Tips and tricks abound to aid the creative process. I’ve become familiar with some very clever ones, often through the warm and wise counsel of accomplished author Catherine A. Noon. She introduced me to the multi-talented Julia Cameron, for example, who has an entire side career dedicated to inspiring fellow artists. Another gifted friend reminded me just this morning of some grand ways to hush the inner critic (Thanks, E!).
Unfortunately, I’ve discovered a recurring failure to utilize these tools. However much sense a plan makes, my good intentions somehow evaporate. Why? I think I’ve pinpointed a reason. Buried in my psyche, a notion seems to persist that good writing materializes like a rabbit out of hat. It’s supposed to be magic.
I do believe that art has magical properties. Without it, existence lacks a sense of hope or wonder.
An important thing to remember about magic, though, is that David Copperfield didn’t really walk through the Great Wall of China. Criss Angel can’t actually levitate. They’re illusionists who put countless hours into manipulating the willing minds of an audience.
Performers on any stage workto entertain us. Why should writing be any different? The answer: it’s not.
Julia Cameron summed up my quandary in a line from “Finding Water”. To paraphrase, my ego wants creativity shrouded in mystery. This snooty persona thinks that artistic pursuit is somehow above punching a time clock.
Today I defied this snob by setting a timer. And you know what? Thirty minutes dedicated to storytelling didn’t feel constrictive at all. The added paragraphs gave me a sense of accomplishment even if the critic still sneered at the low word count. So what? I can set the timer for another thirty minutes when this post is up.
What gets you on the page, stage, or wherever you wish your art to flourish? I hope you’ll find the time to get out there today and do it.