Over the years I have noticed both swells and droughts in my feelings of creativity or maybe in my productive creativity. Writer’s Block is very real, and of course people from all crafts and disciplines have times of head-scratching and eye-rubbing because the seed of an idea refuses to germinate.
This could apply to office issues, home decorating, parenting, vacation planning, studying, anything at all that requires creative thinking or problem solving. Universal but not terrible.
One weird and slightly personal observation I’ve made of my own patterns has helped a bunch and might help you too. Err, at least the ladies.
Recognizing at what stage of my, ahem, lunar cycle I am tells me whether I have at that moment a propensity for wild idea storms, hard physical labor, painfully tedious attention to detail, praising and encouraging others, or just collecting energy from outside of myself.
I call this last time the Desperately Dry Sponge days. It’s when I troll tastemaker blogs the most, re-read Charlotte Bronte, and flip through crinkly old marked up issues of my fave print magazines.
Seems like every part of the month lends itself to something special and, when capitalized upon, can be uniquely fruitful. Every stage of creating, by the way, is rich in blessing or benefit too! All are necessary for the full artistic experience, and it may take more than one complete trek through the menu to complete a really good project.
Maybe this explains in part why some bloggers may let a week or two pass without posting and then suddenly explode with a long list of brilliantly written essays! Or why after weeks of stagnant time in front of blank canvases, a painter can’t sleep for days because she is churning out her soul in color.
This brings with it a particular obstacle worth noticing, because how sad for the person who FINALLY feels the onslaught of motility in her craft but is bound by the structure of life to be at a paying job, care for others, etc, etc.
Wait, shall we only go with the flow? Remain tethered to the reggae vibe of our feelings? I kind of don’t think so. Part of adopting a discipline, of course, is the discipline part. Working through regardless of the easy energy you feel. So there’s a certain responsibility of any artist to try and produce with some amount of consistency, even if the end product is at times weak.
It will get better. And who says you have to share the weak stuff with anyone?
Pay attention to the added benefits here, too. Check out what kind of emotional or psychological payoff you enjoy after managing to exact revenge on those thoughts like, “NOT TODAY ALREADY!”
And by all means, when the monsoon hits, embrace it as much as you can. Ride the waves of expression as much and as skillfully as you personally can do at that time, knowing that its time is possibly limited.
How do you manage the swells and droughts in your creative life? What practical methods do you have in place for those dry days? And how do you rearrange your life for the lush days of outpouring?
The process of how people push through from frustration to completion is fascinating to me. Crossing my fingers that you all share. xoxo