Ever had a meal where it was so delicious, you threw it down your throat in about five minutes flat, so it barely touched the sides, then a few minutes later, faced with an empty plate and slight indigestion, you wished you’d actually savoured the meal a little more?
I know I have. Yes it’s partly because the food was just so gloriously scrumptious you couldn’t bear NOT to have your whole mouth bursting with it at any one moment.
But partly too it’s because of the general hectic seven-times-the-speed-of-light pace we try to live our lives at these days.
What if, instead, you enjoyed every mouthful, and ate it as slowly as you possibly could, letting that kaleidoscopic celebration of taste in your mouth explode and ascend its majestic peaks gradually?
Taking this a stage further, what if you only had, say five mouthfuls of this meal? Wouldn’t it better to fully delight in those five mouthfuls and make it as memorable as possible, rather than wolfing down five platefuls and barely drawing breath or noticing the taste and texture of the food?
But anyway, what’s all this food talk got to do with you being more creative?
Well it’s often said that the way you do anything is the way you do everything.
In other words, if you eat fast, you probably write fast, walk fast, wash fast, and you probably even sleep fast! Once we get on that crazy treadmill, it’s hard to slow it down and ease the pressure.
And so the same applies to your creativity.
You probably don’t enjoy creating so much anymore because your focus has completely shifted from the process to the product, from the journey to the destination. You just wanted to get stuff finished as soon as possible, then race on to the next shiny new project.
But honestly, would you rather create a dozen pairs earrings that are virtually identical and took little thought and care and craft, or one pair of a unique and beautiful new design that took you ten times as long to make but you love more than anything you’ve created in ages?
Like in the food example, we can take this further down to an almost microscopic scale.
If you write, try writing as slow as possible, admiring every curve of every letter, savouring every syllable, and letting the sentences unfurl gently on the page like a baby hedgehog stretching in the morning sunlight after a long winter hibernation.
A handful of poignant, emotive, or impassioned words can be more memorable and powerful than chapters on end of mundane predictable prose.
There’s a whole genre called six word stories for example.
So stop, draw a deep breath and slow down. Take your time creating. Enjoy it as if it were your last meal.
The quality, and the enjoyment, and the meaningfulness of your creativity will expand many times over, and you’ll remember when it comes to creativity, you’ve always been more of cultured culinary connoisseur than a fast food fiend anyway.
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