First of all, thanks to an amazing new friend @thoughtsofjane and her sparky blog https://hellocreativecrowd.wordpress.com/ for her invitation to guest blog and share this with my tribe too….
How did the concept for Disentangling Genius come about?
I knew I had a powerful story about recognising and overcoming frustration. It had been such a blight upon my life and all my conscientious efforts. I remembered a vivid recurring childhood nightmare about a scribbly line that would rear up and terrifyingly blacken my whole vision, retracting and disappearing and re-scribbling itself furiously.
What inspired the name of the book?
I took this recollection and the metaphor of a similarly tangled ball of wool.
At first “DG” was a book I intended to appeal to frustrated creatives. Then I realised that creativity is far more than traditionally artistic flair. It is that inner uniquely (and I believe God-given) created gifting that only YOU are the best at. I decided to call this quality Genius. Not that we are necessarily geniuses but we all do possess genius. Many of us struggle to believe that; to honour and value the quest for its refinement and its liberation.
As a writer, what did you feel was the first step you needed to take in order to make the concept of your book become alive and physical?
I had to spend a good deal of thought and self-searching upon who I am and what I am here for. I specifically started to schedule time into my calendar to write, simply for the joy of writing. This self interrogation was a process I followed with a coaching mentor, Kary Oberbrunner of The Deeper Path. For the first time I really sought to become a writer.
In fact I simply decided “I am an author”. Who else was going to designate me?
How do you think the book can help Creatives?
This book surprised me in its ease of creation and the life it seemed to have of its own. I played with poetic prose, visual word formatting and font variation and a totally self-directed style. I wrote as if I were the only audience, being truly vulnerable about who I am and what I think and feel. This honesty is the most authentic and compelling thing I have to export.
If creatives can catch that spirit and dare to be true to their own unique inspiration then no one else can argue with that.
I have learned to engage with and enjoy the process and not be too attached to the outcome. I had previously failed to complete other books because I was too set on an image of the completed work. Creating is a conversation with the created and this dialogue must be honoured.
What do you think is the most common knot of frustration within Creatives?
Creatives are naturally comfortable with a degree of what I call the Knot of Confusion (or chaos).
They understand completely how they need to practice and seek demonstration; to overcome difficult tasks and promote skill (The Knots of Helplessness and Unskilfulness). Some may feel shy of success and prominence, never realising that obscurity is actually a self-induced reality (The Knots of Displacement and Stuntedness).
However I think that the Knot of Independence is one frustration that snarls many Creatives. We seek to protect our individual style and stamp upon the world but in doing so we lose the potential that only comes exponentially through community and interdependence. I believe it is a myth that artists need to be insular and self-sufficient. This is a stereotype that does not serve them or their target audience.
Maybe the Knot of “Madness” is another stereotype of the creative bent. However I’ll leave that to the reader to decide! Don’t we all need a little maddening repetition to get our frustrated creativity flowing?
What have you found to be the most challenging part of launching your book?
This is certainly the inevitable daily discipline required by the originator of any product or service to enable their creation to “catch on”. That is, steady marketing.
Someone once said that it only took twenty years to become an overnight success and I certainly know what they meant!
It is fun supplying the social media feed with news, images, thoughts and links. It is a creative challenge in itself to keep that fresh and yet, in many ways I long to be drafting my next book. However the future is in the hands of those I add value to, the tribe that “get” me. Inevitably the fact that I may not resonate with people means my thoughts will fall on some deaf ears.
Building a platform or a tribe takes time and is a character and leadership test far more than an exercise in self-promotion. Some people do not understand this or mistake passion for egocentricity.
I just have to let imagined misconceptions go.
What advice would you give to someone looking at taking their writing to the next level?
Two things; do it daily and invest in mentorship and accountability whether it be through a peer learning community or a paid programme of development. Or both as I have done with a programme called Author Academy Elite.
What do you do in your spare time?
I continue to write a journal. I love thoughtful films and psychological thrillers and occasionally dabble in interior décor.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I have transitioned to my dream job. I am writing and sketching and facilitating workshops in a spacious studio with vibrant paintings.
I have published a few more books and am known for my quality of transformational coaching and experiential retreats that offer the overlooked, disappointed, frustrated, oppressed and sabotaged a place of disentanglement and re-alignment with their core genius.
I have a growing tribe of interdependent and exponentially thriving “Disentangled”. Please join us this second year!