Recipe for Creating More

This is not meant to be definitive. The hope is to present some ideas. There is some background to draw upon.

  1. As much as possible, put your internal critic in the dungeon, a nice one if you like. You can liberate the rascal when you begin to edit, and absence makes the findings sharper.
  2. If you are stuck, do something else; a different style, media, genre, voice.
  3. Do Morning Pages as instructed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way.
  4. Use a different method; notebooks and a variety of pens, computer, tablet, phone; acrylics, oils, watercolors, pencil, colored pencil, pen & ink, canvas, paper, wood, sculpture; color, monochrome, macro, zoom, panorama, varied lenses, day, night, indoor, outdoor.
  5. Take a break and read something inspiring, or if you are more audio-visual, watch some how-to’s on YouTube or find some podcasts. Use music when you can, it can ease tension and promote imagination.
  6. Work in a different location: Go to a cafe or restaurant, a picnic table in a park, a bench or table in a high traffic shopping center, a library, a ball game, a parade.
  7. Give yourself permission to be an amateur. Everything does not have to be perfect. Even if something you do does not get glowing praise, it was an experiment in which you gain knowledge. There is no such thing as perfection. What you do at the moment is perfect in that it is an expression of yourself and was done courageously by you. Work, and in time you shall gain mastery.

This is brought to you by my son, Alex, saying he was having a hard time working on his novel. I thought it might be a topic worth my exploring since I consider myself a creativity expert.

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Simple is OKAY

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Time is valuable because it goes in one direction, and we cannot buy it or get a moment back once it has passed. How we spend it is immensely consequential. It is well to use it for our betterment. Sometimes creation is best because it grounds us at the moment, and the accomplishment can elevate our mood. Endorphins are way cool. There is a calming effect with creativity if we can eject the internal critic.

The critic can be a right pain. When we try to write, it can tell us how wrong we are. When we attempt art, the critic is likely to say, “Oh, that is so childish, it cannot be shared.” With poetry, there is a comparison to any number of celebrated poets, and of course, the poem is not worth the words used. A book, “You think you can write a book, you cannot even sort socks.” A song, “Nah, go listen to XYZ, you will never be that good.”

The best advice is to totally ignore the critic unless we are in “editing mode.” Ideally, the first draft is complete before any edits. Most critics are stubborn brats, even if we throw them to the curb, they come back, like significant others we toss out who keep showing up in places we wish they would not be.

My use of we is because I prefer not to use first-person when I can do without it. It is not a tic because of circumstances. Sometimes I am very self-conscious, let’s amend that to always. Life’s a beach.

Anyway, when we create, we are aiming for enlightenment and results, not to please the nasty critic. The critic is a hater, internalized. Most of us would be well to send ours to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, bury the cur there, and leave forever. Good luck with that!

When we write a lot, art or photography can still engage us in the making but allow us some lightness of being, without the hard struggle of language. It is like the valve atop a pressure cooker. We can ease off the accelerator and coast downhill with art, writing can feel like a curvy mountain road’s ascent. Watch out for falling boulders. For some of us, all creativity is a minefield, but when we make it across, we feel ultimately alive.

A friend wants more exposure. This person is extremely talented. The recommendation of a website was made. Maybe it will happen. Advised the name for a site is a priority. The web address should be memorable and fast to type, short because most will avoid extended ones.

Haphazard Creative came to be because there was a desire to highlight creativity as it is an integral part of any process. A mentor recommended a bunch of names that were in a preexisting list. When Haphazard came up, that was deemed right, because one can find almost anything here. This was a new chapter of online life. Chronicles existed before and has the previous Creativity Project on it.

Ah, Simple is OKAY. Everything does not have to be perfect. Perfection is a lie. We do not need perfection, we need to be our best. There are times when just creating whatever is enough because one work can lead to another. Life is hard enough without pressuring ourselves to compete with some ideal. When we do our best, it is all we have at the moment, and we are always precious. Love is all around us, inside us, in anything we do, and anywhere we are. We are not alone; we are cherished.

This meanders, but what we need to remember is the purpose is love. It is simple. Life is given for passion, and creativity expresses love in so many beautiful ways.

Banish the critic, create, be you, reach for your highest goals, be wonderful wherever you wander, because you already are.

Creativity
Love’s living expression now,
Blessing forever.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

I once began a novel called “Whispers In The Mailbox.” It wound up like this, slain by the overzealous critic… Do not let it happen to you.

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Resistance Overcome

Day Six – 2020 Creativity Project 

I do not believe in the concept of creative block, which includes Writer’s BlockI think we are capable of constant creative output, not, however, that all of it is fit for public consumption.

I keep a planner with brief notes most days, a gratitude journal frequently, a brain dump journal much of the time, and I write more creatively a lot. Today is day six, the resistance has unearthed itself and come to stand like a Spartan, with shield ready to repel me. “You SHALL NOT pass!” Yeah, um, that will not work. I, tentatively, committed to be here and do this, so it is happening.

