sweat it

30 no one flies all the time 1

When it comes to creativity, popular culture can offer a picture of gifted people being inspired and followed by a swoosh of activity to produce what they have in mind.  Thinking it doesn’t quite look this for us, we don’t follow the ideas we have and the energies we feel.

We see the product but not the process of blood, sweat, and tears.

When we give ourselves to the graft of process something very beautiful can emerge.

Italo Carvalo tells the story of Fedora, a city in which there is a museum wherein each of it’s rooms there is a glass sphere containing someone’s dream of what the city might have become – ‘the ideal city, but while he constructed his miniature model, Fedora was no longer the same as before.’

What if this were a picture of our lives, a museum of rooms containing missed opportunities for living out the things we have dreamed about?

What if, instead of creating perfect little models of what would have to be to begin, we go ahead and create the real thing in some little and imperfect and incomplete way?

Whoever it is who inspires you, behind the products of their creativity will be found sweat, desperation, blank expressions, frantic activity, all contributing to the process which eventually ends in some scrubbed, highly coloured and glossy, boxed something or other.

Every morning, I get up early, hide myself away to read and reflect and journal: paper and fountain pen, trying not to come to conclusions, trying to let whatever may come emerge from the spaces between many books and scripts and thoughts.  Then, before the urgent things of the day, I force myself to write some extract and abstract into a “new post” for my blog.  I press the save button and walk away to begin thinking about some cartoon to accompany it, gt on with other work – emails, “to-do” lists, and then, later in the day, a third attempt to write something, include the cartoon, and press “publish” (which is just a grand word WordPress uses to make me feel better).

I have no delusions about what I am doing, it’s simply my challenge not to not do anything.  It took me to 54 years of age before realising I need to sweat it to push forward something I love, and each day to repeat.

A year ago, I scribbled out the following thought in my “Backlog” (ideas I might come back to).  I’m indebted to Hugh Macleod for unknowingly pushing me to blog and cartoon about the stuff I love.

30 backlog

Here are some helpful reads from my ra-ra! cheerleaders (in addition to those you’ll find hyperlinked in my posts – gratefulness flowing to all of them):
Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod
Poke the Box by Seth Godin
Accidental Genius by Mark Levy
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Steal Like an Artist by AustinKleon


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