Yesterday, I returned to the Twitter micro-rant format, which is a series of fortune cookie messages on a particular topic. Yesterday's was #creativity. Here are a few of the tweets, along with additional thoughts:
- A creative project, like a marriage, only gets real depth after the honeymoon is over. There's nothing like the rush of a new romance, be it with another person or one's Muse. Barriers within and between vanish. Communication is effortless and joyous. Insights flow freely. Breakthroughs abound. But all honeymoons end. And that is when the true work begins and the most precious gifts are given and received. The safety created through the honeymoon period paves the way for the next phases, when deep, hidden, forsaken, wounded and undeveloped aspects of self can emerge into the light of day. Both relationships and art offer the potential to heal, actualize and integrate these shadows. Unfortunately, the strong negative emotions that accompany these emerging ghosts can chase us away. And so we run from relationship to relationship and from project to project, never digging far below the surface.
- Trying to power through a creative block is usually futile. It's usually better to take a break and let the Muse do the work. Instead of running from difficult relationships and projects, some of us habitually attempt to power through relational and creative blocks with urgent brute force. Although this can be an effective approach in short bursts, it is not a sustainable strategy. Blockages are a natural part of the creative and relational cycle when we are working within our depths. The key is to have enough confidence in an eventual resolution to "Let go and let Muse". Any in-progress work of mine that gets cranky is sent to bed for a nap.
- Be all embracing in brainstorming and ruthless in editing. There are two problems that often plague our creative work. The first is too much self-censorship at the start. Since it's impossible to envision what may grow from the seed of an idea, it is best to capture every idea that emerges in the brainstorming phase. The second mistake is to be so enamored by our creative fruits that we end up with the artistic equivalent of a dish that includes every spice on our shelf. To truly worship the Muse, transcribe her every whisper. To be clear, that's "transcribe", NOT "share".