I’ve got that feeling again. It has been absent for quite a while. After all the wildassery in my life for the past five years, I was starting to think that perhaps that creative, curious enzyme may have only been a passing phase – a product of the extraordinary circumstances and settings in my life that last time I felt such an ease to collect thoughts and focus, put the proverbial pen to pad, and digest and record the output.
What is it that enables this feeling? What’s the secret? If I knew that, I’d bottle it up, sell it for silly prices, and retire at thirty. The answer is, of course, unique for each of us. But having had that feeling for a time, lost it for a time, then regained it again, I can at least speak to my own experience.
An entire book could be, and I’m sure has been, written on this subject, so I’ll be succinct. What I’ve observed as creative enablers are:
- Being comfortable, figuratively – I do believe that when there are myriad stresses and priorities in life, it is hard to allow time for the mind to wander. A comfort with ones environment and future allows stressing about tomorrow to ease up, granting room for pondering.
- Having just the right amount of free time – during the week I stay very busy, but I try to force out a couple half days on weekends to relax, read, reflect, and now write. If I had children, this would be difficult. If I worked 60 hours a week, this would be difficult, but I also think that having too much disposable time hinders the necessary focus to collect thoughts quickly and without second guessing every original thought.
- A general curiosity – this is just me. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved novelty. So rather than read stories and watch clips of interesting bits, this curiosity has forced me to become a doer. And doing new interesting projects provides additional fuel to the inspirational fire.
- A desire to remember and reflect – my travel blogs with all their beautiful images and fantastic stories offer a lovely example of this. Recording today allows for reflection tomorrow.
And the reflection tomorrow is where ideas get filtered and focused. This reflection, when multiplied by the other three enablers, is really what generates that creative stimulus that goes by many names, one of which being “the Muse”.