Creativity is Patient
I don’t have a whole lot to share this week. I mostly just want to keep everyone updated on the few things that I have published recently.
I had a pretty good week when it comes to creative output. Since my last newsletter, I have published four blog posts and a new digital drawing onto my website. I’m pretty happy with those numbers but I’m also pretty happy with the quality of those pieces themselves (go read them, I’m proud of them).
But still, as this week drew to an end, I felt like I had nothing to share in this newsletter. It felt like I was struggling as a creative and shouldn’t try to write something before I had it all figured out.
But that’s just the process.
Creativity often moves in waves - little spurts of passion and brilliance that result in great things, but then it’s gone.
We can try to systemize it: all development, no matter what it is, can benefit from a little bit of discipline. But if you expect consistent results, you’re going to wind up frustrated.
I’m reminded of a blog post I wrote last February about “not trying” when it comes to creativity, but full disclosure, I still haven’t totally figured out the answer as to how to respond to this inconsistency.
At the end of the day, what I’ve realized through all my struggles is that creativity is patient.
Not only do you as a creator have to wait out the different tides, waves, and seasons of creative fulfillment, but creativity also has to wait for the creator. In order to move on to our next peak, we have to take action in some kind of way. We have to create consistently throughout the ups and the downs in order to move the needle forward.
Stranger than Fiction
I had a conversation with my good friend Paul Lecrone this week in which we talked about the importance and the benefit of reading classic literature/fiction.
Fiction has always been a hard pill for me to swallow. I’ve always enjoyed literature and fiction and have benefited quite a bit from reading it, but have consistently struggled to put that benefit into words.
When we read a book, instinctively we want to know what we’re going to get out of it. Non-fiction has grown in popularity over time because it can do exactly that. It provides information on exactly how you can potentially level yourself up and packages it all up in a condensed book with a brightly colored bow to grab your attention.
Fiction books (more often than not) don’t have one concise lesson that they’re trying to teach you. Instead, fiction books tell a story and stories are all about what it’s like to be a human. Stories have emotions, stories are relatable, and stories are insightful.
They won’t lay out their lessons for you in black and white format. Instead, they’ll make you ask yourself questions. Questions that you can relate to you own life and worldview. Questions that will make you challenge your own perspective and seek out the point of view of others.
I used to think that a fiction author’s job was to take their own perspective and write it into a story for other people to relate to and understand and that the best fiction authors were just really good at this. But my friend Paul told me something that really stuck with me.
The best fictional authors have spent years of their lives devoted to understanding human nature. They’ve taken their own perspective and they’ve put it through a cut throat process of reflection and questioning. They’ve sought out the perspectives of others around them and compared/contrasted it to their own.
Their stories aren’t just of their own perspective, but of the perspective that they’ve found through their studies. A good book should open up your eyes to a world outside of your own and that world should also have some depth and insight.
I recently just finished reading “The Plague” by Albert Camus and I think everyone in the world should read that book right now. Not because of its eerie similarities to the world we’re living in today, but because the questions it encourages the reader to ask themselves about their mentality concerning love, faith, and priorities in the time of a major crises.
This Week on Benhasthoughts.org
A quick reflection piece on writing and how hard but extremely beneficial it is.
Thoughts on what it takes to be truly creative and how pursuit of originality can stem from exploration of conformity.
We run away from negative emotions, but most of the time they’re pointing us in a direction towards growth. We just have to listen.
Discipline isn’t everything but neither is freedom. Artists constantly have to walk a tightrope between a spectrum of both.
You’re going to run into a lot of road blocks when creating. Figure out what you need to get past them, and do those things. That’s all it takes.
I hope you all have a wonderful week.