"Creativeness comes into being when there is constant awareness of the ways of the mind, and of the hindrances it has built for itself."
~ J Krishnamurti
Sasseruwa, Srilanka, December 2010
One of the most perplexing aspects in the life of a creative person(I mean this in a broad sense) is having to deal with periods of vacuum and darkness inside the head. Just as we start to think that the uncomfortable lull is at the end of cycle, it somehow resurfaces. Apparently the situation needs some sensitive handling and T-L-C, which I have just about started to figure, mostly by trial and error. There's also some fantastic reading available on the subject which I find immensely useful (I will share the reading list). These are just some thoughts and observations that have roots in the familiar creative cycles that are a big part of my life – open to becoming more rounded, meaningful and deciphered; so your participation is very welcome.
Firstly, why does this 'dip' happen when we are on a roll ? Simply put, I think it is the mind's way of coping with it's own complexities that show up during the task of creating, during which it must also align with the heart, somewhat at the least. And then there's also the quest of having to carve out that unique creative vision. As invigorating as it may seem, ideating can be exhausting and seeing it to its final stage is often a long arduous haul. Like the other organs, the brain/mind has its way of recuperating which first hits a dip before reviving. Maybe it’s a natural mechanism essential to complete a cycle, so we can appreciate the end results truly. But we can look at it this way only if we acknowledge and accept what is, I think. At least, that’s what helps in my case. What that acceptance seems to do is create an airy space in place of the vacuum. Gradually. But definitely. I also like to visualize this as a space filling up with fresh air and all things good. Still. Why does the strange discomfort linger ? Because as creative souls, our way of making sense of the world is by creating constantly. When the results produce insufficient meaning(degree of which is subjective) or sense, we tend to feel this way. Filling up time with lots of other things of interest during this time helps. For example, I like tanking up on my reading, travel, take on photo shoots that are standardish in approach, exercise, editing/cleaning out my archives – a fairly mechanical job that can be accompanied by listening to music and podcasts that I’ve been waiting to pay attention to. And so, my ‘meaning making’ happens when I’m wholly absorbing all these and a sense of preparation for projects ahead also begins to happen. . . When information, ideas and inspiration fill up in place of vacuum – thereby feeding the cycle of creating – a light filled new phase is born. For now, I am learning to like the detachment from creatingand the stress of having to create or photograph something.
Seen another way, these phases(if we embrace them) can help us steer clear of the rather disappointing I-must-create-NOW-no-matter-what facet of this cycle. Creative juices are after all, at their best when they flow from the heart and give into its impulses. Since these cycles have become fairly familiar and there’s some sort of a recurring pattern here, penning it all down and sharing made sense.
Surely, there are several stages and complexities between where all of this starts and ends. Some of which I would like to break down and explore in future posts. Please look for posts tagged as creativity and join in with your thoughts !