Remember the creative process I touched upon in my post yesterday? Today, I’m talking about stage 2 of this process : incubation.
You’ve been trying hard to solve a problem, get some ideas for a project, finding that missing piece that will make your art work complete, move forward with that article you must write…….You’ve prepared yourself for this creative task, but it still isn’t coming together.
And then you are taking a shower, going for a stroll, doodling and then inspiration strikes you!
Mozart that great composer expressed it so well:
“When I am… completely myself, entirely alone and of good cheer — say, travelling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.
Whence and how they come, I know not; nor can I force them.”
– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
So when you’ve prepared yourself, all you have to do is wait. Like a pregnant woman. Until your idea is ready to be birthed!
No point in worrying. No use trying to force creativity. Don’t try to control the process.
What should you do?
Drift to create.
The French intellectual, Guy Debord, called this dérive (French for ‘drift’). While for him it sometimes meant wandering drunk around Paris, the idea is to lose yourself in the landscape around you. To stroll aimlessly.
Brenda Ueland in her book If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit called this ‘moodling‘ : So you see, imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.
If you can’t ‘stroll’ literally, you can take a walk online and keep reading unrelated stuff. I tend to listen to music and sometimes do nothing and find great value in that.
Julia Cameron recommends an ‘Artist Date’ for all creative people.
Artist Dates are assigned play.
The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic” — think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. When choosing an Artist Date, it is good to ask yourself, “what sounds fun?” — and then allow yourself to try it. – Julia Cameron
Drifting to create…Have you ever tried it?
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’m on Day 3 of 31 Days to a Better Blog – ‘Promote Your Blog Post’. I think we all find ways to do that. I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and Tumblr to do this. One new way I learned today is to get other bloggers to share links to your posts in theirs. Here are 11 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Being Linked to By a Blogger.