Thursday, 11 April 2013

Creative Conduct...

In attempting the creative I acknowledge the spiritual.

I desire the company of good will and kindness to my fellow Creatives.  I desire a feeling of kindness towards them no matter where they may be in their journey.

In acknowledging the principles of effort and experience, I reject the impulse towards unkind and unhelpful contentiousness.  It will threaten my work.

I am able, in the silence of my heart, to observe the current state of things and gain wisdom and ability from this.

I reject the temptation to criticise for the sake of superiority.  The spirit of superiority is counter to the spirit of creativity.

I accept others and benefit from their efforts.  I applaud the efforts of others and assume integrity and childlike desire on the part of those engaged: I assume their desire to be like mine--to produce a lasting legacy of meaningful and worthwhile Art.

My desire is to produce beauty and emotionally strengthening material, to find and share my  viewpoint; my greater challenge is to reject the temptation to envy and to jealousy, and to other unhelpful distractions--all of these choke my creativity and diminish my Art.

I pray for the strength to give what I can give, and avoid the things that scar me.

I believe that the blessing of confidence is a great asset and worthy of pursuit.

I will take each day as my moment to think, create, and otherwise contribute.  Each day is an opportunity, each hour a chance to invigorate.

I will seek to contemplate, to concentrate, and to consecrate my compassion to the edifying and encouraging of all those around me.

I will let go of the things that discourage me, I will move on from the days that I don't quite make the aspirations outline above.

I am able to become the kind of man I hope to be, and to make the contribution I hope to make.   

Monday, 1 April 2013

Creativity equals vulnerability and energy...

After commiting to share musings on the creative process, I decided it might really help if I took a bit of time to organise myself first, or at least brainstorm a few things I felt able to get my teeth into.  I came up with a fairly eclectic list that ranges from discussing elements of narrative craft, such as plot and character, to contemplations on the Golden Mean, to confidence, synchronicity, and purpose in the face of death... Not sure at this stage how this grand plan will pan out.  But each of these ideas seemed important.  So I'll do my best to offer my two pennies on them.

Also, I don't really want this to become a Writers Only column; I really believe that principles of creativity are transferable.  And, again, this isn't limiting us to 'conventional' artistry: being human is to be creative. Every time we're kind to someone, we build something a little more beautiful.

Hopefully, you'll be able to substitute 'writing' for anything that happens to be more within your circle of interesting.

I want to begin with a pretty basic question:

What is writing?

This makes me think of an early line in one of my favourite films, Dead Poets Society, in which a stuffy handbook reduces poetry to potential passionless exercises in analysis.

Don't get me wrong.  There's a place for such approaches, and without a healthy interest in analysis so much understanding can be missed.  But writing, like living, demands our passion--our personal commitment--the courage to own an opinion, an energised view.

Creativity can be analysed and debated, but to really to enrich others, I have to live with my heart wide open.  Which of course is fraught with emotional danger.  But that's the deal if our creations are to really live.

And the price of life is vulnerability.  As Robert Frost is attributed with saying: 'No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.'

Writing--like any act of creation--means understanding that we are engaged in capturing and sharing energy. Our energy.  And that we are doing so for the sake of others.  Little wonder it both hurts and exhilarates...