With a creative mind, it’s easy to have elaborate, exciting plans. It’s a natural part of being creative – having the imagination to come up with ideas, before we even think about how we might actually bring them into being.
We often hear tales of musicians spending a lifetime trying to get the wonderful music they hear in their heads down in some recorded form. Brian Wilson springs to mind.
So in that sense our creativity is almost a hindrance, and can race ahead of what we can actually manifest, due to our perceived limitations of materials, talent, money, time and so on.
But this is only a problem if we see it as one.
Yeh that’s kind of obvious I know. What I mean is, if we accept that we will always have these grandiose creative ideas and schemes, and do all we can to move towards them, then that is the creative life.
I have this recurring dream about making some kind of film where people’s scent is visual, like a fine misty smoke. So when you walk through the city in the morning when people are freshly adorned of their fragrances, as they pass you catch their scent, and it slowly fades as you pass through the trail where they walked. The more attractive their scent, the prettier the colours.
I have no idea how I can possibly bring this into being visually, or what kind of film or piece it could be a part of. But it does nag away at me as one of those almost impossible to realise creative ideas.
Truth is, we can only ever take a single step at a time.
Even with elaborate creative dreams and plans, in fact ESPECIALLY with elaborate creative dreams and plans, it’s enough to take that next step. We can’t complete the whole project in a couple of hours. But we can take the next step.
The next step might simply be to buy a journal or writing paper. It might be to read the first chapter of a book about an art form you want to try. It might be browsing some magazines for ideas on colour and texture. It might be just writing down a couple of lines about what you would like to create. This is all good, it keeps you moving towards.
The second part that’s important is, like the title of this post, “with arms wide open”.
When I say arms, I also mean mind. And eyes. And all your other senses. And your heart.
If we are always open, not only to ideas, and directions, but also to help along the way, then this, combined with our steady, tiny steps, will keep us moving, and will bring reward along the way.
Yes, sometimes massive action is needed.
A leap of faith may be required, rather than another little step. You’ll know when. And you’ll make that leap, and land on your feet. Then take a breath, smile, and begin taking those little steps forward again.
This is the creative life. More than that, this is any life. One foot after the after.
Be kind on yourself and don’t expect to sprint everywhere or achieve huge amounts in just hours or days. It’s ok to take time.
If you went to a beautiful abundant garden, how do you think you’d enjoy it best – by ambling through and exploring and appreciating each petal, or racing through at 70mph on a motorbike, just to get to the other side?!
Tiny steps, with arms wide open…
So, what are your thoughts on tiny steps? What are the next few steps you can take in a creative project that’s important to you right now?