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Creativity-Portal.com Creative Careers in the Arts Series
Cynthia Morris Interview : Page 2 of 4

Artist, Writer & Creativity Coach Cynthia Morris

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Q: What is the most inspiring and wonderful thing about leading these tours? What is the most challenging aspect of leading a tour?

A: I love planning and organizing. I love finding unusual or delightful things to share with others. I love the creative process of trying to match art making with seeing the world.

Challenging — things in life never turn out the way you envision them, do they! While I plan things really well, the way people absorb the outings is out of my control. Also, I find that I need an assistant — someone to actually walk us around the city while I focus on guiding the art making part. I am sad to say I can't do both at the same time as well as I would like. I've lead four tours and I'm still learning.

Q: You've also written an e-guide to help others learn to lead tours. Go For It! Leading Tours for Fun and Profit is an excellent resource. Can you discuss the reasons you created this guide?

A: So many people were contacting me and asking me how to do what I did. I decided to save some spit and write it all down! I had taken a course on creating information products and since there seemed to be a demand for this information, I decided to put it all in one place. When I spoke with several of the people who bought it, I got very excited about the variety of trips that one can take. I hope my guide helps make a lot of creative travel dreams a reality.

Q: Would you be willing to share some of the lessons you've learned as an experienced tour leader — or at least a short list of do's and don'ts?

Want to plan your own travel tour?
Do's
  • Do have a well-thought out plan.
  • Do be willing to go with the flow.
  • Do let people have their own experience.
  • Do run all the numbers first and be very clear on how much you need to make to run the tour and then to make a profit.
  • Do get help if you need it.

Don'ts

  • Don't attach your ego to other people's responses. Everyone will have their own experience.
  • Don't ignore the finances of this kind of venture — it's important to make sure your bases are covered.

Q: You have also written several e-books as resources for creative people. Cross the Finish Line, 28 Days to Your Writing Life, and Unleash Your Writing all seem somewhat inter-related. Do you recommend reading or working with these resources in a certain order?

A: It all depends on where you are in your creative process. I work with people who are at all stages of the journey. Many people want to write but don't know where to start, so I created Unleash Your Writing. Then there are people who really want to create a practice that works for their unique goals and needs, so I wrote Create Your Writer's Life. 28 Days to Your Writing Life has much of the same material that's in CYWL; it's just delivered in another medium. I had requests for a daily nudge, and that's what 28 Days offers — a daily email reminder and invitation to write. Cross the Finish Line is my effort to help people get those unfinished projects off the shelf. Finishing things seems to be the number two creative challenge (number one being getting started!), and since I have experience helping people finish, I wrote that e-book. So anyone who has incompletes lurking around making them feel awful about their creativity should get that one.

Q: What are some of the tools you use to inspire others, create a commitment to writing, and help them to finish projects and follow through on their creative ideas?

A: The first tool is to connect them with what's important about creating and finishing. I help my clients connect their creative goals to their values. With that deeper sense of motivation, it's easier to take the steps to make things happen. Then, we work to break each project down into manageable steps. Of course, we also have to address other areas of life, like relationships, health and sleep. Yes, sleep! I have coached every one of my clients on getting better sleep. It's strange, but not sleeping well or enough has a huge impact on a person's ability to create or enjoy life.

So, once the action steps are in place, I work with my clients to keep going. I acknowledge their successes, help them past emotional blocks and act as a committed ally to their success. I've been coaching for nine years now and I love it. Coaching allows me to see the best in people and bring that out even more.

Cynthia's Paris postcard

Q: How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

A: It's best for me if I have a balance of input and introversion. I spend a lot of time alone and that helps me develop my ideas. I also need stimulus from other artists, and I draw inspiration from all the arts.

Q: What inspires you?

A: People who are doing amazing and interesting things. I love hearing about the genesis of an idea — what inspired something, how the person got it going, etc. I am inspired by nature and color. I am always amazed by the varieties of the color green, and also how nature produces the most stunning color combinations. I'm in love with color and would die without it.

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