How long can you stare at a blank screen and nothing appear? I have asked myself this questions several times and the answer is always the same. I sit down with the full intention of creating (posts, stories, songs, etc) and the void of white space engulfs me..until I put my fingers on the keyboard and start to type. The answer is, the screen only stays blank until I write something. I have to engage the process. It won’t do it by itself.
I have selective memory on this topic unfortunately. I have discovered this principle many times over the years. I once told Marixa that I wasn’t coming to bed until I wrote a new song. It had been six months since I had written anything and I felt that it was time. So, I came to be about an hour later. The song was written. I chose to engage and I got it done. Funny enough, it is still a song I hum to myself from time to time. I wrote it over 8 years ago.
I think the people that consistently produce really good stuff are masters of this process. They are not more creative than most of us, but they are much better at demanding that the creativity flow out of them and become art or song or whatever else it is they do. Creativity can not be rigid by any means, but we must sit down at our craft and create. That is what the creative does. Day after day after day. Sometimes what we have created really stinks, but that isn’t the point. If we are truly creative, good will come.
There is a great scene from the movie Finding Forrester (one of my favorite movies, Marixa was not so thrilled) where Sean Connery’s character William Forrester is giving instruction to Rob Brown’s character Jamal Wallace. He points to a typewriter and instructs Jamal to write. The scene unfolds like this:
Forrester: Go ahead.
Wallace: Go ahead and what?
Wallace: What are you doing?
Forrester: I’m writing like you will be when you start punching those keys. (Jamal looks uncertain) Is there a problem?
Wallace: No, I’m just thinking.
Forrester: No. No thinking. That comes later.
The old man is a master at his task. He sits himself down in front of the keys and he writes. This is a skill he helps teach Jamal throughout the rest of the movie. This is evidenced by the fact that Jamal’s teacher see such a rapid improvement in his work they question if it his own.
In my pursuit of the life I am meant to live I have to acknowledge that being creative is how God has wired me. Knowing this, it is my privilege to sit down to it. Whether it is through words, music, or food I choose to use my creativity. My job is to sit down and do it. No excuses. If only one person benefits, it was worth the time.