I love working out ideas in my graph paper notebooks - so I wanted my blog page to have a graph paper background!
When I'm sketching ideas on those graph paper pages, I feel more creative, and the ideas just flow!

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Keys to Creativity


Creativity is like the flower on a plant: the last thing that happens in the growth process, and the prettiest. Not last in time, but last in that it happens after things like survival are handled. Most of us are more creative when we aren't failing Physics or worrying if there's enough in the bank to cover the mortgage. In drought years and flood years, the plant may survive but there won't be much blooming. Creativity, like flowers, can be fragile.

We each have our battles when we set about to bring something new into this world. Maybe Nature abhors a vacuum, but the World definitely adores the status quo. Each and every one of us is put on this planet to contribute something new and unique, which takes guts and creativity, and will probably disrupt the status quo. And between us and our contribution rages a battle that would, if we allow it, quench our creative fires and keep us on our particular treadmill or sofa.

Some of us fight busy-ness and some, passivity. By dictionary definition, these are just two sides of the same coin: inertia, which means that an object has the tendency to stay in a state of rest or in a state of uniform motion in a straight line. Either that unswerving motion or couch-potato inactivity exhibit inertia. I am fooled by inertia's resemblance to inert, which only applies to the couch potato.

Now, busy activity is much more socially acceptable, and looks more virtuous than lolling in bed with a bag of Cheetos. Because I'm an American, and busy-ness is a national character trait, targeting it is easy. And although it makes a tidy argument to say it's just the other side of inertia, it's the side of the coin with a lot more purchasing power. Activity is more likely to make something happen. And when things are made to happen, they are sometimes good things.

The foe of creativity in this argument isn't activity--it's busy-ness. Actually, I just looked it up, and I'm allowed to drop the hyphen. Busyness is a bona-fide English word (since 2013, at least) and it means "lively but meaningless activity." A lot of us would be excited to jump on this as a reason to ignore the scunge growing between the bathroom tiles, but further reflection doesn't give us this option. Menial tasks are not synonymous with meaningless tasks. We still have to scrub the tile.

Creativity is the lovely and winding path between being frantic and being somnolent. When I'm in creative mode, my activity doesn't tire me and my sleep is a refueling stop, not an escape. My ears and eyes are open and I feel playful, not fearful.

Here's a partial list of things that help me stay in a creative zone. I notice they mostly involve Awareness and Shepherding:

Those are a few of my creativity keys. They help me out of the pit of no ideas/no energy. It's not my fault when I'm stuck and blank. My stuck place is a closed door that usually opens with the right key, and on the other side is that playful, winding path to making something new and exciting.




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