The Creative Soul
I really did not plan for this post to be so late. However, being a female in the USA for the past week has been rather difficult. A brave woman came forward, as one is always encouraged to do regarding public appointments and instead of being applauded for that, the entire gender has been under scrutiny. The Appointment in question requires approval from one governing body and instead of hearing the accusations and then launching a nonpartisan inquiry, things went upside down and catawampus. It was, quite simply, very taxing on some of us and utterly incredibly stressful. My apologies but I needed a break from social media and posting. The answer to the last challenge will be posted Wednesday, Oct 3rd, by the way.
Ironically, though, my refuge and stress reliever was to be creative – to view lovely photographs by talented artists, to engage in some coloring for myself, to exercise (I am not good enough to call it dancing) and move. I realized my stress level and scheduled some creative stress relief. Can one also schedule creativity for outcomes’ sake?
In a podcast for Behavior Gap Radio, entitled “Want to Be Creative on Purpose? Schedule It,” Carl Richards wrote: “What if you don’t have to be “creative” to create? We all know the archetype of the creatives, right? Eccentric, weird, scattered, messy. The creatives are plagued perpetually by writer’s block (or sculptor’s block or painter’s block or whatever block). They spend most of their time lazing about gloomily, smoking cigarettes and cursing this cruel world. But then, every once in a while, the creatives are so touched by the muse that they are forced to immediately drop everything, go into a trance and become a funnel for the beauty of the world.”
Richards continued: “Personally, I think that’s a bit too precious. This notion to wait around in the rain until you get struck by lightning to make art (or anything) doesn’t mesh with my experience at all. What comes much closer is the famous Chuck Close quotation: ‘Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.’ The major implication of Mr. Close’s quotation is that you don’t have to be creative to create. So here’s a secret ninja trick that will help: Don’t wait around for creativity to strike. Strike creativity! Invent an obligation for yourself so you have to be creative on purpose.”
If you google “How to be creative?” you will get an answer – about 959,000,000 results. Perhaps the question is not so much how do we become creative but how do we stay creative? Small toddlers think nothing of twirling around, making up their own music and singing their own original songs. The word critic is not in their vocabulary yet and so, they are fearless. They are perhaps the most creative humans on the planet.
I personally think the first question we should ask is “Why do we want to create?” This past week I did not want to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, quite possibly the only week in the past fifty years that I did not want to win it. I simply wanted an escape, a place to mindlessly write a response to writing prompts I’d collected. It did not matter if my poem about some obscure fish I’d never heard of was accurate. It answered a need to mindlessly do something without it needing to be great.
Also this past week I colored – nothing outstanding and yes, it was in a coloring book from a dollar store. It was relaxing and fun and a distraction from the political blowhards that seemed to be on every communications channel and Face Book post. I viewed lovely photographs and became seduced by the art, reminding myself that creation is beautiful and even when it seems the world is against you, there is beauty in living.
This weekend I will again get out my expensive pens and pastels, compose something topical and do some research for the upcoming blog series. I will also prepare 162 gifts and letters for an upcoming spiritual retreat. I am refreshed in spirit and soul and my mind is brimming with ideas. Sometimes the best way to get back on the creative track is to take a detour from it.
Many people schedule their creative time – writing in the middle of the night or early morning; painting during lunch when the light is at its fullest; sculpting while the laundry finishes its cycle. Other people create when the mood is right. I think we all have our own identity and also our own creative schedule. What matters is that we realize each day is a new opportunity to experience creativity and to create something ourselves.