The Engines Of Creation

In the new house, my husband has designated a room as our (joint) “creative room.” It’s a large room, and half of it will have his music stuff, and his writing computer, and half will have…. well, cloth and gourd painting.

I’m not sure how this is going to work out in the long run, because I usually take my day off on weekends by running around cleaning the house, something beat into me at a very young age. That’s my “fun” and day off. And I feel guilty if I spend more than a few hours doing something that’s not work and not paid for.

But he says we’re going to do this one day a week. And who the hell knows? He might have something.

He says the kids are grown, and we should have time for the things we want to create, kind of like in the last house we started using the good China and silverware, because otherwise we’d die with it intact, and who wants our used stuff? It would end up in a thrift shop somewhere, probably broken up and bought by people who didn’t value it, anyway.

It’s almost scary to contemplate doing that, and keep in mind it’s at least two months away. Right now that room and every room is just boxes, which I’ve started using as furniture (putting things on) because I do that.

But we’re going to designate a room a weekend and start unpacking. We have to because the cats hate being confined and are starting pee-disputes. Over my editing chair. And that can’t go on.

Again, I have no clue if it works. I am not even sure what “creative” is. Is my fillet crochet creative?

Waggles hand. I just follow a pattern. I used to call it, and cross stitch occupational therapy. It keeps my hands out of trouble while the brain goes into blank-screen. It’s very restful. But creative? Nah.

Is drawing/painting creative? Kind of. It’s mostly learning, because I’m so bad at it.

Is writing creative? Often. Though you know, it’s also a pattern, but it has more thought and leeway.

What I do know — and Amanda Green has pointed it out to me, if I didn’t — is that I need some sort of non-writing creating to keep me writing. Used to be I took drawing classes (Will have to look at new city and see if they exist, after house sells and we have some free money.) And it allowed me to use parts of my brain the writing doesn’t use, which rested the writing parts. (I know it makes no sense. Go with it. It worked anyway.)

Apparently the fires of creation, whatever the heck they are, run down if they are used too many times on the same mode.

There are other things that feed the creation. I suspect they are highly individual. For me, reading or going to museums. Used to be long night drives too. (I became night blind at 40, so….)

Just driving, playing music, and something jigged or jogged.

Sure you can write/create on nothing. And often you can’t tell afterwards. I’ve been reading over/proofing the fairy tales I did on my blog, in order to get them out next week. And I’m surprised how ridiculously cheery they are, because a lot of them were written in the pit of depression and “arid mind.”

But things are better, and…. catch fire more, if they are written in the fires of creation.

For me that is used to feed the writing. I don’t know what it feeds in you. I mean, I know cooking pulls from the same place, because if writing is blocked, I also can’t cook. (And produce some of the most bizarre, incoherent meals you’ve ever seen, if forced to.)

But if you find what feeds your fires of creation, you’ll be happier. And so will those around you.

17 comments

  1. This makes total sense to me. I’m homeschooling Kid and it is burning out every writing neuron I have, every day. But they started timidly poking their noses around the mental corner when I started to do beadwork again a few weeks ago.

  2. Hmm, I coast on number games and solitaire . . . draw houses and floor plans. Inktober and other efforts to restart drawing fade quickly, and it’s an effort to find stuff I need for pottery. Maybe i should make the effort, as the temperatures are starting to drop and I can once again work in the garage.

  3. Feeding the writing is hard because I have things that make it hard to work. I work well at a desk, in a relatively quiet environment. I don’t work well when I have a lot of noise and distractions-and having a TV screaming out scams (and advertising) isn’t helping any. Looking at a screen of some kind for visual reduction.

  4. Performing music, either keyboard(s) or vocal. It’s hard to worry about anything else, or work on book plots, when you are trying to keep up with Beethoven acting sort of Baroque, except twice as fast as G-d intended. (“Sanctus,” the “et vitam venturi saeculi” section.)

  5. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

    Good enough for Him – good enough for me.

    I note that none of the texts say that He laid around in bed all day with a box of chocolates next to Him. Maybe He got a bunch of the angels together for a rousing game of volleyball (I have heard that Michael had a mean spike). Or, perhaps, He went into His creative room and fiddled around with His equivalent of painting gourds, not making anything planned, sensible, or particularly useful. Thus, another explanation for Australia (grin).

    1. This is hilarious, because before I got halfway through this comment I immediately thought – “Yep He sure did, where do you think the Platypus comes from”

  6. I’m having a bit of a chore, getting into the writing, also – maybe a bit of a hangover from COVID pneumonia, and the labor of babysitting the infant grandson, as my daughter tries to break into being a real estate agent … but still, any couple of hundred words that I can pound out in a day is a gain on the next project…

  7. Solitaire (in limited amounts because I’m very good and I play obsessively), gardening, and sewing. They let my mind range while my hands are occupied.

    Gardening is very creative, especially when you dissect gardening catalog copy trying to parse out what’s real and what was extremely creative writing on the part of the sales department.

  8. Beading helps – partly because color and 3-D manipulation rest the verbal parts of the brain, partly because when I finish a project, it is done. (Unlike writing, where you’re always wondering if there is one more edit.)

    I also used to like an hour browsing through bookstore shelves every couple weeks, but that is now… extremely inconvenient. Places closed. The nearest used bookstore is a couple hours round-trip, and not easy to find. Ouch.

    Library research on the internet poking latest science news helps, too. “Oo, what could I do with that idea?”

  9. All I know is that I need to figure something out here at some point to recharge, especially since writing is a favorite thing for the black dog to threaten – and he does a very thorough job when he attacks, unfortunately. Completing my escape to a better location should go a long way towards getting me to, well…wherever the next step is in all this.

  10. Sudoku and crossword puzzles; also logic puzzles. If I’m especially scattered, then British Crosswords. And copious amounts of tea. it’s not that I write, it’s that the ADD goes into overdrive if I don’t regularly give it something very hard on which to focus. Exercise works for some, I hear, but then I’m not normal, so it not only doesn’t work for me, but also I don’t care.

  11. Doing anything else helps. Cut the grass, make something in the shop, paint something, fix the truck, whatever. Couple hours of that and the characters are starting to talk again.

  12. Well, I could argue that God had different types of creativity but then I realized he really does stick to worldbuilding.

    1. Some days you reaaaalllllly wonder what His list of “possible worlds for later” has in it. I mean, just look at all the odd-ball stuff in this one planet alone! Just the sea-life is enough to send most sci-fi authors into a tizzy.

  13. Gardening has been helping a little but I need to find a way to get back to music. The local church doesn’t have a choir. There’s no room in the house to set up the keyboard I have, and no where I can practice and teach myself the violin without disturbing God and everybody. Space is a major limiting factor on any of my usual recharging cross-stitch, art (usually illumination). I’ll figure something out (I hope)

  14. You will use that room for what you will use it for. Pretty much as long as it’s not (just) storage, purpose fulfilled. Now, exactly what that use it might vary even week to week, but.. ain’t that kinda the point?

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