For the artist, the creative spring is a constant surge of crystalline water, bubbling from the mind and soul and flowing down and through an unbroken landscape, unhindered, unimpeded, free to find its own path, to chart its own way.
Yeah, right. In a perfect world, maybe, but as you know all too well, ours is a far cry from a perfect world.
So how does the author, the artist, the creator, keep that spring of creativity flowing in a world of distractions and interactions?
First, we have to acknowledge that it is not a perfect world, that it is the rare author who gets to hide himself away in a seaside bungalow for three months and focus on nothing else but his craft.
Interruptions exist. Now, by interruptions I don’t necessarily mean to convey that they’re always negative. We have a new baby in the house. Her arrival has interrupted the flow of my writing a new book, but it is in no way negative. It’s a part of life. Family interrupts a writing schedule, but they are never to be considered negative. Work breaks my creative flow every morning, dams that spring at 6:45 a.m. But that’s not . . . well, okay, sometimes that is negative.
The fact is, for the creative type the spring does constantly flow, it just doesn’t always have an outlet readily available. I’m constantly in creative mode, mulling over story lines, plot options, character traits, descriptions. But whether I can put those ideas to paper or not depends on what’s occurring in the world around me.
Perspective helps here. I understand that I am not solely a writer. In fact, I’m not primarily a writer. My roles as husband, daddy, friend, employee must come first. I must direct that spring of creativity around and through the landscape of my life. It must adapt and change as my life changes. And sometimes, as is the case now with our new arrival, I must dam it for a season, slow it to a trickle or let it pool altogether.
Sure, it would be nice to live in a perfect world and have a seaside bungalow as an escape, a place to allow my creativity to fully express itself. But the joy of writing, of creating real characters living in a real world, is not found in seclusion, it’s found in mucking through this life with everyone else, dealing with the interruptions and obstacles and pitfalls and mountaintops.
So how do you deal with interruptions? In writing? In life?