Sunday August 4th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL
A maddening part of the creative process is the constantly swinging pendulum of momentum a creative person has to endure. Sometimes we feel like we’ll design the cure for cancer but others we feel like sucking a bullet. These swings can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
When I’m in my creative groove, watch out. Ideas come flying out of the sky, and I can’t keep up with them all. Sometimes they hit me in the shower, or on an exercise walk. Sometimes when I wake up from a nap or night’s sleep they shoot out of my brain like fireworks and I have a hard time jotting everything down. I have learned to keep pens and notebooks handy everywhere I go.
When I’m off my game, life itself is a living hell. I don’t feel like I can do anything right, and I don’t want to keep breathing when I’m in one of those ruts. Maybe it’s schizophrenia or a bipolar diagnosis, but a lot more people than me struggle with this. The creative spirit is very sensitive.
I wish I knew more how to control it so the ups stay longer and the downs aren’t as low, but as I think about it that seems like what illegal drugs are used for. I’m not talking about that. I’ve not chosen that route, and have no plans to in the future. I’m facing this crazy world dead on sober.
What I’m talking about is that unseen power source that all creative types find the way to plug into as they’re cranking out their best work. It comes and goes, but when the tide is in it’s a thrill to be in the moment. Everything flows smoothly, and falls right into place. I’m there right now.
Things have been popping extremely well of late as far as my creative side goes, and although I couldn’t be happier I know it will eventually swing the other way. It now becomes a frantic trip to the finish line before the tide goes out again, and I plan on working day and night until it does.
There’s something magical about giving every last bit of energy to a project, and the times I’ve done it have always produced a magnificent feeling of satisfaction I don’t think could be attained in any other way. It only comes from hard work, and there will never ever be a substitute for that.
My problem has rarely if ever been the willingness to work. Where I have trouble is narrowing my focus down to a number of projects I can handle. I always seem to bite off way more than I’ll ever be able to chew, but I happen to like a lot of things and have a hard time trimming anything.
There’s a feeling of pure exhilaration that comes with creating something from utter zilch, and I can’t see myself ever getting tired of it. What kills the buzz horribly is having to waste one iota of energy on mundane things like paying bills or keeping my car running. It weakens the thrill.
The tendency of all humans is to avoid pain and seek pleasure, and there’s where my problems tend to repeat themselves. I’ll blow off the mundane yet important things to ride the wave of the creative high I happen to be on, and then it comes crashing down and my life is in total disarray.
But it feels SO good to be in that groove, it’s almost impossible to stop. I don’t want to think of anything other than creative ideas, and they’re flowing like water right now. I’m tapped into that higher power source, and I don’t want to let go. Why isn’t life like this all the time? Who knows?
What I do know is that this has been the single most productive year of my entire life and that’s what I set out to do in January. It’s not over yet, and momentum is in my favor. I feel something positive is ready to pop in my direction, and I’m ready for whatever it is. I’ve waited a long time.