rituals, and routines to reduce your resistance and design rewards for writing despite the resistance that remains.
    23. 23. Working with Me Custom program based on where you are and your specific needs  Identifying your blocks  Crafting a ritual or routine to hold your creativity  Building a system of rewards to support building your new habits  Celebration of your creative output
    24. 24. Take Action Apply for a Focus Session: a short call during which we will assess where you are, discuss what you need to move forward, and set-up a plan for taking action. www.improvliving.com/writingwithease
    25. 25. What Happens if You Wait? Resistance will win. Every day you wait to use these skills is another day you let your dreams slip away.
    26. 26. Fast Action Reward For anyone who applies for a focus session in the next 48 hours: Poster with the 3 Daily Practices Voice and Movement Integration Exercise .mp3
    27. 27. Q & A www.improvliving.com/writingwithease/

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