Of Goddesses and Creativity

 

Titian Goddess of Spring

I tend to be very hard on myself. I try to be as productive as possible and I am never as productive as I want to be, even when I get up at 5-6am and go to bed around 12am.

I’ve been struggling with the rewrite of my novel’s first chapter, the excerpt from the last post.

But last night, discouraged by my lack of progress, I went to bed earlier, around 11pm and then in the morning, I stayed in bed, daydreaming for a good hour or two.

I was hit with all the ideas and inspiration needed to get past the place I was stuck.

I was writing again and it was easy. It was glorious.

I’m starting to notice that writing and being creative) is about getting out of your own way.

There’s a part of me, the creative part that loves to play and imagine things.

She’s like my Goddess of Play and Imagination, a little girl who loves to draw with crayon and go on adventures. She’s the one who makes it easy. But she’s a child. She hates being told what to do.

Then comes in my Goddess of Perfectionism. I need to kill this bitch skank lady. She’s the strict parent. My need to be perfect, to be as productive as possible, to follow rules and get things done.

Sometimes she can be useful. But she and the child goddess don’t get along. At all.

If I go to the computer with the intention of following rules, of being perfect or at least as close to it as possible, the very opposite will happen. Creativity will run to go place somewhere else. Most often as I try to work with this mind frame, I get the craving to watch a cartoon show or draw instead. It’s my Goddess of Play wanting to be anywhere else but shackled to my Goddess of Perfectionism.

But if I go in like a child wanting to play, then the words and art flows like water flows from a fountain.

I often wonder what would happen if I gave my Goddess of Play full reign.

Of course, if you want to be less…artsy with this, you can replace Goddess of Play or Perfectionism with Right or Left Brain or whatever.

Ruin the fun.

So the idea is trust the creative side of you, whatever you call it, to come when you need it to come without any expectations. When you write a story, get into that place where it’s just playing make believe. Where there are no wrong answers and every word is the right one, or an even better one comes to take its place like magic.

When you see it as play, it becomes just that.

Play.

Have you created muses or Deities that govern your creative processes or am I the only lunatic here?

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4 thoughts on “Of Goddesses and Creativity

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  1. If something a self-proclaimed lunatic says makes perfect sense to me, am I then also a lunatic?

    I don’t tend to personify things, but I have noticed the exact same phenomenon even in my relatively small amount of writing experience. If I take my time and do things in my own way without worrying about deadlines or technical skill, even essays become creative exercises, and if still not fun, at least relatively painless, and actually interesting. And then I can let the perfectionist side enter the picture, and sort-of work in tandem with my creative side, working out what can be done to improve the work and then doing it. And my creative side doesn’t resent this, because it’s something productive that adds to the beauty of the work.

    One thing I do is, when writing a first draft, if the critical part of me notices something that could be improved, instead of disrupting things and fixing it then and there, I make a note of it (the “comment” function on micro$oft word is helpful here) and come back to it later, once I’m done creating. That way I can keep my flow and just keep on writing as long as necessary.

    By the way, we’ve got another write-off happening at the Brent Weeks forum. I’m sure you neither need nor want the distraction, but I thought I’d mention it just in case you were interested.

    1. Maybe we’re all crazy. Sorry for the late reply.

      Yes, it’s probably best not to give it power by giving it a name or an image like I do. But the idea is that I believe the best ideas come easiest when you go with the mentality of play rather than work.

      Using Word for making notes is a great idea!

      Ah yes, the write-offs. It’s been a while, Who knows, I might take a look one of these days.

  2. My latest strategy is to let Play Goddess write the first draft and Perfection Goddess do the editing. Seems to work fairly well so far.

    I think my Play Goddess is a bit of an alcoholic.

    1. I agree. This is what I’m trying to do, but the Goddess of Perfection drives me crazy nonetheless.

      I’m going to start drinking one of these days…thanks to peer pressure!

      Just kidding :p

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