When I work, most of what I do seems to rely upon creativity. I wouldn’t brag about being the most creative person in the world, but the business I’m in is based on creativity.
Just something I noticed.
What I also noticed is that I COULD be more creative and if creativity is, as the metaphor goes, a muscle, I have to say I’m not in my optimal shape these days.
Part of the explanation is below, in this John Cleese video (Thanks to Trey for alerting me to it).
To me, Cleese is one of the most creative entertainer there is and from what I understand, not much place is given to improvisation; everything hinges on the discipline he applies to his craft. Disciplined doesn’t mean cerebral and cold however; we all know how crazy Monty Python and Fawlty Towers could be.
Cleese does not describe creativity has something bestowed upon you from above as some sort of God given gift (“Creativity is not a talent”), but rather as a way of thinking, a way of allowing our brain to free itself from distractions and …play. I bet that to most reader, playing is not exactly an expression of discipline.
Most writers (and many other creating for a living) will tell you they always have a hard time convincing people (i.e., their wives) that when they are lying on the couch, staring at the ceiling in the middle of the afternoon, they are working. Cleese talks about putting ourselves in the right situation to let our minds wander and play; to be in “open” mode. Improvising on the canvas or your musical instrument is creating, but there’s a type of creativity that can only come out of an uncluttered mind, free of the technical aspect of the delivery. In fact, even drawing or writing, which we think as part of the creating process, are most of the time only ways of recording the ideas you just had.
Ever wonder why the moment you’re being the most creative is at the very minute your head touches the pillow at bedtime?
Sometimes, Action is the enemy of Creation.
We have to come to terms with the fact that we have an occupation that is outside the norm for most people and that it is often frowned upon. In Quebec city trash radio, the artist as parasite is a common subject on the demagogue DJ’s rant list. This way of (not) working is the image they use to portray us as lazy bums, living of the hard earned tax payers money. (A rich subject we’ll probably discuss more in a future post)
What I realized, is that this societal pressure is making us procrastinate. Procrastinating is not necessarily twisting paper clips or goofing off with rubber bands, but doing something important, something essential …but not what NEEDS to be prioritized. In my case, it’s not even cleaning up the studio (my studio is a mess. I don’t procrastinate THAT much), but doing important thing such as learning how to distribute our music more effectively, how to properly light a painting so I can photograph it, learn new software, etc.
Anything, but CREATING.
Here’s a longer version of his talk about creativity:
I’ve yet to watch it in its entirety. I have more important things to do right now …like twisting paper clips.
Happy New Year!