Teaching & Traveling with Yowling Creators

Teaching & Traveling with Yowling Creators As I gear up to teach a new semester of three groups of yowling creators, I think about who my students will be. Like many instructors, whether university professors or elementary school teachers, I usually focus on what my students will learn. However, at the moment I find myself wondering what I will learn. I always absorb something–how to be a better teacher, new ways to communicate concepts. What I most marvel at is how being in the classroom makes me a stronger yowling creator. I’ve discovered that my yowling creator’s writing journey is more fun when I don’t travel it alone. Yowling Creators Travel in Packs In order for a new wolf cub to urinate, its mother has to massage its belly with her warm tongue. — Michael Leach,Wolf: Habitats, Life Cycles, Food Chains, Threats Being in the classroom helps me feel connected with others. Like a baby wolf, sometimes I need my creativity tickled in order to stream new ideas. My students and I share similar struggles as yowling creators. We may write for different reasons and focus on distinct projects, but we all feel frustrated or need encouragement in our personal process. Sharing our burdens seems to be the key to feeling better. Yowling Creators Can Help Sniff Out Solutions One of the benefits of traveling in packs is that fellow yowling creators sniff out things about our writing process or project that we don’t sense. There have been moments when I’ve arrived to my class stumped by a problem. In helping a student address a frustration or writing hurdle, I have found the answer. Often something a student says is the tiny miracle I need to move forward. Wolves have about 200 million scent cells. Humans have only about 5 million.  Wolves can smell other animals more than one mile (1.6 kilometers) away. — James and Judy Brandenburg, Face to Face with Wolves Do I feel silly for not seeing it myself? No, because I remember that this is part of the creation process. We can’t hold everything in our head all the time and simultaneously focus on one tiny detail. The brain simply wasn’t created this way. Writers need their pack.  Yowling Creators Got Your Back  Wolves do not make good guard dogs because they are naturally afraid of the unfamiliar and will hide from visitors rather than bark at them. — Mary E. Reid, Wolves and Other Wild Dogs As writers, we tend to work alone. Even a collaborative project can require periods of solo creation....

Happy 4th of July from Yowling Creator

Happy 4th of July from Yowling Creator You may not naturally take me for a patriot. But I’m grateful for the many freedoms I enjoy in the US–especially the freedom to express my yowling and create. In many countries, there are yowling creators who are persecuted for publishing what they think. Some paint murals in secret. Others pen poetry by candlelight in prison. Whatever weary troubles your country may have (and believe me, mine has many)…if you can create and express your yowling with freedom, you enjoy a rare gift. Celebrate Your Yowling Creative Freedom I invite you to celebrate with me your freedom to create right now…today. Celebrating your freedom can take many forms. It may mean writing something new or painting what you haven’t given yourself the time to paint. It may mean collaborating with others. Or it could be putting your gift to use for someone else. If you’d like to put your creativity into action to help a fellow yowling creator, Amnesty International offers many opportunities. My friend, who is a yowling creative writer/performer, did this. Check out her story. Do you celebrate your yowling creator’s freedom or help others with your gifts? Digg this post Share on Linkedin share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Print for...

Be a Yowling Creator…Express Your Spirit

Be a Yowling Creator…Express Your Spirit Isaac is a 13-year-old, blue-eyed, blond-haired kid. He’s sometimes shy, but being a yowling creator brings him out of his shell. When he creates, he connects with the community around him. Isaac has taught me that yowling creators come in all ages. We are no more, and no less, yowling creators at 10 than we are at 20 or even 70. I discovered Isaac as a young yowling creator one Sunday after church. During the service, he had created an origami peacock. What most impressed me was that after he created the peacock “the way you’re supposed to do it,”  he created another one using his own style and flaring folds. He broke the rules of what he was taught an origami peacock should be, had a blast doing it, and produced his own creation. I’ve also seen him do this with a surfer on his board and that same surfer beneath a tubular wave. In fact, Isaac has a whole shelf full of this stuff. The funny thing is Isaac doesn’t even know he’s a yowling creator. He just follows the flow of his imagination and passion. It’s not the particular form of art that attracts him. First it was making stop-motion movies. Now it’s origami. Tomorrow it could be metallic talking heads.  Yowling Creators Can Make Money Without Trying So often we think that pursuing our passion as a career is linked with economics. We put earning potential first and passion second. After all, we gotta eat, right? The problem with this mindset is that some people never even make it to discovering their passion. They get so caught up with making money that they leave their hopes and dreams behind. Actually, it should be the other way around. Our hopes and dreams can lead us to a fulfilling career. Taking the time to create steers us to uncovering our passion, which can guide us quite naturally into money-making opportunities. Take Isaac, for example. This kid already has been commissioned to create special pieces for neighbors, friends, and family. He has earned between $5 and $50 per job. This might not sound like much. But keep in mind he hasn’t been promoting himself. Opportunity has arrived through word of mouth. This past Mother’s Day, someone bought his talents to create a bouquet of origami flowers for Grandma. Here’s my point in sharing Isaac’s story: You, too, can find your passion and pursue it with motivation and joy....

