Creation and Revision: Letting Your Art Find Its Radiant Form

Creation and Revision: Letting Your Art Find Its Radiant Form

The process of revision or honing, polishing and shaping a work of art is one that often stumps creative people. Where to begin? How to go about making the work stronger, better, truer to itself? Will I ruin it in the process? What to cut, keep, add, change?

Some time ago I published a post on this Creative Sparks blog called “Creating the World We Wish to Inhabit.” That post came about in a surprising way that illustrates something about the mysterious process of creation and revision to allow work of art to blossom. I’ll share that with you here.

This applies whether you are creating a dance piece, a piece of writing or visual art or music or in some other medium.

The Birth of a New Piece

I held a free Write Together! gathering in June of 2020. The purpose of the gathering was to bring people together to use writing as a tool for helping us process the grief, anger and fear arising as a result of all that’s been going on in the world, and also to use our writing to begin to envision and create a more loving world. Words are powerful, after all, and so is gathering together with intention.

I wrote along with the participants, not expecting anything in particular to come from what I was writing, but open to possibilities.

The first prompt I gave was simple, to begin with the words “Right now. . . ” and just let the writing go wherever it wanted to go for five minutes.

As I wrote, I didn’t know whether it might be the start of a new essay or a poem or nothing at all.

One of the key guidelines of freewriting, as Natalie Goldberg says, is that “You are free to write the worst junk in the world.” You agree to suspend judgment in the first draft in order to allow yourself to blow past your inner censors and possibly stumble on something wonderful and surprising. This is wonderfully helpful permission to grant yourself in any art form.

I re-read my little piece more than a month after I wrote it and found that I liked it. So I started considering what it might want to become.

A poem? No, too wordy to be edited down into that. A personal essay? Maybe, but it would need a great deal added and more structure. Then, I had it! Creative Sparks, my blog, is a perfect venue for this soulful, inspiring, short piece, which became the post I mentioned at the start of this one.

Revising for Purpose

I began to revise my piece with that in mind. Knowing that Creative Sparks blog is meant to be a combination of inspiration, invitation, useful information and soul nourishment for creative people of all kinds helps guide decisions about how I structure and revise my posts and what I choose to share here.

First, I considered what the post was fundamentally about and what the key takeaways for the reader would be, and how I might frame it to give context to the reader.

I cut out anything that didn’t serve the basic gist of the piece or that weakened any part or created confusion. I listened to the lines, reading out loud, to make sure they flowed. And I added more paragraph breaks for easier reading online.

I decided to forego the typical blog format of having subheadings (like this post does) and just to let the piece flow. That was more in keeping with its nature.

Sometimes rules of form are helpful, sometimes they impede. Part of being an artist is knowing or guessing which is true for any one particular work.

Finding the Form

One of my favorite quotes about writing—and it applies to all art—comes from Jack Kerouac’s brilliant, weird list called Belief and Technique for Modern Prose: List of Essentials, which I keep on the bulletin board in my studio. The quote is: “Something that you feel will find its own form.”

I have to remind myself of this often when I have created the beginning of something that I don’t yet know what to do with. Many of my writings fall into this category at the outset.

Like this post today. It began as brief update to my patrons on Patreon, and suddenly I found myself creating a post for them on form and revision, which then got furthered revised into this post for you.

Listen to Your Art

Let your pieces speak to you and tell you what they want to be and who your audience might be. If you listen, they will begin to guide you.

Consider the needs and desires of your intended audience. Consider the expectations you are creating at the outset of your piece and how you fulfill these and/or create surprise. You don’t want to frustrate or lose your audience.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms, to move things around, remove and add, and see what feels strongest. You won’t know if you don’t try.

Consider what the essence of the piece is, what it’s really about, how it moves, the tone, feel, world it creates. Strengthen that by removing anything that does not serve that essence.

If you have to take away things you love—”Kill your darlings” is famous advice for writers—you can always save them for another possible piece. Keep some sort of file or reference of these. They may provide the perfect starting point for your next brilliant work of art.

To your own radiant form, Maxima

How to Make Time for Your Art and Find Your Creative Flow

How to Make Time for Your Art and Find Your Creative Flow

. . .even when you’re busy or it feels really hard

Last month I offered my patrons on Patreon the challenge to spend ten minutes a day making art. I took on the challenge too.

