By Invitation Only is a monthly group posting series, led by Marsha at Splenderosa. You can find today’s other participant posts here.
This month, Marsha and the crew at By Invitation Only have asked a question. How do you stay creative? Truth be told, I am not sure I am creative, but since this is the last time I’ll be participating in BIO, I’ll rely on A Simple Thank You Will Suffice, and proceed.
Let’s ask the question again, and answer without editorial comments. How do you stay creative?
One). First, I observe.
Some people are inventive, and generative. Not me. I’m an observer, a synthesizer. A responder. If I take any good photos it’s because I catch light, or an interaction; all my good writing is deep noticing. Without something to connect to I waver into questions so big that they both shake and freeze me immobile.
Sometimes I travel, so as to have something particularly interesting to observe.
Ideas are like sparks. You have to be watching to catch them.
Two). All these moments of watching are interspersed with the mental equivalent of blank stares. Driving is good, as are vistas, walking to work, and decent but not brilliant novels. Oh, and cooking. Activities compelling enough to occupy, but not accelerate, the brain.
Three). At some point, I will pick a topic of interest, and diagram a trajectory of ideas. I need logic in place, it keeps me safe in the space of passion.
Four). Then I fool around. With picture-making stuff…
With pictures of myself wearing clothes. But you knew that…
With pretty much anything. This is me asking the seamstress to fool around with my wedding dress. Take out some tulle, make it shorter with uneven layers, move the belt down. Um, a little further. Hmm. Yeah, that’s right. Great. Perfect. I love it.
…and I write lots of bad stuff. Wholly uncreative, pedestrian, plebian, insert your choice of word for Boring-And-Worthless, stuff. Guys, I mean really bad.
Five.) But as the time gets closer, when I will want to say that a piece is done, I sit down on the sofa, look out my window, and set free a carrier pigeon from somewhere in my mind.
A Hail Mary, in football terms. That’s the image the carrier pigeon brought back. I am not responsible. There might be a stadium roar in the background, but I think not. I think it’s silent.
If today describing this process I got pigeons and football, well, sometimes I do better.
I am not really the boss. Despite what images suggest.
Imagine a ruffle of feathers and a brrr brrr brrr of coos. The way pigeons tuck their heads. The way they look like doves.
The last sentence is often the most important, even though it’s fairly rarely read.
All images above are mine, most have been on the blog already. To BIO, thanks for having included me, guys, it’s much appreciated. If you wonder why this is my final contribution – I have only so many pigeons, and given the writing intention I expressed here, I’m probably going to need them all.