There could be a power cut. I might have neglected to pay my bill and been disconnected. I don’t seem to be switched on, or having any lightbulb moments. It seems I am having a barren spell. Perhaps I need to seek a different spell. Crave creativity under nature’s light… seek and spell.
Is there a need for a fallow field in our creative lives?
prepare by doing nothing
Crop rotation left one field fallow. What area do we need to leave fallow? What needs to be restored, renewed and refreshed?
Fallow is an organic, natural way to get the right balance back. We don’t need to keep pumping fertiliser into the soil, or chemical feed to our roots. Just let the one aspect of our lives rest, be still and lie fallow.
And don’t worry if any weeds appear, they’ll be gone when you plough and sow the new seed after your fallow time.
‘fallow’ will be explored as a musical tone poem. This is part of my series of tone poems ‘music to journal by’ on Patreon. You can support the creation of the music and receive a download of ‘fallow’ to keep for just $1 per month. Plus, there are some very interesting plans developing there…
Time is priceless
Our time is precious. This is something that keeps coming back to me at the moment. I don’t think it is just because another year is almost halfway through. It is a realisation that of all the resources we have, time is the only one that can’t be replaced. My time is precious, so what do I do with it?
Time is our most precious resource. Each moment that passes can’t be reclaimed – I need to stop writing short science fiction on time dilation. Everything else that we have in our creative toolbox can be bought and replaced. Time is a little like inspiration. It can be found. We can look for inspiration and use it to reach our creative potential. However, we can re-use inspiration. We can return and drink from its well again and again. Unfortunately time, once found is either used or wasted. We can’t leave it on the side to be used at a later date.
Are you good at using your time? Do you let it pass by like… well, time? Do you see time as an essential resource to be cherished when found and used wisely?
Three tips to handle time as a precious resource:
Look for time where you least expect.
There are moments in our life when we have ‘dead’ time. Time when we are not doing anything, but could be. Travelling to and from places is an ideal dead time. Use it to your advantage. Listen or watch creative podcasts or videos. Read books to learn new creative techniques. Doodle, scribble and make notes for use later. Waiting in queues, waiting for others and waiting for the food to cook are all moments when we could be creative, or supporting our creative dreams.
This is impossible according to the laws of physics and actually the basis for this whole post, but bear with me. We can make creative time for ourselves. Setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier will give you 15 minutes you didn’t have. Turning off the TV for a while, or cutting out that program you don’t really enjoy but it’s there. If you work better late at night, extend your day. You can reallocate time in your day, enabling you to be creative, which basically is making time.
Use time when you have it.
The biggest hurdle for me, and I hope some of you, is to actually use the time we have. Once we have found it or made it, we have to use it – we may have a lot of time too, we may be time rich, but if we don’t use it, it will be gone. Set deadlines for your creative work and projects. Offer yourself rewards for finishing a step in the process. Tell others what you are going to do and be accountable to them. Give yourself a forfeit if you don’t use the time, or complete a step. Punitive rewards can be very motivating, the more punitive the more effective… apparently (I am a little scared to try this).
The next time you find yourself with some time, don’t waste it. You’ll never get that time back again. It is the only resource that you can’t replace. Find it, take it and use it, to reach your creative potential. And do let me know if you have any good ideas to help others and myself use the time we have to the full extent.
Giving creativity a helping hand, with a kiss
- Stuck for that creative idea to push the project forward?
- Has the muse flown the nest and taken your imagination with it?
- Are you struggling to find the idea to hang your assignment on?
Well, have a kiss.
KISS, or Keep It Simple Stupid is a maxim creative people should keep close. Creative people often exist in one of two spaces. The scenario I outlined above, or letting ideas run away ending up with something so complicated you need a study guide to explain it – take note Chaucer! In both examples, it can be helpful to rely on a KISS.
Simplicity may be the solution you, or your client is looking for. Perhaps the idea you want to convey needs to be blatantly obvious. Clever ideas and campaigns are fine but are useless if only those in the know understand them.
One KISS approach I have found useful is to look for something else that does what I am trying to convey. Then adapt it to the media I am useing or current creative project. Take for example web design. You need to design a news page. One way that news has been delivered in the past is a newspaper. Therefore why not use the newspaper as your starting point? What about designing a links page? One way people recognise linking is through train maps, this could be your creative starting point? These are very simple ideas, in fact, they may feel too simple. But that is the point.
The point is to start simply and at square one. The muse may be gone but you can start your imagination by doing a little thinking and making some very basic connections. You never know where that KISS might lead.
Fancy a KISS?
The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
Keep your mind free of what others want you to do, creativity comes from within. By all means be inspired but don’t be dictated to.