#creative day, let it happen

How to let the creative day happen? I’ve been known to let all sorts of things get in the way of my creative time. Some of it is procrastination, but often not. Family, work, community involvement–good things that need to be attended to. For a long time, I expected something different of myself. I didn’t want to be Cezanne, running off to Tahiti, abandoning my family, living only for my art, but I think I did get it into my head that I deserved some special treatment, some specific quiet and reserved time in which I could create my expected masterpieces (there is that tricky word again, expect… Oh, how my expectations have dogged me). Turns out that any special, specific creative times must not come at the expense of any of those things most vital to life. I must be willing to steal a creative moment at any time, even in the midst of a crowded house, on a workday, while waiting to go and pick up my daughter at soccer practice. Today, I put off grading student papers to get creative time into my day early. I can always grade papers later in the day. I took a Bikram yoga class this morning. I came home feeling like a rubber band. I dreamed my way into a creative afternoon:

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I worked in each of these journals.
The big notebook is Apocalypse Nation, part two. Over a thousand words down today.
The small notebook in the foreground is a daily journal. I predate each page. Knowing that I’ve already dated the book makes it more likely that I keep up the practice.
The moleskine on the left is a graphic representation of my last manuscript, The Aurora Project.
The moleskine on the right is walking around notebook. The doodle I’m working on here is called “collision” and is inspired by the recent photos of galaxies colliding.

2 thoughts on “#creative day, let it happen

  1. “I think I did get it into my head that I deserved some special treatment, some specific quiet and reserved time in which I could create my expected masterpieces[…] Turns out that any special, specific creative times must not come at the expense of any of those things most vital to life. I must be willing to steal a creative moment at any time.” Your words ring so true!

    It’s very difficult as a “creative spirit” (whatever that means – aren’t spirits creative by nature?) to let go of that mental image of the hermit-writer, toiling away at his work of genius in some humble, yet cozy retreat. There are simply so many portrayals of the reclusive writer/painter/etc. from history, the media, and, let’s face it, our own daydreams. I too need to relinquish my craving for that lifestyle in order to actually make my way forward.

    Best of luck to you in your artistic endeavors.

  2. I’m reacting the quote Amber pulled out as well. It’s a real shocker to have young kids and realize your time is no longer your own. I went through a bleak period mourning my quiet blocks of writing/personal time.

    Lately, I’m reenergized by not seeing my work as so “precious” and just getting it down whenever and wherever I can. Enjoyed your post!

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