April 5, 2011

Priming the Creative Pump

Sometimes the well runs a little dry when it comes to ideas, and I find that's usually when I haven't been working much.  Because when I'm working, there always seems to be no shortage of ideas that I can't get to because I'm too busy . . . well, working.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a continual fountain of ideas --
a library of sketchbooks to mine for gold, for instance, or a gigantic rolodex with an index card containing every great idea we've ever thought of but didn't take time to write down and therefore forgot?

I'd like to come up with a way to record those fleeting ideas that wouldn't result in piles of paper scraps bearing unintelligible scribbles in a shorthand so abbreviated that even I have absolutely no idea what it was originally intended to represent.

I think it's helpful to do a little something creative every day.  Because even when I'm not actively working on a project, if I flip the "creative switch" for a second or two I notice it's like throwing a drop of oil on the gears, keeping them ready to move should I provide them the opportunity.

And when I can't bring myself to actually DO something creative, it seems to be equally effective for me to look at other people's creative efforts.

The more art I absorb, of any kind,
the more my mind
seems willing to produce.

Charles Horton Cooley said,

"The mind is not a hermit's cell, 
but a place of hospitality and intercourse."

And yes, there is plenty of coming and going in my head . . . 

I guess I just need to up my hospitality a little

in hopes that my ideas will be tempted to 
sit down, relax awhile and maybe talk to each other.  



  1. Great post, Susan! We all need a bit of 'push' somedays. Thank you for sharing your ideas and energy with us all.

  2. So true, Susan. It almost seems like creativity is a muscle that when exercised, gets stronger. I like the image of the switch, too. As for keeping track of ideas.... your sketches look like they came from my desk. Hmmm.... maybe the good ones percolate to the surface when the time is right.


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