Finding Your Creative Self

Early in 2016, we offered up a brand new course as part of our “Lifelong Learning Series” at the library called “Finding Your Creative Self”. We’re happy to announce that we’re going to be offering another six-week session this fall, to a brand new group of patrons!

Find your(3)This fun and inspiring class is for adults who are looking for ways to get re-inspired, to find like-minded people who also want to live a creative life, and find joy in creating again. It is for writers, knitters, painters, yoga-enthusiasts, moustache-twirlers….anyone who does something creative in their lives, but has been feeling less than enthusiastic about it lately. Each session will focus on a new idea, and will include in-class exercises, as well as work to take home to build on the ideas from each week. But this isn’t some boring old class—we will do a creative activity each week, and spend a lot of time laughing and talking.

The course is based on a number of popular creativity books, such as Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY, Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC and THE YEAR OF YES by popular TV writer/producer Shonda Rhimes, and will have you digging deep and searching for the fun you once had.

“Finding Your Creative Self” begins on Tuesday, September 20th and runs through October 25th, from 1-3pm, but there will be a class-limit, so be sure to register early. This was such a popular course last time, we had a huge waiting list, and we don’t want  anyone to be disappointed!

Registration begins today, so call us at 257-2702 for more information or to register, or drop by the library to sign up. We want you to feel inspired again about doing those creative things you used to love to do! What have you got to lose?

Creativity is Alive and Well at the Library

As part of our “Lifelong Learning” series at the library, we have been running a six-week course entitled, “Find Your Creative Self”. It rose out of the interest people have in creativity, and the lack of inspiration we sometimes feel when it comes to making things. After the flood of interest, we thought maybe you’d like to know how things are going.

Most of the course is based around the ideas from two creativity-inspiring books. The first is Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY, and the second is Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC.

waymagicBoth books cover many of the same topics, from identifying the fears that hold us back, to learning to respect and love the act of creating, to championing ourselves when we don’t often feel like we can. But each book takes a different approach–one quite rigid with meaningful exercises and soul-searching, and one more inspiration-based–and we decided to combine the ideas to appeal to a variety of people.

Each week, we do a creativity activity (or a “creactivity”, as I like to call it)–anything from drawing crazy pictures based on a single shape, to making art out of string cheese. Let me tell you, this past week was one of our best activities–where we performed a rousing rendition of “Swinging on a Star” using only found instruments, such as sponges, pool noodles, safety pins and thumbtacks. Bruce Springsteen—look out!

cheeseBut more importantly, the participants have really been making some progress in their creative lives. We’re discovering what’s been holding us back (lack of time!), ways in which we can open up our creative minds (try cleaning out a closet and getting rid of things you never use), and a greater sense of allowing ourselves to be creative. It’s been a struggle, and there have been some near-tears, but we’ve also done a lot of laughing and getting to know new friends and supporters.

Will everyone come out of this with a brand new hobby or career? Maybe not. But I know that most people are enjoying doing new things and trying the challenges they’re faced with each week as a means of exploring their abilities. After the end of the six weeks, we’ll do a little assessment, and see what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown, and hopefully, there will be progress made in the future as they go off and try to approach creativity in new ways. I think, if anything, we’ve all learned to be easier on ourselves. Being creative is supposed to be fun, not guilt-inducing, or self-esteem-crumbling.

Happy creating, everyone!

 

Memoirs

A lot of people love to read biographies, real life tales about famous (and not-always-so-famous) people.  Who doesn’t enjoy an inside look at a life that maybe we’re not wealthy enough to live? We have an entire biography section, filled with books on movie stars, sports figures, political greats and royalty (amongst other things.)  Please feel free to ask us where to find these books when you drop into the library.

The newest rage in true stories is something called the memoir.  Lots of famous people have written memoirs about specific periods of their lives, and now, lots of “regular” people are writing memoirs about their lives. One of the most popular memoirs right now is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which you can finally see on the big screen starring Julia Roberts.

This tells Gilbert’s story of a relationship gone bad and her desire to find happiness again by going away for one year to Italy, Indonesia and India. It’s a fascinating tale of self-discovery and right now, we once again have a waiting list for it.  You can read more about Elizabeth Gilbert and her books right here.

Why are memoirs so fascinating, and just who should write one?  I think the appeal of writing a memoir is obviously becoming famous for just doing something that you’ve either always wanted to do, or never wanted to do.  But it’s not that easy.  The subject matter must be really unique, really appealing to a wide audience and that’s the difficult part.  If I wanted to write a memoir of my life as a librarian, I could probably come up with some interesting anecdotes and maybe my journey to working at the library would be interesting to some, but in general, it just doesn’t have much appeal (except maybe to other librarians).

But if I decided to , say, take a year off and travel across the world to visit libraries in a variety of countries, this might have more appeal as a memoir.  (Of course, it would be even better if along the way I searched for one particular book in each library, for example. The quirkier your adventure, the better).

If you’re thinking about writing a memoir, you might want to check out one of these resources online to get started: Writing MemoirsFreelance Writing – Memoirs, or the fascinating site that helps you document family histories in a memoir, Heritage Memoirs.  While most of us will never publish our own story and see it on the library shelves, the last option of heritage memoirs is a great idea.  You’ll end up with something professional looking and your family won’t lose important stories generations down the road. It might be worth your time!