back in bloom

Whew. I just wrapped several big, highly technical projects. It’s satisfying to emerge from a dark tunnel and I’m happy with the finished products, but I’m also feeling a little burnt out. Drained. Empty. In fact, my head is a test pattern.

So, I started thinking about what builds (and re-builds) creativity. In her classic book, The Artist’s Way (What? You haven’t read it?), Julia Cameron describes creativity as a deep well that needs constant filling. In order to enjoy that blaze of inspiration, you must actively seek new fuel for the fire.

Straightforward, right? But it’s not always easy to do. Our culture prizes action, results and measurable gains. We’re supposed to stay constantly in motion, striving earnestly toward a series of lofty goals. I love juicy projects and daunting to-do lists. I’m happy when I’m in hot pursuit of something big. But, I also know creativity requires regular pruning to stay healthy.

And here’s where I had a moment of (admittedly primitive) insight. It’s not wasteful or indulgent to spend time seeking inspiration. Getting immersed in music, magazines, books, galleries, dark bars, forest trails, complicated recipes and long conversations is, in fact, part of my job. It’s essential. Editors, clients and readers will be bored silly if I’m dried out. I owe it to myself and to others to keep that well filled.

I’d love to hear how you get and stay creatively engaged. Please spill your best secrets!

posted 18 Apr 11 in: art, books, business, inspiration, media, music. This post currently has one response.

One Response so far. Add Your Own.

Cheri, sorry I missed this piece when you posted it back in April – I’ve been too busy too! Filling the well, as Cameron might say, is a huge priority for me. I’ve had a few rounds of burnout and now I make sure to manage my creative energy more carefully. I had to investigate my options quite carefully – what works for some, won’t work for me.
For starters, I would say, lunch with you is always a good option for creative rejuvenation!

Jill / 09 May 11
 

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