Creativity Unleashed (II): Doing The Work
Welcome to the second part of Creativity Unleashed!
Last week we looked at The Blank Page, and now we explore the next topic: Doing The Work. Let’s continue:
Doing The Work
This is the time when the artist picks up his instruments and is fully engaged in the creative process. This is the time of Creation, moment by moment.
It is the artist’s job to make sure that he incorporates time for Creation in his schedule, just as a lawyer makes time for a client’s contract revision, or a doctor makes time for his patients.
It’s up to the artist to arrange his Life in such a way that he has uninterrupted time to do the work. It may be difficult as often times she needs to work jobs to pay the bills, and take care of her family too. If the artist is blessed enough to pay her bills from her artwork, there is still the business side of making Art to take care of. Yet making uninterrupted time a priority in her schedule is mandatory to be able to do the work. To birth the Creation into the world.
Invite The Muse
There is a reason why Greek mythology portrays the Muses as the source of inspiration for artists and inventors. Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania—the 9 Muses—were thought to have the power to inspire Creators to bring their Creations to the world.
To quote Steven Pressfield yet again, Artists have invoked the Muse since time immemorial. There is great wisdom to this. There is magic to effacing our human arrogance and humbly entreating help from a source we cannot see, hear, touch or smell.
Thus, if one ever feels stuck or anguished when doing the work, my recommendation is to take a break, clean up and then invite one or more of the Muses (depending on the work to be done).
While we aren’t able to prove this scientifically—or at least not to my knowledge yet, it’s quite possible that the Muses have handed me the idea of Creativity Unleashed before I even started doing the work. Who knows?
Focus on Progress
With regard to doing the work, what I’ve found helpful is focusing on progress. There is always room for improving your craft, especially if you are looking for perfection. As Dali says, Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.
Progress and perseverance, on the other hand, are more helpful for our sometimes fragile egos. As long as we do better today than we did yesterday, we keep showing up in front of The Blank Page, we keep going, and we do our work with love for our craft and ourselves, then we are already successful. At least, this is the kind of definition of success I adopt for myself.
This being said, I hope you’ve enjoyed the insights discussed in this second part of Creativity Unleashed! I’m looking forward to hearing from you about your take on doing the work. I invite you to let me know in the comments below. I’m so curious to hear how it works for you!