Life in Words
book writer • song writer • poet • dreamer
Some people say, "I'm just not creative." I do not believe this. Everyone is creative. Many people just have it trained out of them by the time they are 12 when imagination becomes the thing of only artists and children. But the world needs creativity to imagine its future. Jobs as we know them will be gone. The tools and methods I use in my work today weren't even invented when I was in high school or even college. And it's going much faster now. You and especially your children will need to exercise your creative muscle to stay viable. You don't need to be an artist of any kind to spark, stoke, and feed a creative fire inside yourself. Or, if you are an artist, it's likely you have either lost your Mojo altogether or been stricken by a creative block. This method works for you as well. Some people might just be looking for evidence that they have one creative bone in their body. You just need permission to be free. Here are some tips on building the creativity you already have inside and the way to keep it coming from now until, well, forever.
Since this is the year of the Fire Monkey...
Make a place and a time to focus on your flame everyday. Find the perfect spot in your home for these activities. Leave the guitar out, make a writing spot, build altars, gardens, water fountains. Staring into space is allowed and encouraged. Walk, run, breathe or take a shower and let the sound of water free your mind of its usual clutter. This is an in-your-face process. You will also need space in your head to just imagine, connect random dots, and not be disturbed by reality. Think of it as your daily workout. Claim the place and time and don't let anyone ( including yourself) shame you out of this by filling it up with other more "important" demands.
I can not tell you WHAT will spark you. That is yours alone to discover. But I can tell you that it will involve opening up your senses in order to receive your very own special fire starter. The way your brain works may be different from mine but there is a sensory language that can help with the sparking. Use color, sound, light, movement, rhythm, texture, and shapes. It may be dancing or discussing architecture in a coffee shop with friends. Find what you like. This is the spark and an opening to the sensual world. You could take a walk in nature or feel a soft cashmere sweater. Your senses are ready and waiting to open new places in the imagination.
Poking the fire
You know how you have to find a stick and move the logs around a little to really get it going? This is your chance to move things around, rearrange, stare at the junk jar, look for some visual fodder like favorite images. Listen to music. There's something going on inside but you don't need to make sense of it yet. Chaos and uncertainty are your friends.
Stoking the fire
More logs please. You need to find fuel. Often this means a great chat with a mind you admire. Have a debate. Opposites open the mind to creative alternatives. Professional creative companies like to put a group of disparate thinkers, scientists and artists together to get different perspectives on the same problem. Take a position. Then take an different position. Once you get comfortable with your favorite one, choose your expression for what is burning inside you. You might write a poem, a letter or design a new program at work. It doesn't really matter cause the fire has been set. This is creativity. No paint necessary.
Observe the warmth of the feeling of your own idea or creation. Be mesmerized by the fire itself. Bask in it. Let it take you over for a time. Surrender to the unknown inside yourself. You made this. Shake and Bake, you helped create this new thing in the world. Your idea. Your plan, Your window treatments. They are direct results of you trusting the flame and the process of fire building.
Calmly accept the magic of the smolder. Thank yourself. Thank the gods and sit with it.
Just when you think it's over, something new sparks you. Be excited. Feed the beast.
Jan Bozarth has made a career out of her words, music, and images. She is a published songwriter and book writer ( The Fairy Godmother Academy Series Random House/Yearling) and producer of entertainment for girls, women, and anyone who has a dream.