At first, it’s chaos. Nothing seems to fit, not one denominator theme gluing an intro, body and a summary. The puente.
Usually it’s just a title where I try to sound like a smart ass, a riddle cover photo and a couple of quotes or ideas I’ve read somewhere else. I collect the scratches of my thoughts, many not making any sense or/and contracting themselves. I keep collecting them and pasting them to my 100+ article drafts with hope, that I will come back to polish it when I manage to focus.
I write best on a plane- or in weird remote places – on a boat, in the shelter up in the mountains – as there are no distractions, but that’s not a requirement anymore. I trained myself to persist creating until I ‘feel it’. Setting deadlines like publishing one #hankkaLessons post every Friday helps too.
Recently I read about the Julian Shapiro’s concept that creativity flows like water through a pipe – the Creativity faucet – as he calls it. He writes:
Visualize your creativity as a backed-up pipe of water. The first mile of piping is packed with wastewater. This wastewater must be emptied before the clear water arrives.
If you look at your creative work from this angle, the wastewater refers to poor quality work, which is an inevitable part of the process to getting the good work. Ira Glass suggests that if you want your work to be original, the best possible thing you can do is to do a huge volume of it. Allow for a trial and error, because something remarkable to may eventually emerge out of it.
I find that my creativity needs a warm up. And I’m not the only one. Turns out we need on average 10-20 minutes of a warm up to get into a creative flow. And we can continue being in it only for up to 1.5 hours before our brain gets tired and seeks procrastination.
So best you can do is to start easy; gathering thoughts of other people, writing short sentences or loosely defined thoughts, then mixing and matching them until something starts making sense. I notice that even if I go without writing for a day or two, it is harder for me to get back into the creative state – so the wastewater has already accumulated. So don’t wait for the eureka moment, because once you stop putting your thoughts down in writing, “the clog” naturally accumulates. Do a small work every day to unblock it, and keep the creativity “clear water” flowing.
I often fell into this trap of assuming that everything that I know is too obvious or simple to share and for others to read. In the past, I refrained from publishing it instead of just seeing where it takes me.
But now I see that it’s not the case. Each of us has unique set of experiences and believes that overlap only in a small part and that my take on something can enrich or challenge other people’s view.
“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these. You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every single day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colors fill your mind until there is nothing left to do but explode. There are no wrong answers. Inspiration is everything. Sit back, relax, and take it all in. Now, go out and create something.”Jac Vanek
That there are many good reasons to write. For me it helps concretise my thoughts, to draw from seemingly unrelated categories of experiences and link them in unique ways for fresh perspectives.
After all, I already have a proof that incredible things can come out of sharing your thoughts publicly. I met incredible friends and deepened relationships with my clients and partners because I let them into my more personal worldview. I even met my boyfriend of now 7.5 years, because he came across my blog and decided to send me an email.
I will keep writing to allow help create my luck and I invite you to do the same.