Creativity Feels like This

My creativity feels like this, but I also want to hear about yours. Mine came out as a poem, but that is not required. Just shoot for as much accuracy as you can.


Take all your failures
Mash them into every urge to screw around anyway
Throw in a cross-eyed stare
A stubborn lower lip, a tongue between teeth
And lay it all out, end to end, in words.

Take all your happiest smiles
Feel them in your chest
Exhale fear, then shrug and let it back in.
Say, “Who cares?”
And start.

Think of the least obvious
The fourth item past the cliché
Or don’t think
Pretend you’re not really doing this
And are actually off doing laundry or washing the floor
Then hit “Record,” but don’t watch.

Repeat after me:
It’s okay; it’s okay; it’s okay.
Then pat yourself on the knee and tell yourself
You’re a good kid,
And whatever you put out there today is a fine start.

4 responses to “Creativity Feels like This

  1. After months of not writing, my creativity creeps in the darkness like an old cat and settles in beside me as I try to sleep. “Get up!” It bellows. “You can sleep tomorrow! Get out there, dust of the old keyboard and start over!” I do my best to ignore its rudeness. I toss, I turn. Eventually, I turn on the light and stare up at the white ceiling above me as my creativity smiles. The ceiling reminds me of a joyless, blank piece of paper waiting for something. Anything. So here I am again, at 2:00 a.m., trying to find the right words as my creativity curls up at my feet. “Good job,” I think it clearly says. “Good job.”

  2. I love the idea that creativity can be insistent, denying sleep and making you get up and face the page. It does sound like a pet who has its own agenda and doesn’t care what you want. Great read.

  3. Lassie (of long ago. . . )

    If you remember the shy and timid pushmi-pullyu from The Story of Doctor Dolittle, then you know the kind of two-headed creature who accompanies me. In the old movie starring Rex Harrison, the pushmi-pullyu looks like two llamas glued together. It has a head at each end, so no matter which way you go towards him, he’s always facing you. Only one head is awake and talking at any given time.

    So it goes with my imagination. On a given day, my creative spirit will be the one talking. He’s all zeal and full steam ahead. We can do this! We’ll have fun! Let’s gambol, gallivant and galumph!

    The next day, my overbearing gremlin will be in charge. He’s all fear and perfectionism. No way in hell we can do this! You’ll fail and be miserable. Stop everything, quit trying, and clean the kitchen instead.

    The two sides push and pull, pull and push, go ‘round in circles.

    These days, I’m singing lullabies to the gremlin side, so he’ll sleep most of the time. As long as he’s the non-talking one, the creative spirit is free to “Say, ‘Who cares?’ . . . And whatever you put out there today is a fine start.’”

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