November 30, 2004

Disciplined Creativity

There are days when I feel completely uninspired, when no words look right on the page, and the thought of putting brush to canvas makes me shiver. There are days when I know anything I write will be mundane, anything I paint will be muddy, and I won’t be satisfied no matter what the outcome. On those days, I’m inclined to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea, a cat on my lap, and lose myself in a movie or a book. According to some, lying fallow can provide a much-needed break, and give you a chance to recharge batteries and all those other, oft-quoted, clich├ęs.

Now I’m questioning the wisdom of this, as the authors I’ve found most interesting have been at the opposite end of the continuum. They are use it or lose it advocates, who suggest that creativity needs to be exercised regularly if you expect it to serve you when you need it to.

And if the things you create on those days are really dreadful? No problem. Chalk it up to experience and move on.

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