After the party

A party to celebrate "Who says you're not creative?"

Last week I threw a book party!

Over the last 18 months I have been working on a book “Who says you’re not creative?”

I finally published and celebrated this milestone in my life on Monday July 22nd- which also happened to be my birthday. (I usually ‘take stock’ on my birthday so this seemed like a good day to launch!)

I was overwhelmed by the support in the room- around 30 people came after work on a hot sweltering Monday evening. I showed my book to the world: business pals, close personal friends, my husband and son. My presentation went well, I felt relaxed rather than nervous and I had lots of positive feedback. A little light drinking was also had- including a matching blue cocktail which the Manager of the bar kindly supplied- what a party!

A week after the party

So after all the fun and celebrating what happens now? Now that people will begin to read my work? Am I nervous? Maybe slightly. Writing a book is an interesting process on many levels. During it’s creation you question your credibility for writing a book. You also think of particular people, maybe work collegaues or family members, that will read it. What will they think of it?? Will their opinion of you change for the worse?

For me to have published I had to confront these questions and be able to deal with them. On a concsious level I feel ok about everything. My job, for me, was to put the book into the world. I needed to see if I could do it, I needed to discover for myself what I thought about this fascination subject that is the basis of all my work.

I recently re read Susan Jeffers book Embracing Uncertainty and she said something that struck a chord. She gave the example of Drew Barrymore ‘letting go’ of her movies once they were released. She almost kissed them good bye and disconnected herself from what people might think of it- as this was beyond her control. Jeffers calls this the ‘scissors of the mind’ exercise. “As long as you are tied [to an expectation] you are not free”

An audio I recently listened to also provided a perspective on this situation I now find myself post party.   ‘You are not the opinion of others..in fact you are not even the opinion of yourself’. This took me a while to understand but once you get it- it’s great one to have as part of your belief system.

So it’s gone- I’ve done my bit to create it. Some people may not like it- others may love it. But if there’s one thing in there that inspires someone to change and create something positive for themselves – I think that’s pretty good. Also- as long as I like it- I’m ok with the opinions come my way.

Post party feedback

So far I’ve had a couple of tweets back. Saying ‘love your book’ which is great. A friend of mine Deborah Burdette also mentioned me on her blog today.

“I had a major clear out of my office this morning. I’m in need of some fresh ideas and the thought was that if I clear my desk for new things I’ll clear my mind for new things too.
I’m reading ‘Who says you’re not creative’ by my friend Prith Biant and will be doing some of the exercises she recommends to get some INSPIRATION!”

I’m meeting her on Friday so I’ll be able to chat more then.

Do I have post party blues? No not at all. Now is just the beginning of more that I want to create around the book. I have a vision board full of ideas! More new workshops, an audio version, note cards with quotes from the book, may be even a full colour version of the book. This is just the beginning- the party in my head has only just started!

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The launch party photos

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Wow the launch – what a fabulous evening in beautiful Cardiff Bay! Thank you to all the lovely people who came to share the moment with me.

Steve Williams: At @prithb‘s book launch. Great to see so many here. Let’s start #daydreaming again!   Aimee Bateman: Great evening at @prithb new book launch party. Lovely to see @GreenGrassWales & @moneywales also. Victoria Dere: Great book launch @prithb. Looking forward to reading Who Says You’re Not Creative. Lee Sharma: Congrats to @prithb – great turnout at the new book launch in the Bay. Love the personal message in my copy #GoPrith Clive Thomas: Enjoyed @prithb ‘s book launch tonight – fabulous book “Who says you’re not creative” #buyitnow! Gareth Jones: Fantastic evening celebrating @prithb‘s book launch w/ @CoffeeAppleUK @meirionm @ZokitCardiff @GreenGrassWales and more. Very enjoyable. Neil Lloyd:  Looking forward to reading @prithb ‘s new book

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“I’m going to take this book on holiday with me along with Celestine prophecy which I haven’t read for ages. Will come back renewed!”

“Wow you were so inspiring. I have to give a talk later this week and now I feel much better about doing it. I’m going to read this book tomorrow morning first thing!”

“I’d like to buy 3 books please. One each for son and daughter and one for my business colleague who is my Sparkler!”

“I felt very inspired when I got home and can’t wait to read the book. It will probably live on my desk in work xx”

10 people also signed up to explore their creativity through for my new ‘Break Out Break Free’ workshop which is based on the book. Can’t wait to put that together later this month.

Please do post your comments about the book on here as the website is still under development.

The book is now available on amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1489574026

P.S Thank you so much to the gorgeous people at Salt who provided complimentary snacks and the co-ordinating blue cocktail! It all added to the magic of the evening.

The Book Launch! July 22nd 2013

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Today I launch the book through a small gathering in the fabulous Cardiff Bay! It’s more of a celebration than a launch as it’s taken since October 2011 to get this baby finished and available on amazon.

Interesting that it’s taken so long and yet it’s not even 100 pages. But you know what Anita Roddick said “If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” So I’m hoping my book, although small, has a big impact on people individually.

