Creative groups can be a secret for success or a recipe for heartbreak.
Without help from different groups that I’ve joined at various times in my life, I doubt that I would have pursued my love of writing and turned it into a career that has paid me well over the years. I started my writer’s journey about 18 years ago when I joined a Creative Expressions group in Chicago with Dr. Charlie Cooper. I really did NOT want to join the group because I was shy and afraid that I didn’t have any special talent. The open-heartedness of that community, and especially our leader, broke down my barriers and started me on the path of creative growth that I’ve continued through this day.
It’s in that first group work that I learned some secrets of transformative groups that have helped me with my writing, and in the transformative group work I’ve led myself.
Secret 1. Have no agenda for what will happen at any given meeting.
Secret 2. Have an overall goal of transformation and creative output.
Secret 3. Have celebrations of success as often as possible.
Secret 4. Allow the group to disband when the benefits of holding meetings for the group ends.
Secret 5. Provide opportunities for reunions with group members over the years.
It’s kind of obvious that these secrets aren’t really secrets.
Yet, they do run counter to what many people try to do.
There is a tremendous amount of uncommon talent in ordinary people, and group work can unleash that talent if it’s nurtured in the right way. I feel that the next decade in America is going to be centered around expressing that uncommon talent in all of us, rather than looking for celebrities or special people to provide it to us. This is the only way that I believe that social equity and artistic freedom will expand.
What do you think? Do you think most people have some uncommon talent?