Just ten minutes, but every day. I gave them a blank calendar for the month to track the challenge and told them to keep those Xs going without breaking the chain.

Many artists have used this daily commitment to foster their creativity to good effect. Both Austin Kleon, author of the wonderful guide Steal Like an Artist, and Stephen Pressfield, author of the ground-breaking book The War of Art, champion this approach.

Benefits of the challenge

Taking on the challenge of creating every day for ten minutes can be very helpful for getting out of a rut and also learning to make time for your art.

Just ten minutes a day can restore your creative flow, your inspiration, and pretty soon you find yourself spending longer on the days when you can.

You’ll discover the time you do have, and how to break away from your distracting addictions to the internet or whatever it is you do instead of doing what you love.

Keeping the challenge to ten minutes helps reduce your resistance to creating (though you’ll still have to battle it) and helps ensure you don’t break the chain, no matter how busy your day is.

You will be surprised to see all that can get done in a very short amount of time. Stories get written. You learn to play the guitar. You fill up a sketchbook with drawings.

Best of all, you are making art every day.

Getting through the slog

But initially, the going can be tough. Here’s how I felt in the middle of the month-long challenge:

“So far the results have been awful. I have no inspiration. I’m dried up from a combination of overwork during the last few months and overstress at world events. I call this phase ‘grinding the gears.’

“Right now, I don’t like anything I write. Nonetheless, I keep writing, because by oiling the gears, I invite the muse to return. I show up reliably and she is likely to start showing up too.

“I know it works because I’ve been through this phase many times before, and it’s only through persisting in writing that I break through suddenly one day to a voice that excites me.

“Meanwhile, I experiment with different approaches to those ten minutes. Many days I spend much more than ten minutes.

“And, I also keep an eye out for what new sources of inspiration I need to feed my muse now to entice her out of hiding.”

Variations on a theme

Similarly, last month I suggested to one of my students, who has struggled to make time for her art, that she spend an hour a day in her studio for a month.

She had expressed that she keeps letting other things in her life take precedence and was feeling frustrated by this. So, I invited her to make a strong commitment to herself and her art for one month and see what happens.

I advised her to do this in the morning before everything else starts to get in the way. I told her she could use the time any way she wanted as long as she was in the studio. She could doodle. She could flip through art books for inspiration. She could stare out the window. She should let this be free playtime.

Here is what she discovered.

Sometimes she would spend an hour in the studio early in the day. Sometimes she wouldn’t get to it until the end of the day, when she would sit in bed with her sketchbook. Both felt good.

She worked both on a big painting, a much larger canvas than anything she is used to, and on small projects.

She also discovered that, after five days she needs a weekend off to replenish. This is her rhythm, and it’s right for her. It helps her return to the studio with new energy, refreshed.

So, she needed to let go of holding fast to the idea of having 30 uninterrupted days crossed off on her calendar.

She also discovered that sometimes after, say, 40 minutes, she felt done, but she would force herself to do a full hour, and those last 20 minutes were just painful. In other words, that wasn’t helping her be in a good relationship with her muse, her creativity. It turned out she needed to let go of holding so tightly to the full hour every day too.

So, she discovered a better intention was to gift herself an hour a day of creative time five days a week.

And, if she was faithful to the intention, not letting other busyness eat up all her time, then she didn’t need to be a tyrant with herself about it. She could allow a little flexibility, surprise, variation into the mix, and ultimately that benefitted her creativity.

But she also acknowledged it’s a delicate balance to maintain.

Finding your own rhythm

Each of us has to find what works for us. What truly works to support our best creative flow and our best life.

What makes this so tricky is that many of us are masters at lying to ourselves about this, fooling ourselves, letting our resistance get the better of us. And then suddenly, weeks go by and we haven’t made any art, and our lives stop feeling joyful and meaningful.

The challenge is finding and maintaining your own creative flow. When you give yourself permission to vary your routines or spend less time than you planned in the studio, you have to be careful that you aren’t sliding back into making no time for your art.

