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February 2020

Why perseverance is important for all of us

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How many books on the subject of creativity do you have on your bookshelves? One, two, perhaps ten ... even more? who knows .... sometimes we buy beautifully colourful ones, with lovely designs, believing that they will be enough to get us going.... but how often do we notice that our enthusiasm for our lovely new book rarely stays with us for more than a few days .. so we start again, this time doing some of the exercises ... then we stop ... we put it on the side for later ... still dreaming about the time when we will use our creativity to create that amazing, amazing, magnificent ... "something" .. maybe a book, maybe a painting, perhaps taking that adventurous trip to a learning destination that we had been thinking about ....but somehow we kept postponing until later .... or a woolly warm pullover we decided one day with great enthusiasm to knit ... or that gourmet meal to cook using a recipe from one of the many superbly published books we have ....which too easily become photo albums of what might have been... 

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Everything but absolutely everything depends on our PERSEVERANCE, yes our perseverance .. Without it .. nothing happens ... we can of course tell ourselves that we do not have enough time, that we need to put aside an hour or two to start our creative project, but we are too listless and so prefer to chill-out on the sofa with something nice to hand to watch yet another something.... just for a few moments of course ........ to simply disconnect from OURSELVES. 

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I am just like you ... I get distracted by lots of things.......  but after years I have come to understand that practice, and practice, and practice makes it possible for me to open the gates to my imagination.....(because, like a rusty door, it always opens easier if it's oiled) and it's always amazes me that when refreshed and exercised, my imagination consumes me, it takes control of my hands and mind, that I can be making or sipping a coffee while my imagination is somewhere completely different enjoying itself.

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It is almost the end of February and, despite the distractions and the weather, I have continued to explore the endless possibilities for my own creative journey, helped along the way by the exercises suggested in my own book Be a creative explorer ....yes, I use my own workbook to help me to exercise my own imagination. February was a very, very dark, cold, windy, rainy month here on the southern coastline of England and I really loved hiding away from what was going on outside and completing a few more pages of my workbook (you can see the photos up and down this piece) which invites you to ... write a letter to yourself, to create a collage about the happy moments in your life, to draw perfectly imperfectly (like life itself), to colour in as it takes you then and there....and so on and so on. 

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Be a creative explorer invites you to get rid of the desire for perfectionism (because life is for living), to START NOW, to experiment, to make mistakes and to work out how to take advantage of them.... and in so doing to transform your emotions....to amazingly grow that sense that Yes I Can. Start now, start wherever you are, your imagination is waiting for you. 

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How do you open your creativity gates

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Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I was getting close to graduating from my mechanical engineering university in Bucharest and, whether by good luck or good forethought, I found that I did not have to look for a job in the engineering field because I was at the time, by pure chance and to earn some money, working part time as a PA for an English tv company attempting to negotiate a joint venture with our state broadcaster to operate a new commercial television channel. 

I found myself translating at high level and learning how to use a computer .. an Apple computer by the way. It was 1993 and I had never had access to or used a computer until then and, yes, once again .. with very little help I had to figure out how to use it .. on my own ... with tears, sleepless nights, and again tears . 

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I don't really know if that was the moment that was going to put a huge imprint on everything I was going to do further on in my career and life ... having to feel the fear and to start to figure things out for myself ... taking the road less travelled on so so many occasions. 

Years later,  here I am in a field I'd never dreamed of being in ... the creative field. Over the years, many people have asked me .. where do the ideas come from, how do I access the creative side of my mind, something so needed especially nowadays when stress, media over-consumption, electronic gadgets leave us drained, depleted. 

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That is why, as a response, some months ago I decided to self publish a workbook, something that people can take with them on the train, on the bus, on holiday, during commuting trips, when they go for a coffee .... when they sit at the kitchen table with 5 minutes for themselves or in the garden while relaxing on a Sunday afternoon .... 

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Just like it happened years ago ... I had no experience of putting together this type of workbook (yes I have self-published two creativity books, mainly about colouring, but this was a while ago) but I knew that perseverance, determination and purpose will help me find the way. And it did. 

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My  BE A CREATIVE EXPLORER workbook is about the fun of stimulating the imagination. It consists of 12 chapters, one for each month - below you can see what my first month's work looks like now that I have finished it. I am sure yours will look different but it's just to give you an idea. 

What each chapter does is to invite you to draw, to read (you have book recommendations, inspiring quotes) to colour in, to create collages, write your thoughts ... most pages have prompts to help you on your way ... You are invited to use watercolour crayons, acrylic paints, juicy pens (the really lovely ones to work with!) of all kinds, collage bits from your favourite magazines ..... 

Because creativity starts with a step ... followed by another one ... and another one .....it's  about what comes into your mind and the absolute joy for the mind of "what if...." I never look for perfection because it doesn't exist. Real life is all those things you just did and do, whatever the outcome, because in the end it's your work, no-one else's and memories are made of such things.

Be a creative explorer is available from Amazon, wherever you are. 

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