Creativity in practice

What is a dream in the dark? If it doesn’t reach daylight and stays forever hidden, a dream is just that.

I often go off into a fantasy land inside my mind. The most common place I frequent is that of a different life with different goals but the same people. I recently read (in a very helpful book – The Artist’s Way) that a good majority of us, in the creative world, fear success more than failure. Why would I fear succeeding and following my passions? My inner dialogue begins…

There is a comfort in having your life continue the way it is. Steady. Non-abrupt changes. Life at your own pace. To give up the steady and pursue anything different is a challenge. I don’t want to be bored, but I don’t want to be THAT challenged. A continuous reminder of the need for balance is prevalent in modern society. We understand we must moderate our work life, family time, intake of harmful substances. We know we can’t quench every desire, but we try to fulfill the easy and immediate ones at least.

Stressed after work? Have a drink. Feeling ill? Take some “medicine.” Hungry? Eat a meal, swiftly. How else could you satisfy your hunger? (wink, wink)

Then, within 20 minutes your initial problem fades away. But for how long?

To fill the desire to create as a writer and musician requires daily doses of practice, inspiration, planning, and desire. The boring parts mixed with the natural human tendencies. So what keeps one from fully pursuing their own talents?

I can’t tell you how many people have said that I’m a talented musician. I’m not lacking in talent or practice, it’s simply the doing. Taking the first step is the hardest. “I’m out of my element and a new person,” I tell myself. “It’s been years and you’ve survived without it,” why start again? So occasionaly I go on random google searches scoping out local music venues and what types of gigs and artists they might offer. It lasts about a day or three then I get back into the habits of regular, daily, life (work, grocery shopping, running (alot), family time, dog-walks) and all the creative sparks simply run out of flint.

I’ve taken at least one step toward daily creativity though. I’ve attempted to start a practice of writing each morning: three pages, hand written, subject not important. It’s a creative practice called “Morning Pages” that I heard about a few months ago on a podcast. I find it helpful to get the brain working and thoughts flowing, yet challenging on my hand and wrist as it has been years since I’ve written in that format.

I step in the right direction is good. A commitment to a goal is better. It’s time to start putting due dates on the calendar. To find a gig. To play an open-mic. To meet up with like-minded people. To record my music and share it. It’s time to be the owner of my own production company. The boss says he needs product to sell. Ok, boss, your wish is my command.

No longer can I treat my creativity as just a random thing that could or could not happen based on the will of the universe.

A dream is just a dream in the dark. Why not bring it into the light?

Sometimes the creative process is rough. To look up and see a mountain looming overhead, only then to have it start raining. The climb is where you learn to overcome the challenge. To be able to fly back down, gliding with gravity, requires an effort twice as hard on the way up.

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