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The creative wow

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I have learned a little about the creative process. It seems to me you have to do the rank and file work everyday, staying at it patiently. If you wait for inspiration to strike, you may never produce anything, for all I know.


For me, this creative blast comes seldom. In high school, I did a great many paintings. Some of them I labored over for months. Then one day an idea hit me in the morning. I started the piece that morning and finished it before the end of the day. It went on to win an award in the Governor's Art Exhibition. They chose the piece out of thousands of entries. It made it into the top three hundred, so it was showcased in Columbus. An example of what I'm calling the "creative burst."


I know of a circle where a great deal of value is put on this creative burst. They have a fascination with the idea that God himself breathed through the artist. As though the piece were absolutely celestial just because it came to the artist start to finish in a ridiculously short amount of time. The writing of Handel's Messiah was like that. According to Wikipedia, it took just twenty-four days.


But I'm not so sure that's the best focus, celebrating this piece that flowed out of the artist so easily. It may just be the way the creative process rolls. I think of it this way: you pay your dues, and eventually something really beautiful spreads itself across the page.


“When the creative impulse sweeps over you, grab it. You grab it and honor it and use it, because momentum is a rare gift.”

― Justina Chen Headley, North of Beautiful


A rare gift indeed. But the preparation for it to happen is lengthy and sometimes laborious.

Categories: writing music, writing

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