Inertia | Exothermia

Sometimes I think being creative is like an exothermic reaction. You have to put energy in to get the reaction started, but you get much more energy out. I know getting started on a new project takes effort and energy, but once I’ve got started on the creative process, the energy and excitement I get out is amazing.

So why is it so hard to put that energy in to get started in the first place? Inertia. Leaping from a state of rest into action is something I find difficult. There are a lot of things I perceive as easier than getting started – like watching TV – but they are definitely endothermic activities. Easier to get started,but they suck all the energy out of me so I end up feeling lethargic and useless. Which makes it even more difficult to get motivated to start on a creative endeavor.

The cure? I haven’t really fine-tuned it yet, mostly I have to remind myself how good I feel after I’ve achieved something. Or I ask my husband to give me a (figurative) kick up the backside.

Harnessing Intensity

I’m an intense person. Sometimes I like being that way. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m so intensely sad. Other times I’m intensely joyful.

Intensity of emotions also translates into an intense enthusiasm about ideas. If one takes hold, it consumes me until I consume it. That is, if I can keep my intensity in focus. Intensity is a fickle thing; it can leap straight to the next idea while I should be working on the current project.

I imagine my intensity being like the energy streams from the Ghostbusters’ proton packs. Those things pack a hell of a wallop, but they always had to wrestle with them to point them in the right direction.

It’s worth the struggle because when I have the reins on the intensity and can focus it on my writing, the words burn onto the page.

Hydra of Creativity

The hydra was a seven headed creature of legend. Its most notable feature was when you cut off one of its heads, three more sprouted in its place.

Creativity is like that hydra; ideas are its heads. Vanquish one idea – by giving it form – and three more sprout in its place. Creativity cannot be exhausted. The more you use, the more you have.

Creativity doesn’t limit itself to one form or medium. To switch my metaphor: once creativity starts flowing freely it spills over into many channels.

A novel idea can lead to a dress design.

An art project suggests a short story.

Sometimes the link between the original idea and the new ideas that sprout can’t be clearly seen, but the ideas just keep on coming.

My main frustration as a creative personused to be that I didn’t have enough time to dedicate tomy creative endeavours. So I made more time. I create more than ever, but that just makes the ideas flow faster. And I still haven’t enough time.

Once the tide of ideas and possibilities pours forth it cannot be quenched. I can’t drink that ocean, but I can swim in it.