I’ve been thinking about this as I’ve been working on a couple of flat out creative writing projects at once, plus keeping my hand in with creating visually pleasing outfits and of course poetry.
I did not get the two-dimensional art skills in my family (my sister has those) but when I’m faced with flowers, or my closet, something happens – call it magic – that pulls together and helps me create. In these instances, I cannot separate what I’m seeing with what I’m doing. This is especially the case w/ dealing with flowers and plants. I think I have internalized color sense and principles of art (line, space, etc.) which helps. True when faced with a big design project, I step out into the art of possible but I’m not 100% sure something is going to work until I see it. This is what I might call reactive ideation.
Poetry is another story. I’m not usually staring at a bunch of words when they reorganize themselves into a poem while I’m watching them (though that would be interesting). Poems seem to come in one of two ways…. I have been watching or observing something/some person and I piece together the conversation or observations; or, like a bolt of light, the whole thing comes to me in one collective piece. Ideas are the starting point though, whether the words just fall from the heavens or I overhear them. They have to be worked, coaxed if you will, to form the whole.
I like to think that everything I do (well almost everything) requires a certain amount of creativity. Even teaching if done well, requires that I step out of myself and present information in new ways to try to “catch” my students. Ideas in this context will come when I’m actually doing the work. I suppose it is the corollary to ideas that come when I’m faced with a bunch of flowers.
So now I’m faced with a creative project that has two elements (a story within a story) and I’m a bit stumped. I’ve done some initial sketching out, an outline if you will, and I’m not satisfied. I’m waiting for an idea, THE idea to move things from the mundane to the sublime. I’m letting things sink and percolate. Variously I’m not writing anything down and then writing any wacky idea that comes to me. Because sometimes ideas come when you least expect them. They may not always be the best idea, but they do get other ideas moving.
Something will happen. And I’ll be ready with my butterfly net to catch it.
Okay I’m still writing poems, just not as frequently. Where the idea came from this one, I’m not sure. But the experience has indeed happened to me.
The space between waking and sleeping
or the other way round, full of rush
within a body, calming, bodies
that twitch while undergoing paralysis
A torrent of sounds quieted
to the surge of pumping blood
images of noise, scrambled words
too entwined to enjoy.
Once, no twice, I woke up while sleeping
my mind was clear, I couldn’t move
a muscle, trying to wave my arms
rouse my lying self in case I was dying.
Or was already dead. The second time
I knew I wasn’t, not yet. Atonic, instead,
to keep me from acting out my dreams
of flying, of screaming, of fucking.
Now when I lay me down to sleep
I try to dream of quietude
not wake alive inside a body’s dead
muscles that still in lassitude.
Interesting piece on creativity: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/creativity-habits_n_4859769.html