Find us on Google+

Monday, November 07, 2011

Inspiration versus Routine

Inspired creativity is an intoxicating joy. That moment that extends endlessly when you lose track of time and just create is as beautiful as it is elusive. Yet that's what often drives us to create, the Greeks anthropomorphized it and called it a muse. For some reason, the creative pursuits are still viewed through the same lens. Inspiration comes from some source and is implanted in the artist, writer, preacher or whomever. Then the creativity must come out. It bursts forth in a flurry of action that results in amazing work.

The truth of the matter, is not far off, but worlds apart from that idea. Inspiration does strike, seemingly from nowhere, and creative people do throw themselves into the fray, wresting order from the chaos with no thought for time or space. But the inspiration doesn't come apart from preparation. It may happen once or twice, but the sustained practice of creativity as a vocation doesn't exist apart from routine.

The odd thing is that creative types tend to eschew routine as the domain of the working world. The clock-punching, time-keeping, results-tracking mentality that permeates most businesses is anathema to the creative, but at the same time it's the model for how creativity can be unleashed. Human brains function on routine, they attempt to create it at every turn. Routine gives the brain a rest from having to manage schedules and priorities; it can then turn to problem solving, which is to say, creativity.

Professional creators do their creating on a schedule. They write or paint or compose at a set time in a set place. The space, the time and the rhythm of the activities all queue the brain that it's time to create. It can offload the processing for all those other things and focus on the task of creating.

If you are serious about being a creator, then you need to set a routine so you can be inspired.

What routines help you to create?

No comments: