Creativity

As this ritual has proven its worth, it is now my most fundamental commitment. It is a time-space devoted to creativity, blank and receptive, with beauty in sight, milky comforting coffee in one hand, and a pen in the other. I think it’s important to do this when I am at my most energetic and optimistic, as the caffeine first hits me.

This time-space is absolutely insulated from others’ stories. I do not even glance at any device or do any chore until this period of the day is spent. To avoid distraction by urgent tasks, I keep a separate notebook at hand on which I can write them, but they must stay decisively to the side. Nothing is more urgent than making time for creativity.

Inbound information –whether it be your email, the news, or SMS that arrived in the night– are about the past. And your task list is about the present. Creativity is about the future.

Sometimes the paper remains blank. That’s ok. Sometimes I write prose. Sometimes I consider a dilemma or decision. There are no rules about what I can bring in or what I think about, except that I must do so with creativity. In this time I am not allowed to be anxious or helpless or “realistic”. For at least 20 minutes a day, I commit to bringing forth my maximum creativity and unknown capacities. If there are problems, during this time I commit to addressing them with one very sharp tool, the question “What do you want?”

To find your deepest creativity, you must practice listening to it and you must be patient and wait for it.

The notebook must stand ready. That’s how you tell yourself you’re serious.

It’s a practice to honor creativity and desire, even when you feel you have none. To wait for it. To sit with it. To trust that it will come when it’s ready. To keep it company when it doesn’t feel like talking.

You can scribble or you can leave the cap on the pen. Just wait. And remember: the paper is not the sacred part. Your mind is what is sacred. On the days when you feel like taking the lid off the pen, mess up the paper. Dump all your mess on it. Draw a tangle of arrows, even if you don’t have names for the things they’re pointing at. And then spill some coffee on it. And if you are eating chocolate you can wipe your fingers on the paper too. Then just put the paper in a safe place where it can ferment and don’t worry about it. Get a new blank one the next day.

Pens! Ballpoints make my handwriting totally illegible. With a rollerball or a fountain pen, I have a chance. Use a pen you like!This is definitely something to splurge on.

Be ready to hear your intentions and desires when they appear. And don’t put a lot of pressure on them to be sensible or rational or have a plan. Just write them down and let them be. Just receive yourself.

or creativity and desire, even when you feel you have none. To wait for it. To sit with it. To trust that it will come when it’s ready. To keep it company when it doesn’t feel like talking.

You can scribble or you can leave the cap on the pen. Just wait. And remember: the paper is not the sacred part. Your mind is what is sacred. On the days when you feel like taking the lid off the pen, mess up the paper. Dump all your mess on it. Draw a tangle of arrows, even if you don’t have names for the things they’re pointing at. And then spill some coffee on it. And if you are eating chocolate you can wipe your fingers on the paper too. Then just put the paper in a safe place where it can ferment and don’t worry about it. Get a new blank one the next day.

Pens! Ballpoints make my handwriting totally illegible. With a rollerball or a fountain pen, I have a chance. Use a pen you like!This is definitely something to splurge on.

The size of the notebook is important. I need it to be A4 and bound. I have A6 size for travel, but that blankness needs to be large and inviting in your perceptual viewscreen.

Be ready to hear your intentions and desires when they appear. And don’t put a lot of pressure on them to be sensible or rational or have a plan. Just write them down and let them be. Just receive yourself.