The End

I love the end of the year. It is a relief to get to the end and officially finish. It is only a day like any other but the psychological necessity of it is real.

Everybody can do hard things in small amounts and everybody needs hope that the next thing will be easier. I know that people are talking about the end of the recession and we need to. If the reality was that it was going to last 5 more years everybody would be very scared. I think it will last that much longer but we will find new ways to get around it.  I think it is a blessing to go through slower times because it makes us look for new and wonderful things.

Stress and deadlines

It is hard to demand that creative flow come out on demand. I have found that one way to overcome this unfortunate plight is to start running on the treadmill and think about what you want to do. The repetition of pounding away on the machine will lull you into a nice state of concentration and relaxation so that you can just think better. It is sort of the Tom Sawyer , whitewash the fence plan. Doing the same thing over and over will take you focus off your deadline.  Do the next step. That is all you need to do in every creative process. Just do the next thing and that thing will tell you what the next thing will be.

I remember a line in Gertrude Stein’s ‘How Written is Written’:    “When you are not aware of yourself but only the thing you are doing then you are really doing it.

Neurons in the brain – illustration.  Unmodified original here
Credit: Benedict Campbell. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk

break it down

I have some friends that are in a place where it seems impossible to get started. Being creative seems a far away dream and for someone else.

The reality is creativity is not some weird visit from another planet. It is only a habit. If you can get dressed every morning and take out the garbage and get the mail you can be creative. A habit is just something you always do without thinking. Everybody knows that but what they might not know is habits are totally made up by us for survival. You do what you have to do.

I am a painter so I have to get new ideas every single day. If you don’t have to do it , you won’t. What makes you take the first step is to make some kind of agreement with someone else in the world that you will do it. If it is only you who knows about your desire, you won’t do it.  You will be too tired at the end of every day.

Tell one other person I am going to write one paragraph every day till I have a chapter or some other small step. I guarantee once you start the energy will come and you will feel better about everything you do. You will be set free.
If an idea is going through your head, it is not there by accident. Someone is going to need to see what you are about to create. You owe it to them to do it. It is your job in this life. Everybody does not get the same ideas. I think your creative urges are direct from God and you better do them. It is not a luxury.

image by chrysaora

three hours

The truth is if you scribble for three hours straight and just enjoy the scribble and just keep doing it for three hours, somewhere in there will be a beautiful line. a beautiful thought or a beautiful dream. The act of writing down thoughts { Julia Cameron recommends three pages a day to get things going} but I have found that three hours is the magic number to totally leave yourself behind and go ahead. After 20 minutes it becomes boring but after you have gone three hours you are in a different place. I discovered this once when I was locked in a car for three hours. I had a notebook and pen so I started writing down anything that was amusing. After so much time passed the things I was drawing were so much better and my thoughts were so clear. Three hours are going to pass anyway so why not use them to get to a fantastic place.