I am also mindful that now the book is out I have no control of how people may respond or how they may interpret what I’ve written. My work is done I have to let go and not be attached to what people may think or how they judge it. Part of me did it for a personal challenge- What did I think on the subject of creativity? Part of me also did it so that  people got to know about all the ‘best bits’ from the various more serious text books I’ve read on the subject- without having to go through all that reading!

Underlying it all is that I believe creativity is a great thing! It is a gift- that maybe we’ve wrapped up too well and pushed to the back of the cupboard. Being creative means that you have to be positive and open to possibility also essential traits in this climate. Creativity is empowering because it says you have a choice- you can create- you can contribute.

The book is about reconnecting to our inner creativity and using it in which ever way works best for you. This might be in work- with some fo the creative problem solving techniques. Or you may just want to ‘get out of your box’ more generally.

I hope to take this work forward and continue my creative explorations- particularly in using creative mediums within the workplace. I am convinced, although I have no scientific proof yet, that thinking through different mediums can help you come up with more innovative solutions. I will be inviting people at my launch to come and explore with me at a pilot workshop in August.

The book is available now on Amazon at a price of £9.99

I look forward to your thoughts and pictures!

The story of the illustrations

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When I first visualised the book I imagined it to be landscape, full colour and spiral bound – a bit like a sketch book. I had created a set of small experimental paintings that I wanted to include- to show people how easy it was to create ‘art’.

However this isn’t so practical in the world of publishing. The books would have cost a minimum of £20 to produce, would not be stocked by book shops as it would have no spine and packaging may be difficult. Part of me was going to go ahead anyway but then I had a rethink. What else could I do? A book on creativity, with a chapter citing the importance of images- had to have some visuals!

On my desk lay the hand drawn business card of an illustrator I had met a few months earlier. He had been taking ‘visual minutes’ at a creative conference I was running (Photo from event below). Visual minutes, if you’re not familiar with the term, are now the super cool alternative to the written form of minutes. These talented people literally draw the people speaking and capture a few key statements. There are different styles of visual minute takers I think Karl was a bit more stylised than others I’d seen.

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I’d kept his card because it was so beautifully and so effortlessly drawn. As part of the his work that day he also drew me – highly ‘characterised’  if that’s a word?! So I emailed him and asked if he might be interested in creating a few illustrations for my book. ‘Yes’ was the answer – fantastic!

Usually I am a bit of a ‘control freak’ when it comes to design. I often have a clear picture of what I want, sometimes even make a mock-up,  and usually just ask designers to recreate it for me. (So designers beware-  you have now been warned).  But this time things were a little different. I just sent him a few sample chapters and said – ‘do whatever you like- whatever comes to mind’.

A few days later I had an email from him  ‘I have some ideas for different characters but when I read your words  I imagine you.’  This was a particularly moving moment for me – not sure if you can feel it too? Well it bought a tear to my eye- joyous tears which hardly ever happen.

I had given him artistic freedom so I said – ‘Yes do what you feel.’  So the illustrations happened. When you see the book it doesn’t look like me- just a super skinny female with shoulder length hair and great dress sense!

The other amazing thing about the illustrations is that Karl read more into what I had written than I had actually written. It’s almost as if he could read my mind the way he embellished his illustrations with words that weren’t actually there! The cover image is a great example of this. The diagram he put together is just how I think! Maybe he joined the dots himself too as he created them.

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So my illustrator,the super talented Karl Mountford, was a gift.  I no longer regret not having the colour images I produced as his illustartions are  so much richer.

Part of me still wants to do a colour version as I love colour- so if the book is received well I may do a fabulous full colour spiral bound version- just as I had originally imagined it.

As a quick update the book is going to be available on amazon very soon. The last proof has been signed off and I’m having a ‘book party’ / launch on July 22nd in Cardiff.

The power of colour

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One section of my book is called ‘Release it- Paint’. It’s about encouraging people to paint and be unafraid.

Today I am going to run this idea as a workshop for the first time which is super-exciting. A lot of my work is about creativity in terms of generating ideas. Today will be different as I aim to facilitate creativity on a different perhaps more spiritual level. I am going to ask people to play around with colour on a canvas. The object of the exercise is not represent anything they might see in ‘reality’ but to enjoy colour just for what it is.

We aren’t going to have too many paint brushes just sponges and people will be encouraged to use their fingers too. In addition to paint I will also take in some coloured paper so people can do more collage-like work.

I have a few different angles planned to help people engage in the process so we shall see how it goes. I shall also take along some colour images that I created for my book. The image above was created just on a small index card and I made lots of them. The first one was created by pressing pieces of paper together and the in the second I used a ruler to spread colour around. (I was going to use these in my book but colour printing was a little too expensive for a first book!)

So today I get to show other people how much fun you can have exploring colour. For me it’s therapy. I don’t have to talk to anyone, achieve anything, communicate anything…I can just be. The session today is all about wellbeing so lets hope it works as well for the people today as it does for me! I shall keep you posted.