More than once, I’ve sat down to write my daily post and just felt rather uninspired.
Which is a bummer, sure, but also just perplexing because I know I have this vivid imagination inside of my head that’s just teeming with creativity and ideas.
I just don’t always know how to tap into it.
In general, I think my imagination operates on its own agenda, doing what it wants whenever it feels like it. Occasionally this is for my benefit, and I’ll suddenly be inspired to snap a photo or sit down and write a piece of music.
Sometimes it works against me, grabbing hands with my anxieties and running amok.
And it’s powerful. I have created art that I am proud of. I have also been crippled with worry over hypothetical scenarios. I know I have the capacity to imagine both wonderful and terrible things.
So I think to myself how useful it would be to be able to harness all of that power to channel into projects when I wanted it, and not just when my brain decides it’s time to be inspired.
I think that as kids, our minds are a constantly flowing tap of boundless imagination.
We don’t actually know much about anything when we’re very young, but we know enough to have a vague context. Within that context, everything we see, feel and hear ignites some primal reaction, and we fill in the blanks with our creativity.
That’s how a child can look at an unimpressive back yard and see a whole kingdom of invisible characters and quests.
It’s how I was able to stay up late at night under the covers, holding 3-way conversations with my two favorite stuffed toys, one of which was a football (I wish I could remember her name).
My capacity to imagine intensely was supported by my environment, one in which it was okay to be creative, to dream big. I had a good family who encouraged me (and, at times, forced me) to pursue artistic endeavors, and good teachers who thought my ideas were cool.
As adults, I think the weight of reality tends to smother our creativity.
We still have original thoughts all day long, every day. But now, our brains are so chock full of context that almost immediately we’re able to conjure up discouraging thoughts to counter them.
“That’s been done.”
“That’d be way too much work.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“You don’t have time for that.”
“What if you fail?”
That once ceaselessly-flowing tap is stopped up with “realistic” doubts and excuses.
And just like that, those little flickers of inspiration are extinguished as quickly as they came.
If there was a way to truly harness our creativity at will, perhaps it would be easier to maintain that inspiration.
Admittedly, I’ve been wanting to start a daily writing routine for a very long time. For years I’ve tried carrying journals, but they never stuck. I would get inspired for a day or two and then forget to write for months.
So now I’m experimenting with public accountability as a way to consistently demand from myself some kind of creative output. So far so good, I’ve been pleased with most of my posts.
It’s my hope that, as I practice daily, the creativity comes easily. In time, I hope to be able to harness it when I need it, to be channeled toward career endeavors and artistic projects.
In other words, I’m hope to get the tap flowing again and flood my life with creative energy.
Guess we’ll see how this goes.