Sunday, January 27, 2013

The habit of creating

Creativity has been a focus for me over the past couple of years:  reading, thinking, taking classes, practicing.  I've learned more about creativity and will be continuing to learn.   I've just started reading 'The Creative Habit" by choreographer Twyla Tharp.  She writes about creative people and how they put themselves into the creative flow--what I would think of as a "trigger."  For a dancer it might be the morning workout, for a writer it might be walks in nature, or whatever tells the mind and soul that it's time to open up ad let the creativity flow.

It takes me a while to develop new habits (though not quite as long as breaking old ones) so I'm not there yet, but I'm working on forming a creative habit in the morning--and morning sometimes means 3 a.m.  My morning routine includes some stretching exercises but now I keep my sketch book on the bedside table, and before I'm up to do the exercises (and still stumble into the shower) I welcome the day and then steer my mind to the creative flow to come up with one quilt design idea, which then goes into my sketch book.  I may not ever make that quilt, but then again I might, and the more ideas to choose from when it comes time to sit down and sew, the better.   What excites my quilting imagination today may not interest me at all next week, or what seems pretty marginal today might inspire me--or a new idea--tomorrow.

Because I'm of a certain age, I spend a lot of time awake during the night and now I've started to challenge myself during those times.  When my mind starts the infinite loop of worrying about one thing or another (don't things always seem worse at night?) I now challenge myself to come up with 6 new quilt design ideas; the focus of my brain switches off the worry and to something more comforting.  Now, I'm not saying that all of my 3 a.m. ideas seem quite as worthy in the morning, but I have designed some interesting things in the pre-dawn hours.    I have a choice at 6 a.m., then:  choose one of the six ideas to go into the sketch book, or I can enter the list of 6 ideas into the sketchbook in lieu of the one, daily design.

So far, it's working pretty well.  I missed it yesterday morning (did I mention that it takes me awhile to develop a new habit?) but my sketch book is growing quickly and, better still, I start the day with creativity flowing, and that can only be good for the rest of my day.

Do you have a creative habit?  What gets your creativity flowing?

No comments:

Post a Comment