20 Minute Club Minutes-A Collage Party


This week I finally ran the first beta-test of my Creative Breakthroughs tele-seminar workshop! Yay!

Setting up the test class, picking a date, and actually having it was a creative breakthrough in and of itself.

Because we all have resistance to doing the new and the hard.

But once I realized I was stalling because I was scared, it made it easier to just move forward and ask some friends to help me test it.

And telling them I was nervous was also helpful, because then I just owned it. This takes much less energy than pretending I’m fine or have it all under control–I recommend it.

And I wasn’t nervous because I thought it might not be a good idea. I’m ridiculously excited about this workshop idea because I think it will be a great way for lots of stuck artists to get unstuck and for a lot of active artists to challenge themselves in different ways and help them take themselves further.

I was nervous because I knew I had some obstacles to overcome to make it work, and I was a little afraid to face them.

Lingering in the idea phase of a project is safer than making that awkward transition from idea to reality.

Safer, but unsatisfying. It was time to take the plunge.

It Worked!

The test class went GREAT. Much more smoothly than I thought possible for the first time. Because even though it’s very similar to the class I teach in person from my studio, this one is over the phone.

Because I can’t see the participants working when we’re on a conference call, I thought it would take me several test classes to figure out the pacing, but I got pretty close my first try.

That felt great.

And my testers were fabulous and gave me wonderful ideas and thoughtful feedback.

And everyone made something great and–my favorite part–each collage was so different from all the others. (Photos to follow in another blog post…)

It was a bona-fide Conference Call Collage Party. Woo-hoo!

And even though some people wanted to see me working, no one needed to see me in order to make something great and get their creative juices flowing.

And frankly, I think there’s a real benefit to not being able to see the teacher sometimes. I gave a lot of support and suggestions and everyone successfully relied on their own creative voice.

Of course, I did practice before the call.

And I used my timer to get a feel for how long each segment would take. (Ah, my trusty steed!).

The 20 Minute Club Minutes

I also used the 20 Minute Technique to help myself  fight off my fear-of-facing-obstacles-to-my-great-idea inertia and practice my pacing so I was ready for the call. It didn’t let me down.

As a consequence, the 20 Minute Technique also helped me create several collages this week. The one at the top of the page is one I did during the call itself–I’m not sure it’s quite done, but I like what it’s doing.

And now I know my teleclass is going to work. Thank you beta-testers!

And now I’m ready for another beta-test–because it’s good to practice and get feedback.

I’m going to ask for volunteers from the R & D Squad.


As usual, I’m sharing 5 self-appreciations as part of the 20 Minute Club Minutes because I want you to do it too.

Because taking the time to honor yourself helps your art-making. It also helps you find those 20 Minutes here and there throughout your week for yourself and your creative desires.

Here Goes:

  1. I appreciate that I found time to prepare for my beta-test even though I  felt completely burnt out from my non-stop week before.
  2. I appreciate that I did a good job running my tele-class and that it’s developing nicely.
  3. I appreciate that I reached out for help this week and the help I got was fantastic.
  4. I appreciate that I’m working on finding a better balance between work and play. (Because I definitely need to play more soon.)
  5. I appreciate that I’m working a new angle with a challenging corner of my garden.

Your Turn

  1. How ’bout you? Did you use the 20 Minute Technique? Try a self-appreciation or two? Or maybe it was a tough week and too hard to find 20 Minutes? Let me know how it went–I’d love to hear.
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  1. Barb Kowalik says:

    20 minutes. I thought that was much too short. Often I am just getting started after 20 minutes. So, I got out the shrinky dink paper and I made some cool little things. Can’t wait to get out of my comfort zone again!!!!

  2. Brenda says:

    20 minutes? My husband and I hosted the Four Star Five Minute Writing Workshops weekly for 4 years. It was fantastic. Many people could actually get an entire poem or short story during the 5 minutes. We, of course, often had to take those starts/inspirations home and tweak them. Using a timer is very helpful I find.

    I had a horribly busy week between taking my husband to dialysis three times a week, making and meeting other appts. and helping watch a two year old. But, I do have some self-appreciation.

    I appreciate the fact that I completed two projects that I had started earlier.
    I appreciate that I am slowly accomplishing some much needed writing time.
    I appreciate the fact that there is a support system here for creative women! Thank you.

  3. Susan Armstrong says:

    - I appreciate the fact that I got the handmade greeting cards completed on time. Thanks to the 20 Minute Technique.
    - I appreciate my husband for taking on some of the household chores so I could play!
    - I appreciate the 20 Minute Technique for getting me going on a difficult quilt. This quilt is emotionally difficult to make and I find myself hiding from it.

  4. Caroline says:

    It was a week for classes then…this past wendsday I taught my first “art” class. Years ago when I ran custom frame shop I taught classes almost every week. But like I said that was years ago and had a nummber of clases under my blet. I was scared about the “art” class just like you. Worried about the projects, worried about having enough supplies, worried that I wouldn’t be able to “reach” the students.

    But like you once I got rolling it was great! Everyone seemed to have fun and they all took home some lovely projects. We have even scheduled the next class…a continution of this class.

    I am going to use my 20 minutes today to atept to finish a different project, one that I am very close to finishing but almost don’t want to b/c once I finish the first step then the hard part starts (writing). I hope to aproach it the same as I did the class…kinda like ripping a band aid off…

    Count me in to help you out on any “test”. I have learned a lot about myself through these exercises and a lot about the problems other artist face. I’m always up to help out others!

  5. Carol J. says:

    Hi Sarah. I just wanted to let you know two things…first of all, reading this blog has helped me get in gear, get out into my studio, and start creating again! It’s been way too long and now, I hate to come in! I thank you for that. ♥

    Secondly, I have an award for you over at my Hot Flashes From Hell blog. Stop on by if you have a few minutes. :)

  6. Joni Owens says:

    My 20 minutes when I could manage some between “Tyler time” this week has been used cleaning out some more and cutting some of my papers down to atc size to have them ready to go when inspiration strikes. Does spending time rambling thru one of my local thrift shops today looking for usable art making items count??? Oh and I spent some of my 20 minutes since wed. looking the color off the pages of the new Somerset Studio mag and the new Cloth, Paper, Scissors and getting inspired (aka – my monthly “fix”).

  7. Joyce Barham says:

    Another busy week here, but I did take 20 minutes here and there to move along on my baby quilt. It should be finshed and ready to present to the new mother this next week.

    I haven’t worked on any other project because I have been procrastinating too long.

    Next, I will use my time to finish several small projects, e.g. tablerunner, wall hanging, & banner. Then, I’m going to throw myself into making a wall hanging for my daughter who won a scholarly award for a poster she and 2 other students designed.
    They won 1st place at a Psychology Conference in Chicago. I’m so proud of her.
    Happy Creating!

  8. Peggy Alborn says:

    I give myself plenty more than 20 minutes every day, but feel horribly guilty about the mess of my house and self. My creative time is absolutely necessary for my sanity!

  9. This is a really good piece. I discovered your blog from google while searching a similar subject material. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep up the good work!

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