Real creativity (as we saw in the first post in this three part series on creativity) comes from the essence of mind not from our thoughts and emotions. If we can open our self to the natural creativity of the essence of mind, then we’ll get creativity of the greatest possible depth and find ideas that truly surprise us. In my last post I gave you a way to find the space from where creativity comes. Let’s assume that you can get into that space, now the question is, how do we get our creativity flowing?
Intention is the key to set your creativity flowing.
If once in the creative space your creativity doesn’t start flowing by itself, to set it flowing you need to hold in the back of your mind the intention to find something. This is not a thought, just a subtle awareness that you’re looking for ideas. It’s a very open, non demanding thing. You can’t care whether anything comes up or not, and you have to trust that there is a wealth of possibilities there and that they will reveal themselves when the time is right. If nothing comes up this time, don’t despair – take a walk and forget about it. If you try too hard your creativity will freeze up. You have to rest your mind in that open state for new things to enter.
Your intention to find an idea is like a hook that will eventually start your creativity flowing. You throw it out there and wait.
Expressing what you find.
Once the ideas are flowing, you have two choices, write scenes or make notes and write later. Which one you do depends on the sort of ideas, how they appear, the time of day and other such things. Ideas for plot, structure, or to deepen a character I jot down in note form, but I find scenes, or parts of scenes, are best written as they come, because they are most vibrant when they first appear. An image (ideas always come to me like scenes in a movie) remembered later is never as real as it is the first time and it’s harder to get the feeling of being there as it’s happening. If you can go back to that space easily, you can return and write it later, but for me it’s never as fresh, and harder to write with the feeling of the original. That’s why when I’m doing first drafts I might be writing at 3 am, or the dinner has to wait. It’s the old, sorry guys, I’m on a roll here – luckily my family are creative too and know how important it is not to cut the flow.
Going back to the experience of the place is the key to keeping creativity flowing.
Once I’ve found a world, my intention to go back there takes me there whenever I work on the manuscript. For the Diamond peak series, I go to the mountain, and as soon as I’m there, my mind is in the creative state and I have the feeling of the place. I can see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, and almost, (but not quite), touch it. It’s as if it really exists. (It does. In my mind.) I had the sense with this series, that the place, characters and story were already there and all I had to do was find it, play it through, see it clearly and write it down.
For me, experiencing the story was easy. Writing it down with all the vibrancy of the original was my greatest challenge. Creativity is no problem. Technique I had to work on. Still am.
How do you set and keep your creativity going? In what form do your ideas appear? Do you write scenes when they first appear, or take notes and write them later?