Thursday, October 22, 2009

Flat Spell

Some days, it all just works. Some days it feels right. You have flow, inspiration, motivation, enthusiasm, energy and it all comes easily and without effort.


Your ideas, thoughts, excitement, heart, mind and body all spill out through your fingers, hands and feet. They move out through the things you create and easily become lines, sounds and shapes on a page or a canvas or in the water.


It all makes sense.


And then, some days, it’s not like that at all. You stall, and the lines and shapes are stilted and awkward. Ideas come to nothing, there is no motivation and everything feels heavy and cumbersome and badly drawn. Trying harder and pushing more makes little difference and the only thing you can do is…


stop.


Stop fighting and give yourself time to cool or warm, or time or change direction or whatever it is that moves you out of the creative doldrums.


You can stop looking for inspiration and instead allow yourself to just enjoy and feel, and have it sit with you in that moment only – stop trying to find any meaning in it, stop trying to translate it, stop trying to make it say anything.


But it’s good to find meaning and to translate ideas and experiences. And after all, the longer you stop, the more momentum you lose. The creativity begins to curdle inside as it mixes too completely with sadness and boredom so you need to search out points of connection again. Points where things matter and mean something – even if only to you – so you can start yourself up again.


6 comments:

  1. yes, sometimes we cannot just stop: we need to write badly, if only to have a basis from which to understand those infrequent moments in which we have inscribed with brilliance....

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  2. Indeed.

    Sometimes it's just got to be perseverance, not inspiration.

    Sigh.

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  3. What are you reading right now 'bec?

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  4. Nothing Pete. Nothing. And maybe that's part of the problem...

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  5. A writer I always admired said that you can't do one without doing the other

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