This is a story of a sacrifice being rewarded three-fold.
To honor the first anniversary of The Artist’s Road, I decided to emulate other bloggers with a book giveaway. I felt it should be a valuable prize, and that I should have to sacrifice a bit as a show of gratitude to my readers. So I made the hard decision to give away a choice of one of my favorite books on creativity from my own collection. The winner selected Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Three days later I attended the Creativity in Business Conference 2011 in Georgetown, D.C. At a seminar, memory guru James Jorasch said he’d give away a copy of the book that inspired him to improve his memory–Use Your Perfect Memory by Tony Buzan–to the attendee who through audience participation said something he liked. Somehow that person proved to be me, and he handed me the book.
That evening I joined some of the speakers and attendees for dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner I was chatting with creativity and innovation blogger Gregg Fraley, and he gave me a signed copy of his business novel Jack’s Notebook.
Fast forward to Sunday, when I received an e-mail from conference organizer Michelle James. Apparently my business card had been drawn from a fish bowl placed at the conference’s registration table. (I don’t remember putting it in there, but it was not even 9 am on a Sunday and I was low on coffee.) My prize? The book Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning by Kat Koppett. Kat had so impressed me at the conference that it was her presentation I chose to blog about.
I chose to give away a book that inspired my creative journey, and the universe gave me three creativity books in return. All three of these books will help me on my personal journey of an art-committed life, but will also benefit my consulting business.
I don’t know if I could replicate this experiment. It’s possible it worked because I did not expect anything in return for my sacrifice. But I’m very pleased it worked out this way. My only problem: I’m really backed up on my MFA reading, so it may be awhile before I can get to these. Perhaps I should read the memory book first, so I retain more of the other two.
Do you believe in the idea of the Universe providing returns?