The creative path is not linear. Whether designing a work of art, or a new business venture, there is always trial and error,often resulting in an unpredictable journey, and new discoveries. The key is to be spontaneous and embrace the results.
When my husband and I want to be spontaneous, we use the expression follow- your-nose. Today during our morning bike ride, instead of riding along our usual path, we decided to improvise. We spent a delightful half hour spontaneously wandering around our curvy neighborhood, where it's easy to get lost. I thought I knew the neighborhood well, yet we ended up in a location I didn't recognize. The bike ride was fun, and by following-our-noses we discovered something new.
This incident reminded me that I am the most creative when I take spontaneous risks. Courage -- one of the three components necessary for creativity -- is required to do something unknown and unseen. This happened to me recently when I shared an experimental photo-painting with my photo club. I was nervous because the majority of members are traditional photographers and this work was definitely not traditional. Yet, I wanted and needed feedback. Although the group didn't love the piece, I was glad I had taken the initiative, for I received some great ideas. (See "Picking an Iris" at the top of this blog.)
Many of life's happenings occur unexpectedly. Everything that happens to me -- whether positive or negative -- gives me an opportunity to make creative choices. When I had a bad fall, resulting in a painful pressure fracture of my spine, I certainly wasn't happy about it. Yet, it forced me to slow down, giving me many quiet and productive hours to work on my new book.
Of course, some things take a lot more courage than others, i.e. starting a new business or creating enough artwork to fill a one-person exhibit. Like everyone else I want everything I do to be successful, so sometimes I let fear get in my way. I'm great at imagining what-if's: what if it doesn't work, what if I look foolish, what if I lose everything. These fearful thoughts immediately stop me from being creative. When that happens, a positive outcome is impossible.
I challenge you to follow-your-nose for an hour, for a day, or for one creative endeavor. I would love to know how it goes.
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- September 2015
- August 2015
- CURIOSITY REQUIRES SELF-AWARENESS Aug 17, 2015