Creative Process {the in-between times}

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!


About Rachél

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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10 Responses to Creative Process {the in-between times}

  1. I love this! There are so many layers to honoring ourselves and it is a wonderful validation to read about them here. I also love this because I was just talking with my five year old about the “in-betweens” yesterday. It was a story I told about where to find the fairies and it was so magical for her that she wanted to hear over and over. So connecting the down times with the in-betweens, makes me ask “what other magic should be going on in the in-betweens that we aren’t aware of?” Cool!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    This is beautifully expressed, Rachél! Thank you for the link. I am especially drawn to the in-between, though appreciating it intellectually and actually living it are two different things. It speaks to nourishing what is needed in your soul in the moment, to being gentle with yourself, and offering acceptance and lovingkindness instead of self-judgement and expectation. I needed to hear this.

  3. a wonderful post. i too use my “down times” as a place of refuge now. in the past, they were rejected places, those deeply felt, often painful places residing within the heart/mind, needing voice. in honoring that time of “down”, i have found a path out. put simply there is none but being there until you are not.

    very zen i suppose. xx

    • Rachél says:

      I think you are right about the Zen. That is such a good reminder. It releases us from the judgement that can come with not being where we think we should be…or at least it does for me.

  4. Ooh, I love this post (so full of goodness) and also your blog! Happy I found you 🙂 Excited to peruse your posts more….I wrote a bit about creative ‘blocks’ recently. Instead of forcing myself through them, I’m now trying to step back and give myself some mental space (TOO many ideas can create overwhelm and stifle the flow – eep!) I’ve never read all of The Artist’s Way, but I have been practicing the morning pages for the past few weeks or so. It’s helping! Anyways, have a beautiful day 🙂

    • Rachél says:

      Sounds like a great way to approach it. Always so much to learn about ourselves and life on this journey. Doing it through creativity is one of my very favorite ways…..feels like you get that too.

  5. Pingback: And the winner is…. | The Glowing Wheel

  6. susangeckle says:

    Hi Rachel. Lovely post and blog. I love to fill up my in-between times by looking at other’s work. I have a nose-to-the-grindstone personality so I’ll keep working anyway. For those times when I have no inspiration and I’m just going through the motions, I let myself recieve. The balance between giving (making art) and recieving is so important and easy to forget.

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