Lately I’ve been feeling kind of funky and not in the bohemian, cool sense. I’ve been stuck in a rut, hitting the wall, just bored so to speak.
As a creative person, I’m always looking to be inspired, but for a while there I was coming up with zip, nada, nothing. I’m putting it down to the end of the year being completely frantic. I was trying to do so much – have people over, go see people, buying presents, tying up loose ends, all before Christmas. The end of the year can be an arbitrary end point that we feel we must get things done by. I honestly don’t know why we put all that pressure on ourselves.
At the same time, the new year feels like a fresh start. As the sun rises on January 1st we wake up with a renewed sense of time up our sleeves. 365 whole days to get everything done. Suddenly inspiration is easier to come by.
What this tells me is that being inspired is a state of mind. Some people think (and I tend to agree) that the biggest killer of inspiration is self censorship. I am SO guilty of this. I cannot count how many times I have started to write a song, or a piece of honest writing and just stared at the screen or piece of paper not knowing where to start. Then after many failed first attempts I abandon the idea altogether. Usually it’s because nothing I come up with seems right or good.
This year I’m going to focus on being more prolific. My daughter Sophia is the perfect example of this. She tells me that when she grows up she wants to be an artist. She is one of the most creative and expressive people I know and she’s prolific about it. She goes through page after page in he drawing book, then she delves into the reams of computer paper, then when she’s done with that she starts drawing on the furniture. What she has over me is the inability to censor herself. She just draws what she feels. She doesn’t care if it’s good or worthy, she just does it. 90% of what she draws is very close to scribble, but about 10% is pure magic.
I was recently put onto Jonathan Mann by my sister. This guy is really cool. Basically Jonathan has been writing a song per day for a few years now. He records and uploads a song every single day. If you take a look through his youtube channels you’ll find a tutorial series called “How I Write A Song A Day”. Basically Jonathan has this theory that by writing a song a day, he doesn’t care so much about how good the song is. If he’s just going to write another song tomorrow, today’s song is not so precious. It frees him up to just write anything that comes out of his head. He also reckons that 70% of anything you write will be mediocre, 20% will really suck and the remaining 10% will actually be good.
I think this theory applies to any kind of creative outlet. I like to write, but in the past I’ve held back too much in the name of not being good enough. Similarly even with recipes that I come up with in my head, few actually make it to the kitchen and of those that do, even less actually make it to the blog.
Instead of making resolutions, I think having a theme to live by is a good way to keep focused and can give you something meaningful to work on. A few years ago my theme was “Fuck ‘em all” which basically translates to “stop caring about what other people think and just do whatever it is that makes you happy.” I loved that year, I really made it happen. This year I’m going to be more prolific.
2013 is the year of being PROLIFIC
Do you have a theme for this year? I’d love to hear about it!