There are times when it feels like our creativity is in full bloom like spring blossoms, and every day, every hour, a new bud bursts forth. Our branches are laden, our leaves bright and succulent, the sun warms our bark and the sky is blue as far as we can see. Beautiful times.
But it’s likely that just as often, maybe more often, your creativity looks and feels more like a barren tree in the depths of a harsh midwinter. There’s no trace of bud, leaf or blossom, just the haggard silhouette of weary branches constantly buffetted by icy cruel winds.
It’s during these times that we wonder if we’ll every see any signs of new life, new ideas and new creations every again.
There are two connected issues here I wanted to talk with you about.
Firstly, every artist has her seasons.
It’s simply not possible to be creating endlessly at full flow for days, weeks, months on end. We all need rest and downtime, however much we’re enjoying our creativity.
Like nature has its seasons, as artists we have our seasons too. They may, or may not, align with nature, but nevertheless you will experience times during your creative life that feel like spring, summer, autumn and winter.
This is perfectly ok and natural, and necessary.
There’s no such thing as an endless summer of creativity, because projects come to an end, inspiration is higher at some times than others, and many other factors influence how creative we feel.
When we do experience the barren winter times, it allows us to regather our strength, and plan for the following spring. Because the spring will always follow winter.
This idea of seasons is true for our entire creative lives, as well as for each individual project.
The creative process begins with an idea, like a new bud in springtime. This blossoms into full flower as we go into the summer season of the project. The autumn comes, and the project is complete, we offer it to the world and learn to let go, as it falls away from us like leaves fall from the trees. Then in winter, we rest and recuperate, and plan for the new spring, with another bud of an idea to nurture. And so the cycle begins again.
Enjoy every season, and experience them to their fullest.
The second point is only you can help your tree blossom again.
In nature, how do the trees get their new leaves in spring? Do tiny elves go around secretly in the dead of night, with armfuls of green leaves and buckets of glue, attaching the leaves to the naked branches of the trees?
Thought that would make a lovely story, it’s not actually what happens.The leaves sprout from within, they come from the tree itself.
They grow because the tree has sunlight and water and carbon dioxide, and then can grow new leaves. Everything was already there within the tree, it just needed the nurture and encouragement of the sun and water to push those new little leaves out into the world.
For us to grow new leaves, to manifest new creative ideas, to give birth to new creative projects, we too need this kind of nurture.
We can’t just sit around waiting for the elves to show up with their arms full of new leaves.
We must constantly be open to new inspiration and ideas, do the things, follow the routines, and go the places that give us fresh stimulation, and keep our creative minds ever turning.
A couple of questions to leave you with:
Are you aware of your own creative seasons? How do each of them feel?
What do you do to keep yourself inspired and stimulated and having new ideas?
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