Sunday, July 24, 2011

Creativity Breeds Creativity


Sometimes creativity is like a
hidden staircase.

Last week, I finished a theater piece for woodwind quintet.  At times during the process of composing it, I struggled with the idea that being creative means not being responsible or dependable.  I have this idea in my head that one can potentially lose oneself in creative pursuits -- that giving in too much to creativity can lead one far from "normal" society.  I know this is a ridiculous thing for a composer to believe, but since I was raised with the idea that it's very important to be a responsible, mature person, it's a challenge when creativity seems to threaten that.

I'm probably a bit more conscientious than necessary most of the time.  Truth be told, I'm not at risk for being labeled unreliable by anyone who knows me.  When I was in the midst of this woodwind quintet piece and I felt that I was limiting myself, caging in what I allowed myself to create, I made a different decision than what I have sometimes made.  I leapt over the precipice of creativity without worrying about any beliefs that might tether me in some imaginary place of safety.

Something happened.  Not only am I very satisfied with the piece I just completed, but in the past few days, I composed a set of improvisatory miniatures.  I just followed a little germ of inspiration and allowed my creativity to be important.  I've also started formulating a plan to find or assemble an ensemble in Fort Worth, I'm continuing to move forward with a libretto for a first opera, and I've begun to assemble some writing for self-publication.  I also started a new blog a couple of weeks back to articulate some thoughts about spirituality.  And all of these projects are stimulating and exciting.

Fully claiming the identity of creator disallows feeble excuses and supercharges intention.  Instead of complaining that a certain situation doesn't exist or may be difficult to find, I'm realizing (again) that I'm responsible for creating the situations I want in my life.  And being creative with one thing has sparked my creativity across the board.  I haven't heard any reports that I've become unreliable or irresponsible.  What I am in this space is more reliable and responsible to myself.  I know that there will be challenges at some point, but it's always easier to return to something once I know what it feels like.

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