We are wrestling with several dynamic forces, internal and external, in our daily session of creative work. In addition to all the attention we must pay to the conception and details of our project, we must also be good monitors of internal and external conditions which are continuously impacting, for better or worse, our creative efforts.
Internal Forces: Each day you engage a unique blend of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energies in the hope of pushing forward positively with your project. By definition, your creative process is birthing something new. Your emotional response to this bit of new creation, must also then be something not altogether familiar to you. Your internal landscape of energies is transforming in response to your current process. Something in your work may be stimulating the imagination further, or the power of what you are bringing into the world may be somewhat overwhelming and draining your emotional resources for more work.
Sometimes when our Lady, our well-grounded and wise Composer of Music for Art, is experiencing this latter phenomena of powerful results unexpectedly draining her creative resources, she permits herself to take a break, either for the rest of the day, or perhaps just for a few minutes. Usually Deuce, her sensitive Spaniel muse, becomes aware of a certain tension in our Girl’s aura, and he comes up to ask for a little walk, or a belly rub, or to be fed, or otherwise entertained.
Knowing when to break off, either because work is going well but draining you, or because things are going poorly, is a great skill to hone. You will stay within spitting range of that path leading to a good finish. You will save time and energy.
Sometimes we are uniquely energized by discoveries, successes, unexpectedly effective results. These are special moments when we should cast routine to the winds, call in sick to our day job, forget about food and carnal pleasure, and work for as long as we possibly can.
As partners with the Creator in his ongoing renewal of the world, it is helpful to acknowledge that our creative priorities on any given day may not be fully aligned with our Partner. If, for example, a Jewish artist, albeit not particularly religious, is trying to push forward in his work on a Holy Day, he may feel some resistance. It may be helpful for our Jewish friend to catch his breath that day, step a few steps back, acknowledge his Creator, thank his Creator for the special relationship of an artist with the Artist.
External forces promoting or discouraging that day’s work need not be so dramatic. A leaky faucet, a scratching dog, a lonely mate may be crying out to you and you want to be responsive. Your work, after all, has a context. That context is the physical world. Sometimes the artist’s job is to repair what is already created, and let what is birthing “simmer” for a spell.
There can great joy in your process of self-monitoring. It is of itself a highly creative activity, in which you continuously re-align yourself to the evolving internal and external conditions of the day, choosing to focus more on chiseling out new work or perhaps, instead, on refining, finishing, restoring existing work.
Enjoy great creative results today, in whatever aspect of your artistic life that calls you to service!