Your Yowling Creative Rhythm

Your Yowling Creative Rhythm Are you missing a beat in your yowling creative rhythm? You may not know it, but the rhythm and pace at which you create can be almost as crucial as the creation itself. The right rhythm is a well-oiled engine that keeps us motivated and enjoying our task, even if it’s not finished. When we move through that paper, project, or plan at a pace that suits us, we are more likely to keep returning to work on it. Some people call it their “creative groove.” Others call it “flow.” Still others call it “being in the zone.” We may not even have words for that feeling or sense of moving forward, but somehow we know when it stops and we’re stuck. I call that stuck place “creator’s crunch.” Understand Your Rhythm as a Yowling Creator: Set Your Pace Setting your pace means making a date with yourself and scheduling your creative joy in order to maintain an intimate relationship with your creation. This also means not scheduling more time than you actually use productively. If you’re only good for three solid hours of work, don’t take off the whole day and expect to create a masterpiece. No one likes to be rushed. If you think your project will take you a total of eight hours to complete but you only work well two hours at a time, then schedule two hours daily over four days. So keep your yowling creator’s heart beating. Set boundaries and enjoy the fruit of your creative labor. What Other Yowling Creators Say… Here’s what some of the most prolific people and experts say about how to preserve your yowling creative heartbeat: Preparation….incubation….insight….evaluation….elaboration. –Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, author of Flow and Creativity Learning, thinking, writing. — Hal Croasmun, ScreenwritingU Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance. And there is only the dance. — T. S. Eliot There are times of complete frustration; there are daily small deaths. Then I need all the comfort that practice has stored in my memory, and a tenacity of faith. — Martha Graham   How do you keep your yowling creator rhythm flowing and moving forward? Digg this post Share on Linkedin share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Print for...

Have a Vision or Dream? You’re a Yowling Creator

Have a Vision or Dream? You’re a Yowling Creator As yowling creators, we all have visions and dreams for the future. So often we keep them secret, because we’re embarrassed. Sometimes we’re silent for other reasons. Perhaps we’ve shared a secret hope, and others laughed or told us it was impossible. I want you to know the Yowling Creator community is a safe place to share your vision or dream.   Not convinced you’re a yowling creator? Take the quiz. Yowling Creator Is a Safe Place No heartfelt hope or positive goal for the future is too silly–no matter how far away it may seem. Even the “silliest” and most impractical ideas can transform into something wonderfully useful. For example, take the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell spent years working on its core components. When he first brought it to the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1875, judges thought it was a “silly instrument.” Later people changed their minds, and now everyone has a phone. Few would dream of trying to live without it. What we end up with may not look like what we first birthed in our brain. Did you know that Viagra originally  was invented to be a treatment for hypertension and heart disease? Play-Doh, the colored clay so many of us squashed between our palms as children, was originally wallpaper cleaner. And Coca Cola was conceived by a Confederate soldier to help morphine addicts relieve withdrawal headaches. Mental Floss is filled with such yowling creations. Connect with Other Yowling Creators If we don’t give ourselves the space to dream, we can end up feeling unfulfilled and useless. For this reason alone, it’s important to create. One thing I’ve learned is that staying connected helps me to survive, even thrive, through all the emotional ups and downs that come with creating. One minute we see the end just in sight. Another minute we throw up our hands in despair and think our dream will never happen. Staying connected keeps me sane. It can help you, too. My vision/dream for this year is to write something for the screen. Not to see my name in lights. I simply have a story to tell. There. I went first. Now… What’s Your Vision or Dream for 2013? Digg this post Share on Linkedin share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Print for...

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