Or, when you tell yourself that you can’t create unless you have at least two hours uninterrupted, but then rarely give yourself those two hours, that is just sabotage.

So, you have to find a middle way, like the Buddha taught, between asceticism and indulgence, between structure and flexibility. You have to find your own way, through experimentation and self-honesty.

Half-way through this past month I skipped one day but played music instead of writing on that day, so I counted it. That weekend I skipped Friday completely, too fried from the onslaught of the world crisis to do anything. It seemed like a kindness to myself. But then I skipped that Sunday too and that didn’t feel good.

The next week I was back in the saddle, writing daily at least ten minutes, recommitted to the challenge, and finally inspiration was beginning to flow. By the weekend, I needed both days off, or at least, I thought I did.

The balance between structure and spontaneity

Most of us have both an inner taskmaster and an inner rebel. They go hand-in-hand.

Neither one in its extreme form is our friend, though both have gifts that can be channeled in service to our art.

One gives us the commitment and structure to show up devotedly for our art. The other grants variety and zest that helps keep things new and not turning into dull routine, feeling like a should or have to instead of a get to or want to.

Life is hard in many ways. Making art should bring joy and pleasure, as well as meaning, to our lives. So, we want to preserve the pleasure and not turn our art-making into drudgery.

Artists need structure and commitment to get past resistance to creating, but once past it, we also need self-kindness and an understanding of what truly fosters our best creative flow and our best lives. And we need a little wildness to keep things fresh and alive.

I find it’s less important to create every single day than it is to find a consistent pattern and stick to it devotedly.

If it works best for you to create five days a week for an hour, then make that your religious practice. If it’s one day a week all day or every day for at least ten minutes, stick to that. You have to find what works to maintain your best inspired flow, and what’s possible, given the real constraints of your life.

If you don’t yet know, experiment. I highly recommend trying the 10-minutes-a-day challenge for a month.

Taking on small challenges, conducting month-long or short-term experiments, inspires and motivates you to create and helps you gather information about your creative rhythms and what truly works for you.

Then, take what you’ve learned from the experiment and use it to foster an ongoing, joyful, inspired creative life. A life that is uniquely yours.

To your best life,

Maxima

P.S. Every month I give my patrons a creative idea, challenge and/or theme to play with, along with many other rewards. I’d love to have you join us. Click here to find out more:  https://www.patreon.com/maximakahn

Embracing Failure as a Necessary Step in Art

Embracing Failure as a Necessary Step in Art

Dancing near the edge

For over a month now I have been working on a poem called “Tango Near the Edge,” and in the end, it might not be any good.

I am writing it in response to a very complex prompt I found in a book of difficult writing prompts called Challenges for the Delusional. (Who can resist a title like that?)

To follow the prompt, I have to meet a series of difficult and bizarre creative hurdles all within one poem.

One of the hurdles is to use dance terminology in a poem that touches on death.

So, to make this poem I looked up terms used in tango. The terminology for tango is very rich and full of double entendres I hope to play on in my poem, which features a lover near the end of a troubling relationship.

I continue to be interested in this poem because it poses such a difficult creative challenge that it forces me to abandon most, if not all, of my usual strategies, to get out of ruts, and learn something new.

In fact, I have also chosen to impose a fixed form on the poem, in addition to the list of other challenges I have to meet. The form I have chosen is a poem of 24 lines made up of lines of six words each. I learned this form from Brenda Hillman, who in turn learned it from another poet.

This form forces a kind of economy and care on me that is helpful to corral my tendency to ramble. And something about the form has captured my imagination. I’ve used it for several poems already.

After all this time tinkering with the poem, rewriting lines, researching more tango terms and trying to weave them into the poem in a way that adds richness and doesn’t stop the reader because they don’t understand the meanings, I still don’t know if I have a poem that is good.

I have done so many revisions and still, probably the whole thing is too contrived to be successful as a piece of art.

In other words, I may have spent a good deal of my precious creative time on a dead end.

Be willing to go down dead ends

As artists, we have to be willing to go down dead ends for our art. Because in this way we grow, we stretch beyond our habits and safe zones. Art is not about playing safe and small.

Making art is a radical act that calls on all of who we are. Our art, our creativity, asks us to rise to the best we have to give, to who we are becoming, and to keep learning and honing our art.

