creative process: Saddling the Wild Stallion

11 May

Does your mind ever race with all the possibilities, all the “to-dos”?  Do you ever find while working on a project that your mind is jumping from one creative problem to the next, and on top of this new ideas for expanding and elaborating the project are flashing madly in your mind?

Our Composer of Music for Art experiences this rather unfocused condition at various times during production.  The racing mind is not necessarily a bad thing – because out of this emotional state emerges important inspiration, and also a level of spontaneous action which can yield unexpected, wonderful new aspects to the creative work.  The racing voice inside is providing a “play-by-play” as we work.  “What are you trying to convey?” our concerned Muse challenges.  “Is that really good enough? she prods.  “How about adding another counterpoint?”  “How about a drum groove?”  “More effects, more color!”  and on and on She goes.  The optimal response to the Muse is a measured one.  “Okay,” we say, we will take one of Your good ideas and incorporate it this morning.  We will focus on it carefully and see how You feel about it.  But let’s put on hold some of Your other concerns and flashes.

The unmeasured response, on the other hand, is what gets us in trouble.  Before we know it, we are jumping from idea to idea, adding too much too quickly.  We recognize the value in all of the Muse’s ideas – but it is not so easy to recognize which of those ideas is going to really work in the project at hand.  So our Composer of Art says to her beloved Muse – I acknowledge the brilliance of all of your suggestions, the fantastic potential, and I am really excited about all of this – but let’s just try one thing this morning – let’s apply that idea carefully and well, and see where we land.  Sometimes both Muse and artist are surprised because where they land is someplace fantastic that neither anticipated – someplace that is not quite the expected target – but in fact something better.

This good luck – to land in a better place as a result of responding to ONE prompt of our Muse, occurs when we take all of that “racing mind”, all of the energy associated with enthusiastic feeling for all of these great ideas occurring to us, and channel that energy narrowly on one idea, one process, one addition.

This compression of energy creates an enormous creative potential that is only limited by our technical level to express concretely – in our writing, our composing, our painting.  In fact, tapping in fully to this powerful, compressed energy, provides an equally powerful impulse to do the new learning which is necessary to express that energy in the actual creation.  Our Composer of Art for Music is passionately focused on blending sounds – this requires some additional understanding of technical considerations such as balancing frequencies, utilizing unfamiliar effects, and so forth.  The learning goes quickly because it is fully motivated by necessity.

Don’t be afraid of  losing that creative edge as you take time for the learning – you are shaping that creative energy – you are still fully engaged with it.

And when you return from your learning to the application in your project, you will discover you have saddled the “wild horse” of your creative inspiration and can ride that stallion deeply into your work.

Spark on!


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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in creative process


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