127: On One Way Creativity Works - a Story

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Once upon a time, there was a savvy business woman.  

(…And, just to be clear, if the aforementioned definition didn’t make this clear, let me: this isn’t about me, though I have been here many, many times. …)

 

This savvy business woman had a talk to write. It wasn’t a long one. And it was for a cause she was especially passionate about. It shouldn’t have been that big of a deal, except that she wanted it to be awesome. She wanted it to impact people. She wanted it to be a moment that people would remember.

 

(Which is a great place to start! I mean, let’s all start there – right?)

 

So, every night, she snuggled into bed and pulled out her laptop. She had a cup of tea and some determination; she had put the rest of the day aside for this moment. She opened her computer to her word processing program… and… nothing happened.

 

Ummmm… let’s see… how should I start?.... and… hmmm… there was that one… nah… ummm… ugh.

 

She stared at that white, blank page – and that white, blank page stared back at her. It was a standoff of the creative type.

 

She did this for several nights until she realized that that’s not how this process works. You can’t force it, which is often inconvenient and always a problem when there’s a deadline involved.

 

So, she let it go for a few days. She went on with her life. She gave up – in the best way possible.

 

And then, a few days later, she was driving in the car – and something hit her. The AHA moment! And as she was driving down Hwy 101- of all places! AN IDEA…

 

She knew these things were finicky little buggers, so to capture it – somehow – she started to talk it out. And things started to click! Yes! This is what she was going for!

 

By the time she pulled up to the stoplight, talking away to herself in a flurry, she turned to see the teenage boy in the car next to her. He looked concerned.

 

(Creativity isn’t always pretty, but it feels GREAT when it’s happening to you, people.)

 

When she got back to her office, the words flew onto the paper. And the best part was, she had already worked out some of the kinks in the car. Cars are an amazing place to create, my friends.

 

The lesson?

 

Creativity works in whatever way it works. It often works in whatever way it wants to, and often when we are doing something else, thinking about something else. Like when we’re mindlessly driving down Hwy 101, or taking a shower or making dinner. We can’t force it – and it’s why we live and breathe our talks for awhile as we’re creating: our brains are literally processing all of the input and ideas and wonderings and resources, trying to make new sense of it, synthesize it with OUR particular life. It’s a magical process, and a magical moment that usually comes after a lot of frustration and stuck-ness.

 

And next time? Next time turn on your voice memo app and capture all that brilliance in the car. I’ve gotten the meat of a talk or two written by talking in the car when the AHA struck me!

 

Until next time, movers.