Aiming the Arrow: How to Find Our Creative Flow.
We all have a creative capacity within us, but is it also flowing from us?
Hugh Prather once wrote, “If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire is not to write.”
As far as I can tell, it’s the only thing of note he ever wrote.
Whether our desire is to write or to create in some other capacity, here are a few simple steps to excavate a breakthrough, to get the juices to flow and take the steps to grow your vision.
I got into archery last summer. In between firing a few arrows into the neighbor’s yard and a couple more into the street near passing cars, I learned a few things.
Among them, that no matter how hard you can draw the bow, you’ll never hit the target if you don’t carefully aim your arrow.
You have to see it to be able to seek it—in other words, spend some time getting clear or risk wasting your time hacking through the bushes somewhere.
Get to Work
All of the most beautiful buildings were built with simple tools—but I’ve never known a hammer to swing itself.
Want to grow your creation beyond a fantasy in your imagination? Better get busy doing.
While you’re at it, get accountable—I ask myself this question to intelligently inform my doing, “What am I busy creating?”
Every moment is an act of creation, some of them conscious.
Getting from A to Z can be easy to see but hard to do, meanwhile A to B is readily accessible to you. B is easy to do, but sometimes hard to see because the mind would rather fixate on Z—fantastic and far away, this has a tendency to keep us stuck in place today.
What simple step to B is waiting for you to take it right now?
Dare to fall until you’re ready to fly…to crawl before you walk…to suck before you shine.
Want another hackneyed metaphor? Here’s a question that helps to remind, “What are you waiting for?”
The first steps on the journey are some of the hardest precisely because the first steps are the boldest.
A blank page can be the most terrifying prospect to confront. But we have to be unafraid to f*ck up a canvas, to bend some metal or break a few boards…even if we have to apologize afterwards.
Ok, just one more metaphor—if your last shot fell short of the target, you’d be a damn fool not to aim higher with your next one, wouldn’t you?
It’s impossible to “go with the flow, maaaaaaan” (read in a stoner drawl), until you know which direction it’s going, to identify the most optimum direction to be pointing until you know which way the river’s flowing.
Not all creative attempts will be met with immediate success—likely the opposite. But falling isn’t the same thing as failing…in fact, falling is the single best indicator that you’re busy trying.
Enroll the right people in your vision for creation. The right team can provide support by adding knowledge and perspective, motivation when challenges scream quit rather than continue, and can hold you accountable when you can’t or don’t want to.
Whether in your personal or professional life, the creative visions we each seek to implement may be drastically different, but the steps are the same—get clear, get to work, get bold, accepting and connected.
We all have inside of us the capacity to create…the greats also demonstrate the will to initiate.