“Creativity is a little like alchemy — it’s equal parts fact and fiction, pragmatism and mysticism. What’s bizarre is that it’s often through the most repetitive, simple, seemingly mindless actions that the magic of creativity erupts.”
— Carol Lloyd in “Creating a Life Worth Living“
When we are developing as artists in our respected fields, the initial steps is learning the basics and practicing them over and over again. Whether it is scales on the piano, the perfect pitch down the middle of the plate, drafting a business plan or the fundamentals of essay writing. For me, it is sitting down at the laptop and writing SOMETHING every day.
It is through the daily practice, rituals that we have instituted to guide us to our muse, that we lay the foundation for creativity to burst forth. According to Lloyd, “you will learn to be in the present, wait for the ideas, appreciate your daily life and feel the adventure you are living now.”
Establishing a routine or a launch pad for your daily creative endeavors is like turning your “closed” sign around to “open” to begin a work day in a store. It is a shift in the gears to say, “Let’s begin.” This launch pad can be writing in a journal, having your morning coffee while watching the sunset, playing with your cat or meditation. It should be something that opens the door for self-reflection and a start to your day. It’s the routine part of the practice that fuels the creative burst.
My favorite example of this is the opening lyrics of one of my favorite classic rock songs, “More Than a Feeling” by Boston.
“I woke up this morning and the sun was gone
Turned on some music to start my day
I lost myself in a familiar song
I closed my eyes and I slipped away”
According to the group’s website, “More Than a Feeling” is about the “power an old song can have in your life.” The lyrics express the author’s discontent with the gray skies and how turning on “music to start my day” can evoke a memory. While the memory was of a lost love, you can see how one can use tools in their world to spark a feeling, a thought or even a song.
What is your creative routine? What is your unique mixture of routine and creative passion?