I have had a regular creative practice for decades. It began in the theatre and eventually moved into visual art. Making that shift meant approaching creativity in a new way. With theatre, I had a rhythm that was set by show schedules. We had a break in between and in that break, my mind could toy with themes explored in the show, discover difficulties in the rehearsal or performance, and work on new techniques to make the next show go even better.
As an artist, I have found the rhythm of the creative process is less definitive. I can understand how people begin to think of being visited by a Muse. There are times when I just can’t create. I just can’t make myself show up to the page or canvas. I feel like there is nothing to give.
Elizabeth with The Glowing Wheel recently put forth a call for suggestions on how to stay creative when your creative juices just aren’t flowing. She has created a give-away to go along with it (maybe you have some suggestions of your own!) Her art is well worth writing for. Art or no art, it’s a great thing to think about.
As a Creative, where do you stand with the dry times? Do you push through and make yourself keep moving? In the book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron introduces Morning Pages. She proposes that by showing up to the page everyday and writing out two pages of stream of consciousness, you can move past the gunk that gets in the way of being creative. This can be a valuable approach.
Or perhaps you ball up, beat yourself up for not being creative enough to keep up the pace. I think that is a common feeling. I go there sometimes myself. For me it is about feeling like I have to be perfect, productive, and creatively available for any whim that comes along. But this place doesn’t feel good and I often look for other option.
Another option is to embrace those down times. That is where I am trying go with my creativity when it seems to fizz out. Nature is like that, and I believe creativity is a natural process. So it ebbs and flows, peak and dips, flourishes and fizzes out. Recognizing this and honoring it has become extremely important to me. It is part of my practice as a Creative Spirit. I think it honors my most sacred part of self. It says I am worthy of the same kind of waxing and waning that the Moon is celebrated for, that I am as beautiful in all aspects of the creative process as the passing of the season or the phases of human development.
Understanding what is going on in our creative process can be an essential part of being a Creative. I began keeping my finger on the pulse of my creative process as a young drama major. It served me in so many aspects of life. I would simply tune into that Creativity World that thrives just below the surface of my awareness and see what kind of energy and needs my Creative Spirit had.
So that is my tip, connect with your Creativity World, celebrate the in-between times when Creativity changes from expressive and dynamic to introspective, reflective, and subtle. That shift can be powerful and healing.
I would love to hear your tips and any thoughts on the creative process. I love learning from you!