Creative Control Freaking

So, I'm noticing little ways that I'm trying to control everything all over the place. Hmm.

At our workshop in Midway on Saturday, I felt conflicted between trying to keep 'on schedule' and on the 'program' that I'd planned and releasing all that and going with the flow of inspiration, letting things turn naturally as different ideas or questions came up. Part of me was concerned that if we were TOO freeform, the attendees would think I hadn't prepared, or that I didn't know what I was doing (ego stuff). Another part was worried that if I kept too tightly to an agenda and glanced over moments of inspiration, the group would miss out on something that was possibly meant to take place (higher power trying to jump in?). I think we leaned to the side that went with the flow, but I still felt uneasy at times.

I'm also realizing big differences in the roles of musician/performer VS speaker/workshop presenter.

When I'm playing in concert, it feels like the audience and I have an understanding. We each know why we're there and what we can expect from each other. I smile, share a little story maybe, and play a song. If they like it, they nod and smile back, they might move to the rhythm a little; they are engaged. When I'm done, they clap at a level that reflects their enjoyment (or not) of a piece; I thank them, and we move forward. It's part of my role to 'read the crowd.' I gauge whether we need to pep things up, or if listeners seem ready for a song that moves their emotions more than their bodies. I adjust, based on what is working or not working. We share a little dance of give and take, offer and response.

In the recent talks or workshops about creativity, I notice a different structure from the outset. People aren't quite sure what their experience will be, what is expected of them. I might speak, or ask them questions, or present a writing exercise. Who knows, maybe I'll ask them to sculpt an animal out of play-doh! I see it as part of my job to help people dig down a little and draw out parts of themselves to examine or heal or celebrate in relation to their art. These parts are often uncomfortable to look at. (We bury the damn stuff exactly because we don't care to look at it!) So as we work together, I notice people frowning, thinking, looking away, shifting in seats. And my musician/performer self is freaking out, thinking: "What am I doing wrong?? I have to fix this! I have to change tack, get us all back on the same happy page!" But I don't. (It wouldn't work, anyway.) Because these responses are not about me the presenter (I dearly hope). These are about stuff coming up that wants to be examined or healed or celebrated properly. And because we are all sensitive energetic beings, there might even be some 'tribe vibe' going on, with one person's issues affecting the feeling of the whole group -- making it all even more complicated!

I also notice myself having a weird pull between wanting to feel like I have answers, I can help, and continually wanting to acknowledge that I'm an artist too, I struggle with these same issues, I'm right with you. Tricky.

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On another not, the preview copies of my "Kick-Ass Creativity" book just came in, and I was excited to send copies to my parents and Mark's parents with a nice inscription, etc, in a pretty package -- you know, kind of present it to them with thanks, have some control over their first experience of it.  But as it happens, my Mom was in a Barnes and Noble near Chicago and she asked at the information desk when they'd be coming in (and Mom, you and I both know that you so wanted to tell the info desk guy that your daughter wrote a book, but I find that very sweet), and unexpectedly, they had a copy already on the shelf, so she bought it.  So she and my Dad have read it.  With delight, for sure, but without my participation and inscription or wrapping -- you know -- the grand shebang. And then I called Mark's Mom and Dad to say hi last night and they'd just received their copies from Amazon!  Crap!  Again!  All because they were excited to see it and went through their own channels to get a copy.  And because the last few days have been so jam-packed with things going on here that I couldn't/didn't take the hour to pack some books up beautifully and get them mailed out.   I guess there is a lesson here about releasing my hold over this book, just trusting that it will now go out into the world and become whatever it will become and reach who it's meant to reach, but I still feel bad about this part.  Sorry, Mom and Dad.   Sorry, Chet and Lillian.  I love you guys for caring enough to go get it so quickly on your own. I'll try to do better with my intentions to show the people who have been so helpful with this project how much I appreciate them.

Today I'm thankful:
1. For the pretty snow outside as I'm cozy here at Coffee Garden, nestled in and working away happily.
2. That I switched to a warmer table and ended up having a great conversation with the guy next to me -- Bill Kerig, writer & filmmaker of The Edge of Never 
3. That Mark and Daisy are having fun at the Field House. I hope Daisy is wearing her little self out for a great nap!
4. That I made good headway on taxes yesterday.
5. For mac's Keynote program. Awesome.

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