To get there we often have to go back to being a beginner, over and over. We have to be willing to fall, to fail, to not look good or competent. Only in this way do we learn new skills, add new colors to our palette, discover voices within waiting to be sung.

“Preconceptions about what is and is not possible are as dangerous in the crafts as they are in other areas of human behavior. Meanwhile it is fun to play, and most discoveries are made by accident. Or an inspiration. But it is really an organic principle trying to find a soft spot to sprout in.

It takes a long time to learn that nothing is wasted. It takes a long time, and a lot of suffering usually, to understand that there is more to life and to poetry than our conscious purposes.”

– M.C. Richards, Centering

Be willing to be a beginner again

Years ago I attended a three-week-long residential workshop in Contact Improvisation, the dance form I have been engaging in for over thirty years.

In the workshop we had to break down core skills and try on exercises that felt awkward and hard. Even though at the time I was a fairly skilled Contact Improviser, I found myself suddenly unable to dance well at all. It was painful and embarrassing.

It wasn’t until I returned from the workshop and had some weeks to integrate the learning into my body that suddenly my dancing blossomed to a whole new level.

But I had to be willing to go through the awkwardness of new learning, to step out of my comfort zone, to go down what felt like dead ends and appear terrible as a dancer, in order to emerge from the chrysalis in a new form.

Embrace the awkwardness

Martin Keogh, a wonderful teacher of Contact Improvisation, once said in a workshop, “Embrace the awkward moments. Don’t try to rush through them in the dance.”

I encourage you not only to embrace the awkwardness and be a beginner again and again, but also to embrace challenge in your art, embrace your “failures,” your ruined canvasses, your awful poems, your embarrassing performances, your dead ends.

You never know where these might lead.

Know that you are doing this in service to your art. And celebrate yourself for being brave, for trying something new, and for making art at all.

If you’d like to read my poem “Tango Near the Edge” and see how I’ve met the challenges, join me on Patreon. I’ll share it this week with my patrons. (That’s where I share a lot of juicy insider stuff.)

Pam Houston on Writing and Creative Process

Pam Houston on Writing and Creative Process

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk and reading by much-loved author Pam Houston and then took her writing workshop the next day.

I came away inspired, with her latest memoir, Deep Creek, under my arm, and new tools to use and teach, but I was also troubled.

Houston is an engaging storyteller, a riveting writer, and a warm, vulnerable human being. I’m thoroughly enjoying Deep Creek, which tells remarkable stories of her 26-years on a high-mountain ranch in Colorado, of her often-harrowing childhood, and how she holds onto hope while loving this Earth and watching so much of it die.

Houston’s prime creative technique

In her writing workshop, Houston shared with us the method she used to write Deep Creek and all of her books. It is a technique that is adaptable to many art forms, and there is much to be learned from it about creative process.

Houston collects what she calls glimmers from her life, moments that capture her attention, details from the physical world that brought up some resonance in her.

A glimmer might be a conversation she overheard or the experience of painting the UV protector on the logs of her cabin. It might be a mother hitting her child in the supermarket or seeing 300 elk cross her land in the snow or the time her father was so drunk, he rolled the car and the police had to cut her out of the passenger seat with a chainsaw.

Or, as she shared, a glimmer might be the centerpiece at a cocktail party that she couldn’t take her eyes off and didn’t know why, until much later she realized the bottle of vodka frozen in a mound of ice and surrounded by roses was a perfect metaphor for her mother.

She writes these glimmers down on her computer, describing the scenes in vivid sensory detail and eschewing, as much as possible, any commentary on the meaning of the events. In other words, she practices the time-honored creative writing maxim “Show don’t tell.”

Making a collage of moments

Later, she begins piecing together various glimmers that she intuitively senses belong together. In the process, she avoids the logical mind or trying to figure out or explain what the glimmers mean or why they belong together. Rather she approaches the process like collage, trusting her instincts and trusting her reader to draw connections to seemingly disparate events that may be far apart in time.

If she comes to a place in the writing where she needs a particular type of glimmer, she’ll do a word search on her computer for “ice” or “mother” or “inadequacy” or whatever it is she feels might fit with what she’s working on.

