I have had my head down developing some new freelance projects and haven’t had a lot of time to think about much else. Also, my sister is getting married in a few weeks so there’s that.
I have been thinking a lot about creativity, specifically my own creativity and how I seem to have misplaced that spark in the day to day work of keeping food on the table and a roof over my head. Even though I now work in a field that is supposedly more creative, the work I’m doing is just as administrative as ever. I think Thomas Edison meant this when he said,”Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”
When I’m in a rut I go back and read Hugh MacLeod’s manifesto “How to be Creative”, which lays out the process very well. But at the beginning of any creative venture, there’s the terrifying moment of facing the empty dot paper. David Seah calls this “The Blankness” and I think everyone is intimidated by this.
The only strategy I have ever been able to successfully implement in this area is doing whatever I feel like doing to get warmed up. This usually takes the form of improv piecing, which I can do without thinking and is very relaxing. Breaking free of the pressure to do something of value helps clear my mind and find a little more direction.
An old friend of mine used to say “write drunk, edit sober”, which is a short way of saying “just get started”. Getting started is the most challenging part.