Dr Cathryn Lloyd, Founder & Director Maverick Minds has just released her second book Seriously Playful Creativity: An A to Z of Creative Action and Reflection. Following on from her first book, The Story Cookbook: Practical Recipes for Change, which was a collaboration with Andrew Rixon, Seriously Playful Creativity is a call to action to ignite your inner creative, and embrace the idea that everything we do can be a creative act.
Tell us about your new book Seriously Playful Creativity: An A to Z of Creative Action and Reflection
2020 provided much-needed space for me to articulate the ideas that had been bubbling for a couple of years and to develop the look and feel for the book. I knew I wanted it to be an interactive book hence the journal style of publication. Creativity can seem elusive and while aspects of that are true, due to its unique quality, we can also work with it in a skilful and artful way. The book’s A to Z of concepts focus on some of the external and internal forces that help and hinder creativity. It provides points of reflection and practical tips for being creative in our personal and professional lives.
There is a coaching component throughout the book, and ‘interlude’ pages where I pose questions for the reader to respond to. The book design includes blank pages to write, draw, doodle and colour in as you engage with the book. It has a creative check list to inspire people to get started and consider the aspects of their lives there they would they like to be more creative.
The intention is to help people shift their thinking, gain new perspectives, get unstuck, feel confident and identify areas in their life they would like to be more creative. You can work the ideas quickly if you need to, and I encourage people to slow down, notice and be really present with what is presented. You can take your time and dive deeply into the ideas, or take a quick dip if you want a spark of inspiration to get you going.
Who is it for?
I’ve written and designed the book for anyone who wants to think differently about what it means to be creative and live a creative life. The book is out in the world and attracting a diverse audience. There are accountants, administrators, leaders of teams and organisations, academics, creative practitioners, health practitioners, teachers, coaches and management consultants who have purchased copies of Seriously Playful Creativity.
I’ve been told it is helps challenge existing perceptions and attitudes around creativity in general as well as helping people gain a better insight into their mindset regarding their own creativity. People say it is very affirming and encouraging. The purpose of the book is to highlight that Creativity is a human quality and is available to everyone, not just for some. The responses to the book suggest it is providing that insight.
What are the key messages you’d like people to take away after reading Seriously Playful Creativity?
Firstly, build a relationship with the book, and you will build a relationship with your creative self. It is a book that will stand the test of time. Let it become part of your daily life, have it close by, and work with it regularly. Each idea can be explored and played with on a daily basis, or you can take an idea and be with it over a week, a month or a year.
For instance, take Attitude. You can have attitude at the forefront of your way of being for a day, a week, a year or a lifetime. What is your attitude toward creativity? What is your attitude toward your own creativity? How does your attitude toward creativity influence the way you make decisions; problem solve and value your creative expression?
B is being Bold and taking actions that stretch you out of your comfort zone. What might be bold and a stretch for one person may be easy for another. We are all confronted with times that require us to make bold creative decisions or actions? We also get insight when we understand why we choose one bold action over another.
Secondly, nurture and cultivate your creativity. Finding ways to hydrate our creativity individually and collectively deserves our attention. The everyday can become routine, stale and simply business as usual. We get stuck in a particular way of being and doing. The creature of habit will often take the path of least resistance, however the creation of something new, an innovation, requires disruption, experimentation, risk and often with no guarantees that our investment will pay off. There are major and minor actions we can take to boost creative shifts. Sometimes the smallest endeavour can have a profound influence in how we approach the way we do something and the conversations we have.
If we think more broadly about ourselves as creative beings, then we start to see that everything we do can be a creative act.
Even though we have repeating habits and rituals (and some of those can be super useful while others less so), our lives are made up of spontaneous encounters which we respond and react to. When we become more conscious of our way of being in the world, we begin to have choices. We can choose to be more intentional and spontaneous or engender more structure or freedom depending on what is needed to stimulate and harvest a more creative life. The creative concepts offered in Seriously Playful Creativity are applicable and accessible for individuals, teams and in business.
There are other messages throughout the book. I invite you to explore and then come back and share your insights and next steps with me. I would love to know what you discover.
I will also be facilitating a free virtual session with people who have purchased the book over the coming weeks.
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