She lets the glimmers play off of and illuminate one another in surprising and interesting ways.

Giving the work a shape

For a book-length work, Houston chooses a form as a way to bring structure and coherence to her intuitive creative process.

For Deep Creek, the form she chose was a 12-sided Rubik’s cube.

The book is in 12 sections divided by short “Ranch Almanac” entries that follow the seasons in order. Each section, like the side of a Rubik’s cube, is made up of multiple glimmers pieced together like a quilt.

The glimmers are not chronological, but jump from her childhood to various points in her life to tales of ranch life. The pairings have intuitive, emotional resonance and also provide welcome contrasts and variety in the narrative.

Sensory detail for empaths and dreamers

Specific sensory details of smell, sound, taste, touch, sight, when vividly described, are what bring writing alive and draw the reader into a piece. They are a vital part of the art and craft of writing. Houston stressed this point in her workshop.

I know this. I teach this. But, as someone who experiences life through my inner experience, my feelings and intuitions, as someone who has always found the imaginal world and the unseen world, the world of spirits and dreams, to be more real and vibrant than the physical world, I struggle mightily with this in my writing.

So I practice. I practice waking up to the sensory world, noticing, paying attention, and describing. And it’s hard work for me.

As artists, we need to practice to strengthen our weaknesses, especially when those weak areas are vital to our art form. We need to keep learning and growing and expanding our capacities and our palette of possibilities.

But we also want to keep the process feeling good and build on our unique strengths. In this way, we find our unique voice and will keep wanting to return to our art. And our joy in making will infuse our art.

So, when I get tired or discouraged from practicing describing the physical world, I go back to my strengths as a writer. I describe my interior landscape. I practice capturing the ineffable. I let myself muse on the philosophical. I make unusual, musical pairings of words, summon beauty and wonder with language, create a kind of word magic, spell-casting.

What troubled me

What troubled me in Pam Houston’s workshop was not her methods, which were fascinating and useful. And noteworthy too because, if you study the methods of writers as I have, you will find an astonishing variety of approaches. There is no one right way to write a story, poem, essay or book.

What bothered me was that she emphasized what hard work writing is, how painful it is. She even said, if it isn’t painful, you aren’t doing it right.

I understand that she was pointing to being willing to delve into what’s uncomfortable and vulnerable and to bring that to the page. I agree this is important.

I understand, too, the importance of revising one’s work over and over to make it the best it can be, and how hard that process of revision can be at times, though I love revising.

The missing piece

But, I make my living teaching writers and artists of all kinds how to have more ease, grace and wonder in the process of creation, to step into that inspired state known as flow, and to enjoy it!

I get so tired of how writers, in particular, love to complain about how hard and painful it is to write.

Do dancers and musicians do this too? I haven’t heard it nearly as much in those realms. More often, I hear musicians and dancers talk about our love of the art form, our love of doing it. Why should it be any different for writers?

Yes, parts of the creative process are incredibly hard. They require us to stretch, to meet our fears, our doubts, our pain and insecurity, to be vulnerable and risk, to work hard to get something right that isn’t coming out.

At times, we meet disappointments and rejections. We come up against our own maddening limitations again and again.

But that isn’t the whole process.

Remember the joy and play

I left Pam Houston’s workshop wondering why writers have this habit of complaining about how hard writing is. I think part of it is because the dominant culture values work, not play. If we make it sound like hard work—and it is that too—then we can validate it.

Writing—all creating—is a tremendous gift. It is sacred play. We are blessed to be able to do it. Let’s not forget that, why we came to it in the first place.

You don’t see young children who are given paint and paper, agonizing over their work. They are at play, in delight, creating, exploring, experimenting. To me, that is the heart of art-making, the way it is meant to be.

And although there are days we sweat and bleed and gnash our teeth over it, we can love and enjoy the process overall. We can learn how to preserve the innate wonder and joy, surprise and magic that is creating.

That is my prayer for you.

To your joyful creative life,

Maxima

2018 Year In Review

2018 Year In Review

This past year, I gave myself a huge gift. I cut back my teaching hours by half and poured myself into my writing life. Here’s what I learned, what I did and didn’t accomplish, and where I’m setting my sights now.
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The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 4: Winter

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 4: Winter

This is the final post in a 4-part series on the Seasons of a Creative Life. You can read part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here.

