Somewhat counter-intuitive to the notion that we must seek out new inspiration each day to get the creative juices flowing, in fact a great deal of creative thought flows out of our regular routines. By cultivating healthy daily routines we help liberate the creative mind for it’s original work.
Lolita, our Composer of Music for Art, walks the alleys of her village each morning with the Spaniel – her Canine muse Deuce. She does not seek a new route each day. She provides Deuce his morning chance at sniffs, at taking care of business, at chasing a squirrel or two. And as she pays attention to Deuce’s morning needs, she distills in her mind what is essential for her in the creative process that day, she clarifies for herself where her project is holding in the creative cycle.
Lolita is still working a day job. So she must balance free time especially wisely between creating works and marketing (art marketing) that work. She must break off most mornings from her project to share online, to network. Holding to this discipline generally keeps her well away from crossing the line of “diminishing returns” with respect to the creative session. And the socializing, the sharing is nurturing her need to feel connected, part of a larger community of artists and art lovers.
Lolita assesses periodically the quality of her routines in terms of facilitating her best creative thinking. What is the distraction level during work time, she asks? Is the creative environment conducive to the work?
The notion of establishing routines as a vehicle for growth extends to other areas of our life. Think about your weekly religious service, for example, if you are inclined to a weekly service. You meet and greet the same community each week, find that same bench to plop down on, sing the same songs, recite the same prayers. How in the world could anyone imagine that this kind of routine approach to religious worship would facilitate some inspiration, some motivation to improve oneself, come closer to the Creator? But in fact the potential for growth is in that very routine – it is about getting it a little more “right” each week. Greeting with a little more sincerity, expressing a little more interest in the other guy’s problems at social time, focusing a little more on the words of songs and prayers. That routine can be a lifetime of growth!
Same with our studio environment. Freeing our minds to conceive the new is about refining the old and familiar so that it becomes a well-tested, reliable vehicle for our creative ride. Think about the body itself – when it is functioning optimally, we feel very little. It is our silent partner – snapping to attention effortlessly at our every command. Same with our work – our tools should be sharp, our computers fast and uncluttered, all our materials available and in good condition – so we can commence our creative journey effortlessly, fully focused on our thoughts and process. Properly grounded in the solid foundation of a nurturing routine, we can extend ourselves further and deeper into our creative process.
It is often in the thick of well-oiled daily routines that something profoundly new emerges.