You cannot schedule creativity. You cannot say, today, I will write my book’s finest moment. It will be fabulous. Inspiration strikes when it’s ready. Of course, it helps to nurture it with other inspiring and creative people and ideas.
I recently experienced a spontaneous moment of creativity.
Participating in a teacher-training intensive on arts integration, I joined a team of educators at the end of the week to perform what we’d learned. As we brainstormed possibilities, I beckoned “hang on” and grabbed a sheet of paper. From there, the words and phrases bled from my pen like I’d hit a major poetic artery.
Who knew I had a little rapper in me? The words simply flowed and bounced right out of my mind and onto the paper. The rhythm popped and slipped at the right moments; beats dropped; syntax wagged; my mouth spat out the lushly lyrical lingo as if on cue.
I’d never written a rap. I had certainly penned my share of verse, however. Simple haiku, predictable four stanza rhymes, and a few odes in free form. Never a rap. Certainly nothing Eminem or Snoop Dogg would lay claim to.
Yet, I did. And the ease surprised me. It was easy because I was inspired. I had just spent five days working with a room of incredibly talented and passionate educators, following the lead of several gifted and compassionate artists. I was infected, and my soul’s disease was poetry.
The whole moment got me thinking. You cannot make an appointment with creativity. If someone were to have said to me, “At the end of the week, Ellen, you need to write and perform a rap about what you learned”, I would have froze up. I would have spent the entire week perseverating over this task. By the time the day arrived, I’d have nothing but a bowl of writer’s block.
If you are experiencing some slag in your writing brilliance, consider spending time with those who inspire you. This could be a friend. It could also be time locating and viewing some great Ted Talks or other free online materials that seek to free your inner creative birds.
Here are some of my favorites:
Elizabeth Gilbert tells us “writing is my home”.
Kirby Ferguson says, “everything is a remix”.
Volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos shares why everything matters.
*Image courtesy ponsulak/freedigitalphotos.net