creative process: Slow things down to speed things up

12 Sep

one of the great things about growing older is you have no choice but to slow things down a bit.  As a young girl, our Composer of Music for Art had an oboe teacher who would work very hard to get her to slow things down.  that’s hard for our wired up adolescent.  Her teacher would tell stories about great oboe players who would never practice the solos fast until right before the performance.  they would just practice slowly all the time, training the muscles, connecting with muscle memory.  so when it was finally time to perform, the body simply knew what to do, where to go.  there was no thinking about it at that point.

our creative work benefits from this kind of radical “slowing things down” treatment.  but there is a bit of the wired up adolescent in us always, that is excited by a new idea and wants to see it all actualized right away.  but as we get older, if not yet in years then in experience, we appreciate that the new concept usually needs a great deal of coaxing and encouragement to arrive in concrete form.  so ironically, the fastest way to realize your idea is to break it down into basic building blocks and thoughtfully start constructing with a few blocks at a time.

this technical, analytical process of identifying building blocks benefits from a somewhat toned down emotional level, an emotional state perhaps not immediately identified with the stereotypical “passion” of creative work.  But in fact, we need to cultivate this objective spirit, and the easier we can transition into this analytical mode, the faster we will bring concept into reality.

there is a unique reward from this aspect of our creative work.  of course our spirit flies when we see finished work, or when we experience the spark of a new idea.  but the reward of our objective, analytical work is a sense of grounding, of solidity on our earth.  it is a reward of deep connection with a vital aspect of our selves, our capacity for detailed thought.  within the larger cycle of your creative projects, you will come to enjoy shorter cycles of spiritual flight and intellectual grounding as you cultivate each component of your new work.

and paradoxically, as you refine your ability to slow things down, you will find you produce more quickly.

spark on.


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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in creative process


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