By Jessica Abrams
I have a life coach. I realize this reduces the entire scope of my personality down to a few key points of demographic data, but there you have it. To say she’s wonderful and has changed my life is another blog post. I mention her because one of the ideas that she’s dragging me kicking and screaming into believing is that the more creativity you use, the more creativity you get. Basically nothing is a waste of time — that, as a creative person, it’s all creeks feeding into the same river.
This is a tough one for me. Somewhere along one of the tributaries of my past, I became indoctrinated with the idea that life is frequently a bitch and then you make time to create. And you better damned well be focused in that hour you’ve carved out with a surgeon’s knife because in the next one lurks a call that has to be returned or a bill that needs to be paid or a baby shower that needs to be attended. I also always believed that I must be choosy with the projects I invest time into, as if somehow I had a crystal ball and could look into the future and see a production or a script sale.
I’m by no means renouncing the laser-like focus it when it comes down to simply getting the work done. But what if everything — that annoying baby shower that takes up way too much of a Sunday, for instance — what if it’s all a part of the same creative organism? Or just the same life organism? What if it actually gives you more than it takes away?
I’m trying this on for size. And by that I mean, repeating the idea to myself a few times a day, as I’ve been instructed to do. It requires letting go of my ideas of where something will or won’t take me. To continue with the river metaphor: the goal may be to get to that great big ocean, but what about the new growth that springs up when a once-fallow area suddenly becomes irrigated? I realize I’m in way over my head in environmental science arena, but I think I’ve made my point.
If my own past serves as a lesson, I’m reminded daily of the job I took as a social science field interviewer–a job I knew nothing about– which, in short order, led to an amazing friendship and creative partnership, the aforementioned life coach and a web series called KNOCKING ON DOORS (based on said job) that is currently on YouTube. Recently I was in Indiana doing just that, knocking on doors, and in between my own private bitch sessions about the lack of decent food, I came up with ideas for more webisodes. Years ago, a studio job I held for three long, miserable years became fodder for a play set in — you guessed it — a movie studio.
But something tells me it’s not just about material to use in my writing. It’s looking past that and into the great beyond — life itself, and the weird and wonderful places it will you when you commit and give and then let go.
I’m working on it. Like I said, I have a really good coach.
2 thoughts on “Everything Is A Creative Act”
A small change I made recently is during my long, long daily commutes on LA freeways I decided to turn off the music and the news stations and only listen to “story-telling” themed podcasts. I’m not sure how this will translate into my art as a director but I figured that in would be a small, repeated exposure to the human experience I would get at least twice a day. And the more I can focus on how to craft good story telling, the more I must be adding to a creative stream somewhere? 🙂
(Incidentally, I am intrigued by the life coach discussion…)
Cool observations! (And I also have a coach, but as you said, a blog for another day…) I’ve found that my day jobs sometimes allow my brain to roam and find solutions to my script problems — so there you have it, another way it all feeds into the stream 🙂
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