Ever since I met Kate Chadbourne we’ve been talking about the creative process & recently on the phone she said three things that I couldn’t wait to share with all of you.
We’re all constantly saying many of the same things repeatedly but there are times when someone can turn the idea just a hair, to give you a glimpse of yet another facet of the idea you’ve known all along, or a new metaphor & all becomes clearer & even more possible, even more tangible & doable & it sparks my desire to jump in & create from this new perspective.
Reach up & grab something from that overhead compartment above you
I have often felt ideas come to me, as gifts, that they may not even be my ideas, but ideas coming from a cool place, that giant creative pool of infinite possibilities & I heard it first. I’ve never thought of it as an overhead compartment that I could simply reach into & pull out a great idea. That’s cool & fun & closer than this giant sky, VAST overwhelming place that we may sometimes think the ideas come from.
Get words on the page
Many of my students fear writing down anything until they think the idea is good enough. Pat Pattison calls it free association, Kate calls it blathering & getting words on the page, I’ve called it blurbs, Natalie Goldberg calls it, keeping your pen moving, they’re all great. The idea is to participate & get words on the page that you can play with, rearrange & jump into new ideas from. I’ve said it a bunch, but if you play with words you will find lyrics, stories, poems, prose, whatever you’re desiring to write with words. Playing with them is the key, not worrying about rules, or formulas or another book to buy on how or another class to take. Go to the source themselves, the words, the feelings, the hot topics the desires in your heart. Scribble them down, move them around, cut & paste them, put them in different orders within the sentence, go after the spark that happens next & what you want to say appears. In the book Poem Crazy, Susan G. Wooldridge says, “Play with words as if they are blocks, meaning will take care of itself.” I love the freedom of that. And, I am amazed to always find that it is absolutely true for me.
Be engaged, instead of waiting
I like the prize, I like winning. I like seeing & hearing a finished song or CD physically in my hands, the tangible representation of many hours of detailed work & thousands of decisions completed. I was recently waiting for the artwork for my CD, Playing With the Pieces. Even though I designed it & took most of the photos I needed help with following the manufactures templates & that’s we’re I’m at. Waiting for my friend to tidy up my ideas so they make sense to the printing people. I had hoped to get that CD in my hot little hands & feel the completed satisfaction of that batch of songs by my birthday February 1st & then merrily jump into my next CD, Blast of Love, finish arranging & tracking & begin mixing. I’ve been waiting since last May ’09 when we started the visuals. So what’s a frustrated Beatle to do? Get cracking on something else anyway! So I’ve been happily working on the new CD & writing new songs & recording them as well. I get so caught up in my own plans that it takes me a little while to remember to be flexible when I’m working with other people. Our deadlines are our own thankfully & there are many things for me to be creatively engaged with. But truthfully as with all advancement, necessity is the mother of invention. That is one of the reasons, I’ve learned how to play drums, trust my own bass lines, get into triggering all kinds of instruments with a midi guitar, start learning piano & now, learn some basic graphic design; BECAUSE I HATE SITTING AROUND WAITING. I love collaborating with my creative friends, but I can’t wait for them forever. So you decide your comfort zone & instead of complaining, do something.
I wish for you all, joy, flow & great fulfillment with your creating. Don’t wait, jump in now & have some fun.