"How do you experience creative flow (or not?) (work-in-progress)" -Lisa Sonora Beam"For me, creative flow feels more like a riptide than a gently flowing stream. Sudden, urgent. All might look calm on the surface, but the current is strong.
The last few weeks have been marked by an inward pull toward deep exploration.
It looks like a lot of quiet, a hush, time alone. It looks like I'm doing nothing, really, as I share in these posts.
What I've learned to trust in are signs - an incubation of new work.
Usually I begin by fighting against the current - it feels difficult to retreat inward sometimes. I already spend far too much time alone, especially in Mexico.
It's hard for me to feel very much like socializing or being very visible in the world when tilling the creative compost.
I'm curious how you experience creative flow - does it pull you inward in the same way?"
These words were at the beginning of a journal prompt last night that I occasionally get in my email. They resonate loudly within, because this is so similar to how I feel right now. You can change the "place" from Mexico to Alaska - I just spent most of a week alone in Alaska again in February, happily feeding and caring for Kristin's dogs, and trying to do some writing (trying, wanting to, not accomplishing - there were DOGS, MANY dogs, there to play with ((28 I think this time))- who can write when there are so many dogs to feed and love?
But, creative 'need' in me screams, it doesn't whisper. "The current is strong." I can always tell when I have been uncreative too long - I start longing to look at colors and patterns and ideas. Once I start looking, I feel the need to create something. Sometimes I sew, sometimes I crochet or craft, sometimes I bake, sometimes I simply color inside lines - and often, I write, or try to. There are a lot of outlets for my creative currents, but finding the time, making the time, in a world where there are so many other UNcreative demands on my time, daily, - work, meals, laundry, dog and chicken care, sleep, husband, children, etc. etc. "it feels difficult to retreat inward." Being a writer, wanting to be a writer, takes so much alone time, so much quiet, that some days it seems nearly impossible. I find myself thinking, "When I retire, I will..." what? Have more time? Write more often? I can't fall into that trap. I will never "have more time" because who knows how much time ANY of us have? And, I like to be busy, so just retiring from teaching is not going to mean I have more time. I will fill it - with another job that hopefully requires nothing of me at home once each day is done, with volunteering, with travel, with all KINDS of things I look forward to doing in addition to writing.
I need to use the "now" and just MAKE the time. Truth be told, I'm never very social or "visible in the world," outside of going to work, anyway. So, currently, I'm "tilling the creative compost." I'm most definitely "incubating" ...new work. I can't say when, or where, it will sprout, but stuff is germinating well. I have an idea of where I'm going, but can't see the whole map yet, only parts of it. It just feels good to HAVE a map, even if it is only one I have drawn for myself. I sometimes get frustrated that I FEEL creative, like a creative person, but yet I don't have much tangible work to show for that. But, it's ok. I like that I am, or feel, at least, creative. It makes me happy. I'm certainly never bored. I only have to look inward to see what's growing. Happy Spring, as of the calendar, if not the outdoors, today, as well.