I just began a big creative project. I’m writing my second Solo Show Musical. While each creative project is different with unique steps to follow, there is also a general infrastructure that I find useful. I’d like to share my process with you in order to help YOU with YOUR big creative projects.
See your Creative project as a Hero’s Journey.
The Hero’s Journey, as described by Joseph Campbell, is a journey that begins with a calling. Bringing your creative project into the world is YOUR calling. You may resist it for a while, as many heros do, but eventually you will answer the calling and your journey will begin. You must find mentors on your journey; people that will help you. You will also encounter friends, allies, enemies and foes. The biggest enemy is usually the Enemy Within – manifested in fear and self doubt. There will be many tests and obstacles and thresholds to cross. You most likely will encounter a huge ordeal moment that brings you close to a metaphorical death – the journey is hard! But you will rise up and bring your treasure into the world!
With this in mind here is a synopsis of my journey and the steps I’ve taken so far.
1. Consciously Answer The Calling.
I claim out loud to myself and the world that I am going to write another solo show musical. This is not an empty promise. It’s a powerful intention that sets forth movement.
2. Write an Intention that you Read Everyday.
I write and intention and read it everyday. An intention is written in the present tense. It is specific and speaks what you want to happen. “I show up every day to write and my Solo Show Musical flows through me effortlessly.” An intention uses language that describes what you are moving toward, not what you are trying to leave behind. For example instead of writing “I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I don’t want to be around destructive people.” You write “confidence and strength flows through my body as I attract positive and helpful people to my Solo Show Musical.”
3. Seek out Daily Inspiration, Allies and Support.
I need to have things that feed me, support me, keep me brave, and keep me connected. I can feel very alone and isolated doing this work. I start my day with a meditation process and A Course in Miracles, a source that connects me to love – the most important thing of all. I also subscribe to inspirational newsletters: Brene Brown who studies courage and vulnerability; Marie Forlio who understands what it takes to create, face obstacles and thrive. I started a small group of women creatives that meet every month or so. It’s casual, fun and no pressure whatsoever, but connects us to each other and to our work more powerfully. Here is an inspirational quote that I keep posted on my desk to remind me when I am overwhelmed – to take one step at a time.
A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.
A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true
4. Create a Work Structure.
I believe creative work should be done first thing in the morning. There is something open and receptive in your brain in the morning. Once you start the To Do list, mundane tasks and emails, another part of your brain is turned on and it’s hard to get back to the creative brain. Also tending to your creative project first thing tells your muse that she is the number one priority. That makes her feel good and appreciated.
In order to create an open morning schedule, I list all the obstacles that get in the way. The list is really long! Texts, emails, tennis games, morning workout routines…. Have you ever noticed that everything wants to happen first thing in the morning? So I choose workout routines in the afternoon. I ask my tennis friends if they don’t mind playing in the afternoon. I tell my friends and family that my phone will be turned off from 7-11am every day so I won’t get a slew of morning texts. Better yet- I start the habit of turning off my phone!
5. Hire a Coach.
Besides having friends and allies, I need a mentor/ coach for this big project. This is critical. This part of the journey starts out with an ordeal. I have to heave myself over a huge disappointment and find the courage to seek again. What I originally judge as “bad” turns out to be a huge blessing. Where one door closes, a bigger one opens. I am connected to a NYC Broadway Producer/Director 30 years into the business. He is generous. He is kind. He’s the real deal. OMG he says he wants to work with me!
6. Get used to the Enemy Within
Fear and self doubt happen when you try something new, when you try something big, when you put yourself out there. They are NEVER going away! I try to accept this and just move forward. I also like to see these imposters as gargoyles at the gate – trying to scare people away from their dreams. They are merely a test; a threshold to cross. Only the worth can cross! You are worthy!
I’ll keep you posted as this journey unfolds! Would love to hear about your creative project too!
Dream Big. Be Bold. Be yourself.