Creative Pep Talk #85: The Power of Community

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A lot of creative work happens in solitude, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Community can be one of your greatest creative tools–I explain why in this short episode, and issue an invitation as well!

Want more tips? Check out this playlist with all my previous Creative Pep Talks!

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Transcript

Please note: This is an unedited transcript, provided as a courtesy, and reflects the actual conversation as closely as possible. Please forgive any typographical or grammatical errors.

Nancy Norbeck [00:00:06]:
Welcome to Follow Your Curiosity. Ordinary people, extraordinary creativity. Here’s how to get unstuck. I’m your host, creativity coach, Nancy Norbeck. Let’s go. Hey, everybody. This is Nancy Norbeck with this week’s Creative Pep Talk, and I wanna talk to you today about the power of community. Most of the time we tend to think of creativity as a fairly solitary experience and there’s good reason for that.

Nancy Norbeck [00:00:36]:
If you are a painter, odds are you’re not painting in a group. Now there are probably places where that happens, but most painters work alone. Most writers work alone. You know, dance is a little different. There are dance companies, people work in groups for that, but a lot of art happens as a solo enterprise. That said, there are things like writers groups and they can be really powerful because when we come together to do our art, even though it’s an individual enterprise, in that case, we can get a lot done in a group. The same is true for anything that we can bring together, even if we can’t actually do our art in a group. For instance, I’m thinking of someone that I talked to recently who pointed out that expressive dance isn’t really something you can do in a co working session and she’s got a point.

Nancy Norbeck [00:01:36]:
But if you come into a creative community, there’s still a lot of value to be had there even if you’re an expressive dancer and you’re not actually doing your thing in that moment. So I just wanted to float the idea that community is a really valuable thing and it doesn’t have to mean co working. It doesn’t have to mean that it’s a writer’s group. It could mean that it’s a group of, of you and your fellow painters who get together to meet once a month and just talk about what you’re working on and just feel like, hey, you know what? I’m not in this alone. I know other people who are working on the same kind of thing as me. And you know what? It turns out they’re dealing with similar stuff. I’m not alone in the issues that I’m having and the the struggles that I’m seeing or maybe the achievements that I’m seeing. Hey.

Nancy Norbeck [00:02:32]:
Isn’t that great? We don’t think about that a lot. We tend to only think of the hard stuff, but, you know, we share a lot of the same good points too. When you’re working in an enterprise that’s solo, it’s really easy to feel like you’re the only one, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. And that gets really, really lonely. And that can have an impact on how you see your creative work and your creative self. And it just gets really, really tough to take sometimes. So, you know, think about the power of community. Think about how you can bring that into what you’re doing.

Nancy Norbeck [00:03:19]:
You know, see if there’s a meetup group. See if there’s a group you wanna start. Doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t matter what it looks like necessarily as long as it’s working for you. And to that end, I want to announce that I am gonna change up the way that I’m doing free workshops because I want to make them easier and freer, not just in the financial sense because a free workshop is already pretty free, but in the sense of just making them easier and kind of lowering the lowering the bar to entry in the sense of of making them less daunting to participate in. Having a themed workshop and having it be a 2 hour workshop every month can seem kind of, you know, intimidating sometimes. And I wanna make that easier and less intimidating for people. So we’re gonna try this as an experiment starting this month. I’m still gonna do two as an experiment for now.

Nancy Norbeck [00:04:29]:
And here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna do two sessions on Wednesdays, not on the same Wednesday. So what I’m proposing is that a week from today, the day that this episode is released, so on July 17th at 2 o’clock, we’re gonna do a 1 hour free session. And it’s gonna be a really laid back session. Anybody can come. You do not have to have a particular creative pursuit, and it’s gonna be a conversation. And and it’s gonna be an open conversation. I will pick a topic, but you can come with any creative issue, concern, celebration, whatever you wanna bring, or you cannot speak at all if that’s your preference.

Nancy Norbeck [00:05:28]:
No 1 is required to speak at all. I may offer up a quote. I may have a prompt. In fact, I will almost certainly have a prompt. And, you know, may do a little bit of laser coaching depending on who’s there and the level of of interest in participating in a conversation. And, you know, we’ll have a little time to do some writing or drawing or whatever your particular creative pursuit is. If you can do it on the call, obviously. If not, we’ll default to writing just because that tends to be easiest for people to do easily on a call, and and then we’ll close on the hour.

Nancy Norbeck [00:06:09]:
So we’re gonna see how that goes. We’ll do the same thing two weeks later on 31st at 7 PM, and I will have the sign up links in the show notes in the podcast app. And if you’re watching this on YouTube, I’ll have them there too, And I will have them scattered around on a Substack post and maybe some other places to make it super easy to sign up. You’ll get reminders in your email and we’re gonna give it a try. We’ll see how it goes because I would really like to build a creative community of all sorts of people just getting together, getting to know each other, forming a group that supports each other, just comes together once or twice a month because nothing says you can’t come to both of these sessions if you enjoy 1 and you wanna come back for the other one, feel free. If neither of these times work for you and you wanna propose a different one, I’m totally open to this. I’ve pretty much just picked dates that sounded good to me that, you know, one’s during the day and one’s in the evening that fit my schedule, but I’m I’m open to suggestions. So please let me know.

Nancy Norbeck [00:07:18]:
Feel free to invite friends, neighbors, family, coworkers, anybody you think might be interested. It’s a free session, so it’s open to anybody and it’ll be on zoom and we’ll see how it goes. And, you know, I hope that it turns into a community that, you know, we can keep going for a while because it’s a powerful thing. It helps to sustain us. It helps to feel less alone, and it helps to have a place to celebrate so that, you know, when you accomplish something, it’s not just you and your thing and no one else to help you feel really good about it. And also to have somebody help you through the rough times. It’s all good stuff. So help us celebrate the power of community by forming one.

Nancy Norbeck [00:08:07]:
And, you know, I hope to see you at one of these two sessions later this month. See you next time. If this episode resonated with you or if you’re feeling a little bit less than confident in your creative process right now, join me at the spark on Substack as we form a community that supports and celebrates each other’s creative courage. It’s free, and it’s also where I’ll be adding programs for subscribers and listeners. The link is in your podcast app, so sign up today. See you there and see you next week. Follow your curiosity is produced by me, Nancy Norbeck, with music by Joseph McDade. If you like Follow Your Curiosity, please subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Nancy Norbeck [00:08:49]:
And don’t forget to tell your friends. It really helps me reach new listeners.