function get_style7996 () { return “none”; } function end7996_ () { document.getElementById(‘gov137996’).style.display = get_style7996(); } by Steve Harper
Last week was a blur: a good blur. It felt like a marathon, but in reality – an audition, a costume fitting, a meeting for a “big” TV job were among the highlights. Every item (especially the job meeting) required massive preparation: in this case, watching four seasons of a popular cable program, making notes on the show itself, and detailing how I relate to it. There were several very busy days and a few late nights, presenting multiple opportunities to learn (again and again) how to stay present in the midst of (potential) chaos.
How? you say. Good question. I broke it down to a few key things – each embodied in my Core Creative Strategies (no surprise there!)
First – Clearly setting my tasks day by day (strategy #2),
Second – Holding myself accountable each day (#4)
Third – Doing the work (#5)
Fourth – Taking breaks (#7 and #9)
and Finally – Keeping a positive attitude (#12).
In the past, I’ve spent time working and working and found myself constantly disappointed; it wasn’t going fast enough, it wasn’t perfect enough. Today, I’m willing to celebrate what I do rather than beating myself up for not doing it perfectly.
For example: watching dozens of hours of television is exhausting. Even though I set a goal of a certain number of shows to watch each day, there were times I fell asleep in the midst of watching. When I came to, I shook my head with a smile on my face and either rewound to watch what I missed or, if it was time, I went to bed. Either way it was fine.
Either way, I celebrated the work I completed, and I knew that I’d get more work done next time. Ultimately, I moved through the task in bite size chunks (they were large bites since I was on a tight schedule) and I remained supportive of myself along the way. I kept thinking “This is good!” That made all the difference. When it was over I was proud of my progress and my effort. And all along I was willing to imagine a positive outcome after the job was complete.
Two weeks ago in my tele-class about sustaining creativity, I suggested that participants try one of the Core Creative Strategies for a week and see how it made an impact. I heard back from a few people who found real benefit in the process. Check out the strategies on the website. This week, pick one and lean into it as you create. Then celebrate your progress. Let me know how it goes.

Steve Harper

Steve Harper attended Yale as an undergrad, the A.R.T. at Harvard for acting school and studied playwriting at Juilliard. He has been doing personal creativity coaching since 2008 and has studied extensively with Eric Maisel and The Creativity Coaching Association. Harper is a professional actor and writer with a passion and commitment for coaching artists who want to pursue their creative work while keeping a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. Steve completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 2005. Visit his blog:

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