“Making the simple complicated is commonplace. Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that is creativity.”
Charles Mingus, jazz musician and band leader
Sometimes it feels as though change is the only constant.
Change is an enormously powerful force, both in our lives and our creative space. And it’s impact is increasing. Facing this is crucial to maintaining a regular creative output.
The problem is, many creative types seek to use their art as a shield against change. They resist anything that comes between them and their sense of a creative haven.
I know a few successful artists who manage to live in such static surrounds. A very dear friend, one of the world’s best-selling authors, resides in a tiny farming community that is basically as isolated from modern civilization as she can get, and still call the planet earth her home.
For most of us, this is not an option.
What is more, the speed of change is accelerating. When I started writing, the time between significant changes was relatively long. Mail was the primary means of communication. Teletypes followed, then faxes, email, cellphones, tablets…You get the picture.
Psychologists often say millenials are much more comfortable with change, where rapid and significant shifts are seen as a constant. Change is a way of life. Millenials are comfortable constantly adapting. So they say.
If you are one of these, please skip over the rest of this lesson. Good on you.
But what I have found in the vast majority of my students is this: They see their creative work as an opportunity to retreat from this constant change. Their art is their haven. They find stability here.
Too often this attitude results in dropping the creative hour whenever change or stress invades.
I mentioned earlier how change constantly threatened to unravel my dream of living from my art. My day-job required that I travel to two and sometimes three countries every week. It was simply not possible to wait until I was in my creative haven to do my real work. If I was to hold onto my dream of writing as a profession, I had to…
Adapt. Disregard change. Find a way to create a haven I could take with me.
Today’s goal is simple. How to create an environment in the midst of change that defies these external forces.
There are two keys to making this happen.
First, recognize that the external instabilities are not the issue. You have no control over this. What you need to focus upon is your internal state. Your emotional state. Because the creative fire starts here, at heart level.
Second, you need to…
DO THIS NOW:
- Begin identifying the elements of your creative space that are completely portable. Music, certain authors, photographs, whatever.
- Try inserting a small component of two or more of these elements into your creative hour.
- Make note of what I just said. Do not wait until change or stress invades. If you wait until then to utilize these elements, the subconcious bond will not have been forged. Use them now, while things are rock steady. Begin today.
- The next time change invades your life, retreat into your portable haven. And keep going.
- Your future profession depends upon you getting this right.
Davis Bunn’s next novel MIRAMAR BAY is available now at wherever books are sold. Don’t forget to order your copy today!