I just finished watching a concert of Jason Mraz on my television. It was so obvious that Jason goes to that well of creativity which I referred to in my previous blog — “When I first heard the words in the dark black night.” Without thinking, Jason pulls buckets of that liquid-like gel of creativity from the all too familiar well. I couldn’t help but feel overcome by an urge to begin writing; looking and expecting to wallow in that substance that I call love. How could any rush of that magnitude be called anything but love, God, or some spiritual force. Of course I could be a bit more scientific and say that it was an excess of endorphins that I experienced. But since this is my blog, I will call it love.
When I want to explain a difficult concept, I turn to the use of metaphors. Lets imagine that we are sitting in the living room with our children or grandchildren. I’ve done this many times before. For the moment, the conversations have stopped as music fills the room. The children, two, three, or four years of age, begin dancing in an unplanned, uncontrolled, creative way of moving about the room. They’re dancing to the tune of a different drummer, some might say. No inhibitions, no self-made boundaries to restrict the freedom of movement. This is creativity at its finest. Now watch the same children twenty years later. Self imposed inhibitions, lower self esteem, someone is watching me, etc… The well of creativity has been hampered if not closed. The great artists are like children. They play in that liquid-like gel that I call love.
A good musician has a command of the techniques used to sing or play their instrument. A truly great musician adds creativity to their performance. When I was a music major at the University of Illinois, we had a saying: You are either a musician or a mechanic. A musician plays with feeling. The mechanic is merely a musician without feeling. Writing works the same way. Not only do we have to master the craft of writing, but to be a great writer we must visit the well of creativity.
When I feel the rush of creativity knocking on my door I must do something. After each of my two previous books I quickly began working on my next manuscript. I had to write another book. I had neglected the marketing aspect of my books. Now I’m trying to get into social media and build my platform — all things that we are suppose to do if someone is going to buy our book. As a result, I haven’t begun writing in a serious manner for a few months. My well of creativity is running over the top and leaking in numerous places. I don’t know how much longer I can hold off. So, what do I do? For the moment, I’m going to concentrate on the marketing of my book and write more blogs. Maybe the blogs will allow the creativity to simmer for awhile. Perhaps I’ll sing to my dog, clean out the garage, or feel my soul begin to die.