Thing is I do not often know what to write. I could call it a block, but really it is not. It is usually that I have enough ideas flying around like kamikazes; eventually, I will find one to rescue. Ever tried to talk a suicidal idea into allowing you to work with it? It can be a bit of a challenge. A tribe of screaming banshees jump up, down, yelling, “Why in tarnation are you doing this, it is too much. Quit, quit, quit already. Why torture yourself.” Take a chill pill and climb aboard cause this train is gaining momentum, and negative hoodlums are not in the engine compartment.

If I hit a boulder too large to push out of the way, there are means. I am not afraid to employ dynamite, but it requires strategic planning. I will take note of the obstacle, then I will step away and make preparations. I may read, especially creativity, writing, or art instruction books. I am also apt to write sheer junk, where I give license to my critic and all its cronies in negativity, to spew. I write the crap down to clear my head. Afterward, I say, “Enough, shut TF up!” I pulverize the boulder, and I do what I do, which is create.

I am guessing most creatives face similar challenges, you may not use the same images to objectify what goes on, but you probably have your things. I am well acquainted with resistance. Creativity is not effortless, or everyone would be writing bestsellers, painting art to rival the Sistine Chapel, making blockbuster movies to vie with Star Wars, or creating software to supplant Windows and Apple OS. Though some of us are achieving, many never get out of the gate.

Kudos to you when you keep on long enough to make something out of thin air. The world needs your ideas, creations, methods, support, determination. People need to know that giving up, cashing out, leaving the stage is not an option. Life is difficult, but when we open our imaginative minds, we bring new concepts, stories, creations to life. We find the hope we and others need and the love to survive in the desolation.

Be well, create, love like it is your only chance, dream, and make dreams real. Make resistance reach for the sky and cartwheel by it, leaving it to wonder who you are and where you are bound. You are chosen for this time, place, position, do what you are meant for, and do it with passion. The more love you expend, the more you will have to give, and the more will come to you. Be a creator and make 2020 your year, if you do not believe in you, someone else will go in your place doing it half as well.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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Nobody, But You, Now

Day Four – 2020 Creativity Project 

We have the present, we look forward to the future, but unfortunately, sometimes we allow ourselves to view time and living through the lens of the past. This often robs us of opportunity and causes us to limit ourselves to patterns that do not serve us.

If we invest all our effort in the things before us, letting go of attitudes and habits which restrict our horizons, we live fully and vividly alive.

Let us encourage one another to don our best selves each day and create lives where we are the heroes and heroines we wish to encounter. If we do not step up, there is a possibility that no one will.

Little things that may make a difference: Holding a door for someone with more than hands full; separating items for recycling; reading stories to calm children down; writing notes to people who receive insufficient recognition. Sharing inspirational articles or original thoughts; recommending suitable reading materials; singing to lift spirits. Speaking affirmative words to others and helping someone with onerous chores. Probably those are enough to get brains in gear.

We may sometimes feel insignificant, but our lives have purpose and meaning. God creates no junk, so each of us is precious. Little things, small words, gentleness can lead to change in the world. When we are kind, we are wearing our super-suits, because much in the world is hard and kindness makes life more bearable.

Everyone is important, everyone has something to contribute that no one else can provide. When we share love, we tear fissures in the vulgar meanness that permeates so many days. Sometimes we erase the shadows entirely and beauty unimaginable blooms.

Be a hero, you are, and now the world needs you. If you turn away, who will follow your example and live a less useful life going forward? Someone, you may never realize, is watching, you are their star. Be a positive world-changing influence; it is who you were meant to be.

Nobody, But You, Now!

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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Negative Emotion = Positive (Re)Action

Day Three – 2020 Creativity Project

Let’s unpack this, I am (tentatively) committing to do this every day for the year. I have done it before, but it has been a while, and it was on Chronicles.

Generally, our negative emotions are powerful, cause discomfort for us, and those who are within reach, but we can rechannel them as creative energy to fuel the work we wish to do.

Some things which may be done are taking anger and engaging in positive dialog with ourselves about what irritates us and reframing it as motivation. Instead of giving in to the destructive impulse to tear ourselves down, we can invest in building our self-esteem with affirmations and creations that validate our being.

Irritation does not have to continue into a foul mood; writing, drawing, cooking, making or listening to music, or other enjoyments, can redeem the time in such a way that it becomes constructive.

The power of NO can also be a tremendous positive force. When our lives are overextended, or we are dealing with issues beyond normal limits, it is okay to say, “NO.” It is okay to schedule some time for recreation, creation, and recharge. Even when we are swamped we can find a few moments to reset.

We must be best-friends with ourselves, whatever that requires. Self-care is not optional; if it is left undone, the significant adverse health effects it produces can shorten or make miserable our lives.

Gratitude is an optimal tool for elevating mood. Once we begin to see all the wonders in our lives, our discontent and unhappiness begin to lessen.

As this year kicks off, let us all demand it be one of the best ever. Our smiles, joy, confidence, kindness can impact the world around us in myriad ways. Let’s be who we wish everyone could be.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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