thoughts on creativity
… so I am fixing a water connection to the front of my house, and I look down and see a folded paper on the ground… I pick it up and unfold it, and find this;
well, well, well…
a song idea. from when? I had no idea. I have piles of songs and pieces of ideas spread literally all over the world. Funny thing, I don’t remember this song, writing it or even what the context was when I put it down. I remembered part of it – but not the chorus (exactly). I remembered enough to want to work on this more than the other song I was doing. Is this weird? I dunno. I have spoken to, listened to, read about, and worked with creative people of many varieties…and it seems the creative “process” varies quite a bit from person to person. Sometimes I wonder if the process is actually quite similar, but the artists awareness is of varying degrees. The reason I say this is that most everyone is surprised by their great “idea” and if it was truly their own, I don’t think this would happen. That would mean an idea is given… and if so, who gives it? I believe the Lord gives ideas, and we elevate or flush accordingly. I find the process of creating a song or video, or even just drumming so utterly pleasant. Exhilarating even sometimes… Here is an interesting thought from Van Gogh about painting – but many of his ideas parallel music.
“I tell you, if one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes. To be good — many people think that they’ll achieve it by doing no harm — and that’s a lie, and you said yourself in the past that it was a lie. That leads to stagnation, to mediocrity. Just slap something on it when you see a blank canvas staring at you with a sort of imbecility.
You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from a blank canvas that says to the painter you can’t do anything. The canvas has an idiotic stare, and mesmerizes some painters so that they turn into idiots themselves.
Many painters are afraid of the blank canvas, but the blank canvas is afraid of the truly passionate painter who dares — and who has once broken the spell of ‘you can’t’.
Life itself likewise always turns towards one an infinitely meaningless, discouraging, dispiriting blank side on which there is nothing, any more than on a blank canvas.”
Personally I don’t see things this darkly, but his point about the muse is certainly something to consider… even if you don’t have writers block. So many suffer paralysis from analysis. DO! WRITE! PAINT! CREATE! Don’t let that demon doubt (which would steal your very life if it could) tell you you can’t. Who cares if you get famous or rich? The joy you get from learning and overcoming an obstacle, and then saying THERE IT IS will far outweigh the voices that criticize… and you will destroy the whining “you can’t”. Creativity must have risks, it must sometimes fail, it must challenge and inflict, it must inspire. Sounds like learning doesn’t it?
You may not create the perfect masterpiece in your new medium – but you will be learning, and everything you learn about creates a lifetime of opportunities and interests that will swell your heart and fill you with inquisitiveness about possibilities. You can. 🙂