This is meant to save me from what often happens when I am inspired at an inopportune time and run down a rabbit hole with an idea, blowing off work I need to do and disorienting myself for the remainder of the day.
So how is it going? OK. Not great. Just OK. I've noticed that when I go back to these pieces that inspired me, I have lost the thread of thought on which I wanted to elaborate or the piece just doesn't interest me like it did. Sometimes I'll scribble some thoughts down to help trigger me later. For instance, in my inspiration file I see terms that in some cases only I understand: "MPT, Chris Rock, legacy building, Tweet--sleep is for the week." I wish myself luck piecing it together. (By the way, these terms will be incorporated into a post coming soon; they actually mean something to me.)
Despite the fact that creative geniuses like Twyla Tharp are successful with programming periods of creativity into their day, and happiness is strongly linked to having outlets for creativity (this was cemented for me when I took this quiz), I find that managing the flow of creativity is often pretty difficult. It's tough to be creative on demand.
This year I hosted a sponsored video show called TheJuice, in which I got to speak to experts about all aspects of life balance. My partners thought it would be right up my alley, possibly because of my obsession with studying, if not achieving, balance. One of the experts, Jennifer Lee, of Artizen Coaching is an expert in inspiring creativity. She works with entrepreneurs who rely heavily on it to do their jobs. She provided some great insights for bloggers, who have to pull rabbits out of their hats regularly. Still, I wonder, even after blogging all this time, how do some people have the ability to always be in the flow of creation?
A friend of mine, a documentary filmmaker, told me once that creativity is like running. The first few times you go out, you feel awful, like you are out of shape and incapable of enjoying the process, but through ongoing practice you eventually get your footing and even start thriving on running. It worked for me that way when I started blogging back in '04--I stumbled to find concepts, and eventually had to tear myself away from my laptop I was so infused with ideas and conversations in my head. I also had the luxury of hours to spend on my writing, during which I could fidget, fart, check email, and wait for words to come to me naturally.
Few entrepreneurs have this luxury, even those who write books as a big part of their living. I'm always amazed by pals who are writing books and running a business. How do you segment your day to get the most out of both endeavors?
I've had to settle for a hybrid form of creativity--proposals and presentations. This requires summoning ideas that meet a set of criteria, as client needs are not always what I'm moved to impart, but I can choose how to impart them. I never thought of this sort of thing as creative until I witnessed how others did them poorly. You know who I'm talking about, the person who reads off power point bullets pulled from the sales deck, or proposals that are so disjointed you wonder how a client could put the pieces together? It's a new pride that I have in my creative abilities, even if I'm not writing the great American novel that I am helping people connect the dots. I'll take this form of creativity ... for now.
Other mini refuge periods: Flights, and a blogreading period I've inserted into my mornings. Yes folks, I'm getting up earlier these days. Something I never thought possible. I'm still training my body to fall asleep earlier so I'm not exactly bursting with energy, but I'm more satisfied with my day by carving out this time.