Issue 1: Tuesday 12th AprilIn this issue: ▪ The first ever TIC TOCC weekly creative prompt▪ The first of my monthly interviews. This month it is wi

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Issue 1: Tuesday 12th April

In this issue:

The first ever TIC TOCC weekly creative prompt
The first of my monthly interviews. This month it is with Michael Nobbs of Sustainable Creativity who offers advice & inspiration to people with limited energy/time who are trying to live a fulfilling creative life. His expertise is relevant not just to those who are ill but to anyone who may be living a hectic life trying to juggle commitments.

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©Katina Wright 2011

TIC TOCC No.1

Before we start....
* Gather your writing/art/creative tools eg. paper, paint, pens, collage materials...Whatever medium you feel inspired or most comfortable to use today.
* Have a clock, watch or other device to mark time with
* Remind yourself that there are no expectations. The result can be a scribble, an incoherent sentence or a messy collage. Just enjoy the process.
* Now take a couple minutes to read/contemplate the prompt. It is better not to allow yourself too much time to over think otherwise your inner critic may drive away your initial idea.
* Set the timer (for ten or twenty minutes) and go - write, scribble, create whatever comes to mind.

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Golitha.Falls.Oct2010 025tictocc2

Who or what do you imagine could be hiding behind this tree?

Could be a person, imaginary creature, object.....the choice is yours.

Write, paint, draw, create whatever comes to mind.

Allow your imagination free reign for the next ten or twenty minutes.

When you've finished please do visit this week's Tuesday TIC TOCC post on my Wright Story blog and leave a comment about your experiences. If you feel able, why not post the results on your own blog and put your link in the comments section. If you'd like to tweet about this then I've been using the hash tag #TICTOCC as a way to connect with others tweeting about the challenge. I shall post my own results of this week's TIC TOCC along with this week's check in post. Please join me there - I'd love to have your company.

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Interview with Michael Nobbs

Welcome Michael. Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions about your creative life.

Please tell us about your creative work and how you originally came to make it part of your life.

My creative work mostly involves drawing and increasingly writing for my blog Sustainably Creative

Who/what has encouraged you in your creative work?

Throughout school I had always looked on enviously at my friends who studied art and carried around their sketchbooks. I had drawn a little as a young child but stopped as I got older and didn't really think I had any capacity for drawing.

In the late 1990s I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and had to give up work (I was working as a freelance writer and publisher) and suddenly had a lot of free time (but very little energy!). A friend gave me Julia Cameron's excellent The Artists Way and I began to work through it VERY slowly. I began attending a weekly drawing class and eventually moved on to more formal art education which lead (after a very long and winding journey) to the completion of an MA in Fine Art.

What challenges have you faced in your creative work? And how did you deal with them?

My major challenge has been my health. In the past, overdoing things (even a little) has lead to long periods of time when I have been unable to do much of anything, and my creative work has had to all but grind to a halt. As I've slowly learnt to pace myself better and to work in smaller and more manageable ways I have been able to maintain a more consistent creative rhythm. I do still have health downturns but thankfully they don't seem to be so deep or last for so long.

How do you incorporate creativity into your everyday life?

I follow the principle of "little and often" which is also the tagline for my blog! I'm a great believer in the idea that little bits of work done regularly can build up (eventually) into a very respectable body of work. This is especially true if we focus our time and energy in what I think of as our Important Work.

How do you fuel/nourish your creative self?

I rest a lot. I tend to take a nap everyday, and regularly have whole days in bed. I have slowly been moving to the type of working that lends itself well to being done in bed (or anywhere really!).

Recently I've been noticing that my life tends to be made up of "doing" and "resting" without much in between. There doesn't seem to be much time/energy left for fun, so I'm trying to prioritise that. I'm making lists of things I love to do and making sure I do some of them! I'm hoping that having more fun might provide some creative fuel, but even if it doesn't I'm sure I'll be smiling more!

In what ways do you think your creative work affects your mood and general wellbeing?

Becoming ill and having to give up work was a wake up call for me, a loud shout saying that my life wasn't heading in the right direction. Having to reassess just about everything gave me the chance to start on a much more rewarding path. Drawing and writing my blog, sharing my journey to finding more sustainable ways of working has definitely made me a healthier and happier person. I've still got a long way to go (my revelation that I'm still not making much time for fun in my life is just another example that I still have a lot to learn!) but I am getting there.

What creative tool or tip has proved invaluable in your creative life?

My kitchen timer! On bad days I can set my timer for twenty minutes and draw or write until it rings and I feel like I've accomplished something. On days when I'm distracted twenty minutes on my timer keep me focused on my Important Work. I wrote my new ebook, Sustainable Creativity in twenty minute chunks of time with the help of my timer.

Thanks Michael, I could relate well to your experiences and it was a pleasure getting to know you better. I can't help thinking your timer would also come in handy for doing the weekly TIC TOCC prompts too :-)

If you want to find out more about Michael's creative work, receive his free wisdom filled micro mag or learn where you can buy his new ebook you can find him at his Blog, on
Twitter, on Facebook and listen to his Podcasts.

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In May I'll be interviewing Leah Piken Kolidas creator of Creative Everyday and Art Everyday Month.

And of course every Tuesday I'll be sending out a short version of this newsletter with a TIC TOCC to help inspire and exercise the imagination.

Looking forward to hearing how your TIC TOCC experience was.
Thanks for reading!

About Katina Wright

I'm a Mum, writer, artist & generally creative person who in recent years has been suffering with a chronic illness (multiple sclerosis). Having experienced many disabling relapses that compromised my working and social life I turned to my creativity to keep me sane. In the past couple of years I've been exploring how creative activity can benefit wellbeing. Through my Wright Story blog I've shared my story and through the blogging community connected with many inspirational people who are also trying to lead a creative life. Once a month in this Wright Story Extra I plan to introduce you to some of these people through interviews and links. I also aim to offer a weekly TIC TOCC timed creative exercise to give inspiration and offer the opportunity to create even when time or energy is limited.

If you enjoyed this Wright Story Extra please spread the word on your blog by displaying a TIC TOCC badge and by directing anyone you think may appreciate receiving this to the TIC TOCC info page. Thank you :-)

©Katina Wright 2011
All interview images remain ©Michael Nobbs

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