By Chris Dunmire | Updated April 6, 2018
These reflections are based on Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, Avoiders, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day by SARK.
Combining these open-ended questions with the chapter readings will help creatives to better understand and assess their personal levels of resiliance, nurturing, development, fear, self-acceptance, support systems, committment, investment, and progress towards making their dreams into realities. These questions hold space for growth and offer encouragement toward understanding, defining, planning, and acting.
1. SARK writes about creative dreams being “resilient” and society being a “dream-tester.” How can these realities be recognized and embraced without discouraging creative dreaming?
2. What are your creative dreams?
3. Why is the thought of “needing more time” to nurture a creative dream not necessarily in sync with how “time&rdquo naturally flows (or is assigned) to what is visible, active, important, and necessary in life?
4. SARK lists seven stages of dream development. Why is it important to determine what stage a creative dream is at? How will naming the stage help in its appropriate ‘feeding and sheltering?’
5. Regarding fear, SARK notes that “Our main fear is usually that we’ll fail. Of course, the real failure is in not trying…” Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
6. SARK uses a “reframing” approach to turn negative statements into positive ones. Do you think reframing can really transform thoughts and attitudes? What are some examples of reframing?
7. What "starts" you?
8. The idea of “radical self-acceptance” is discussed. Why is it important to practice this in regards to creative dreams? Do you believe that this type of self-acceptance can lead to “expansive change?”
9. SARK introduces the concept of microMOVEments as “a very tiny action (5 seconds to 5 minutes in length) that anyone can take toward some part of his or her creative dream.” What are some microMOVEments an artist can take? How about a writer? An inventor? A musician? A performer?
10. SARK states, “Micromovements are powerfull helpers for our creative dreams because they create a habit of completion.” Do you have a habit of completing projects, or do you have a lot of uncompleted projects? What might this indicate about you? How can you approach changing this?
11. External support systems are important to fulfilling our creative dream(s), but why is it more important to learn how to support ourselves? Do you rely on others to support you? What if nobody supports you?
12. How does support in physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual areas contribute to fulfilling your creative dreams? Are you getting support in all of these areas? Which areas do you recognize the need for additional support? How will you get it?
13. How is a commitment different from a goal? Does your approach to either include the resolve to see it through when possible?
14. SARK provides a set of review questions to explore your commitment and keep your creative dreams moving. How are you towards sticking with self-commitments that nobody else will hold you accountable to?
15. Why should creative dream-seekers be encouraged to “bring their obstacles along on the creative dream-making journey?” Do you believe that achieving a dream should be pain- or obstacle-free? Why?
16. SARK admits to making plenty of mistakes, poor choices, and wrong decisions on the journey towards her creative dreams, and encourages the benefits to these “flailings.” Do you agree with this 'just keep on experiencing' attitude? How do you react to such a forgiving path? Could it benefit you?
17. SARK lists “15 Creative Dream Questions” that are useful for self-coaching. Pick any two. How would you respond?
18. What fears might awaken in those who begin living their creative dreams? What are some suggested ways fears can be dealt with? Do your fears override your desire and resolve to see your commitments and goals through?
19. Do you believe it's okay not to “conform to the norm” when it comes to fulfilling your creative dream(s)? Does peer pressure or industry expectations trump your ability to be authentic and true to you?
20. What are some things that nourish you? List three nourishing activities you haven't tried yet but would like to. Next to each item on your list, write a day this month you could explore it.
21. SARK notes the various styles and paces of dreams. Why is it important to honor that process? What is your process? Can a process evolve? Change? Be different for the project at hand? What are your thoughts on process?
22. SARK revisits the "Stages of Dream Development." How does understanding these stages help you determine where a creative dream needs to go next? Is there more than one right answer?
23. SARK presents “A Positive Challenge” to help you identify your creative dream(s) and name specific micromovements you can make towards it. How can you use this in the “goal setting” phase?
24. In what way is the “manager part of you” different from the “creative worker part of you?” Are these parts at odds? Can they collaborate? How will understanding the differences help you as you make plans and move forward?
25. What does it mean to be over-identified with progress and/or success with regard to a creative dream? How can you separate your success (or lack of) achieving your creative dreams from feelings of worthiness as a person? Why is this important?
26. SARK reminds us that “Creative Dreams are chockablock with change” and shares ways to prepare for — and be open to — these changes. How can these suggestions help you when you have a difficult time with change?
27. SARK notes the importance of “celebrating and acknowledging” various stages of progress in a creative dream. How will you keep these reminders at hand along your path? Will you reward yourself for every step forward?
© 2007, 2018 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.
I met best-selling author SARK in 2004 during her Make Your Creative Dreams Real book tour in Chicago, which included an evening workshop at Transitions bookstore. The night included a full moon and plenty of creative inspiration. The entire experience was affirming and transforming and the start of something significant for me. These self-coaching questions sprang forth naturally from my own personal reading of the book and have been helpful to others who desire a richer experience along with reading the book. It is my intention that these questions inspire you to greater creative heights. — Chris Dunmire, Founder of Creativity Portal