“33 Ways to Stay Creative”- Part 2

For clarity, here’s the list again:

13. If you can enjoy sharing decisions in the creative project with others you can find a Deep well of inspiration by hanging around and exchanging ideas with other creative peeps. I also think cross-pollination with others who even work in art modes other than yours can inspire you greatly. This happens to me all the time.

14. Allowing others to critique your creative ideas is a pain and a pleasure. You find new friends and if you’re not (both of you) careful, you may even lose old ones or alienate potentially new ones. My experience. And let’s face it, humility is core for us to hear how what we’re creating might be (or may have been) better. See point 13 for more of the “guts” of this sense of “community” creativity. I benefit from it all the time- but do not always love it 🙂

15. See 13 and 14. Yep. Nobody is an island unless they want to be alone and miserable. Not very creative, that.

16. Sometimes giving up is EXACTly what you need to do. Sometimes it’s not. For myself, right back to The Bible and godly friends who aren’t enamored with everything I do but also give helpful input so that what I do might be better or cast in a better light. But if God calls you, truly calls you, then don’t whine when folks think you’re crazy and reject your offerings and possibly even reject YOU. IF IF IF you’ve reasonable confirmation you’re doing what He placed you on earth to do creatively, go for it. If not, let go and seek Him and His people in trying to discover over time what it is you really should Never give up on regarding creativity. Life is too short and hard enough than to waste months and years fighting for what we think against what God thinks we ought to be doing with our time.

17. HA! I love building prototypes, you know, mock-ups of this or that BEFORE doing “the real thing”. I also hate going over and over the same song. I’d rather record it once or maybe 3 times and move on. But this takes preparation, thought, prayer, discussion ahead of recording it “for real”. I’m not a fan of practice, but practice indeed can free one to just fly if you get my meaning. As an artist you can then forget musical scales and just express freely which is, in my case, when the good stuff happens. So it starts with practice, like it or not. Under that, it really starts with inspiration… or all the practice and technique in the world begins to sound mechanical rather than human and emotive. I think these are principles that apply to all art and creative forms, not only to music.

18. Unless you allow yourself (and others with you!) to make MISTAKES you’ll be driving both yourself and others crazy. NOBODY does anything brilliantly all the time. Breathe. We don’t need “Pharisees R Us”!

19. I find new places, new people and new and different art forms all help me think around things, see and considering things from a different angle is always helpful and even different geography (say, if you’re a “townie” head to the forest or vice-versa… reading and asking questions, both on the Web and in actual travel all help inspire me.

20. Films, music, landscapes, etc.. If I could only scream at Americans (in general, not all) to “get” about 5 things, this would be in that list! We really gain so much by checking out other folk’s view of life, culture and just ways of living and creating. I think we are only “land-locked” when we are culturally locked into believing the myth that our own comfort is directly linked to doing X, Y or Z EXACTLY as we’ve always done it. Other tribes, nations and cultures bring a fresh perspective to us that frankly, sometimes we’re too arrogant, insecure or intelligent enough to appreciate. You don’t grow up by cementing yourself into provincialism. Ditto regarding creativity.

21. Does depression help in the creative process? Is there no morning, only night? As a blues musician and a guy who talks a great deal about the importance and meaning of biblical lament, I can tell you that this is an age-old issue. Creativity’s fountain isn’t unleashed ONLY by negative, painful and/or horrid events or feelings in creative types. Late last night and more this morning prior to reading these 33 again (I’d seen this list a few months ago) I began to thank God that I can see, hear (at least some!) and stand on two feet, for my incredible wife and family, church and few other people/things that are HUGE blessings in my life. Let’s face the pain and deal with our own in this fallen world, but don’t forget that love brings healing. Christ’s love brings ETERNAL healing and joy.

22. Rest? Rest you say? You’ve likely seen the reports on how many if not most Americans are sleep-deprived. Yes. Enough good sleep and (in my case) trying to get at least one sleep-until-I-wake-up day per week is not something to avoid or be ashamed of. Our ability to think clearly, be kind, take a moment before reacting and certainly creativity all come in part from a life with hard work but equally hard sleep. Breaks during the day are a large part of my personal sanity.

23. Trying something different, doing something you’ve never done or in a fresh way can often spur great bursts of imagination and creativity. Yes.

24. While number 23 is true, it is likewise true that sometimes “rules are meant to be broken” and in the area of creativity, sometimes they NEED to be set aside. Stretching out of our self-build boxes is an issue as much as pressing the horizons others call us to work within. I don’t think I’m always right but imagination is as much about play as it is work, boundary-breaking as wall-building. And I assume you noticed the writer of this list (nobody knows for certain who as I write this…) put 23. to the left of the nice, tidy line of points? Nice.

Thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

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