In the Winter we turn inward for renewal and replenishment.

It may feel like nothing is happening, like we have dried up and have no more good ideas or inspiration or energy for creativity. We are tempted to panic.

But this season is needed too.

This is a time for absorbing new sources of inspiration—reading great books, watching films, listening to music, going to art shows, following our passions and interests, trusting the process, even though it is not yet yielding any outer work.

We may, in fact, during this phase be continuing to go to our studio every day—that’s good!—even though nothing is flowing. We are not creating anything we like. Have patience!

Winter: A Time of Mystery and Transformation

Many changes are taking place in the dark under the soil. Many new seeds are waiting to sprout.

Before a transformation in our style, a breakthrough to something new, we often go through a kind of death of the old, which can feel painful and bewildering and scary.

This is winter. Everything looks dead and frozen, but tremendous things are happening within, waiting for the conditions of spring to burst forth again.

Keep Feeding Your Inner Life

Make use of this time by going within, getting to know yourself better, mining your history, your fascinations, your emotions for new directions.

This is also a great time for inner transformational work, to clear new pathways within.

In the winter, we read seed catalogs and plan our gardens, letting ourselves freely dream and imagine. We also let ourselves slow down, rest and renew, so that we can have energy for the spring and summer ahead.

If You Get Stuck in Winter

Sometimes we get stuck in winter. Uninspired and feeling lifeless, we don’t have the energy or hope to dream. We are in the doldrums.

If that is happening, it can be wise to get some help. Take a class to get new inspiration or reach out from some one-on-one mentoring from me to get your creative juices and enthusiasm flowing again and open up possibilities in your life you may never have even dreamed were possible.

Trust the Wisdom of the Seasons

When we think we should always be inspired and flowing, we are making unfair demands on ourselves. We blame ourselves or our circumstances for something being amiss. Really it may be that nothing is wrong. We are simply in another season with different gifts that we can use, if we become aware of them.

Start to notice the cycles in your creative life and to flow with them, rather than resisting them.

How can I make use of this time to further my creativity and creative dreams?

Is this a time for gathering new sources of inspiration and studying new skills?

Or is it a time for collaboration and sharing of work?

Is this a time for creating lots of new first drafts, just letting them pour out without censoring or judging?

Or is this a time for revising and revisiting, seeing how I can improve on earlier work?

Every season has its blessings and is needed to complete the full cycle of creation.

Share below what you got from reading this post. I’d love to hear. And, of course, if it feels valuable, share it with a friend.

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 3: Autumn

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 3: Autumn

This is part 3 in a 4-part series on The Seasons of a Creative Life. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Just as the season of summer does not last all year, neither does the summer of our creative life.

Autumn comes and, with it, a period of harvesting and then pruning.

In the natural world, we see things fall away, die back and turn colder during this time.

In our creative lives, this is the time for bringing projects to completion, revising, refining, and also honing our skills. A priceless time.

Autumn: A Time of Learning and Discerning

The autumn of our creativity is when we have the energy for studying new tools, looking with a discerning eye at our works and seeing how they can be made better. You may not feel the inspiration of new ideas flowing, but it is just as valuable and important to go over your first and second and third drafts and make improvements, learn from your mistakes, and practice new skills, to grow as an artist.

Autumn: The Final Harvest

In the harvesting phase, we have the focus and discernment to refine our projects and bring them to completion. Letting ourselves complete a project is necessary to make inner space for something new in the next springtime cycle.

In the next post, we’ll talk about the winter of our creative lives and how it paves the way for spring. Stay tuned!

If you want ongoing support, guidance and community to help you navigate the seasons of your creativity so you can really thrive and shine, join me here.

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 2: Summer

The Seasons of a Creative Life ~ Part 2: Summer

This is part 2 of a 4-part series of the Seasons of a Creative Life. If you missed part 1, read it here.

Following the period of initial inspiration, the Springtime of your creative cycles, comes Summer.

Summer is a time of tending our new shoots and watching them grow, watering, feeding, and weeding.

This is the period of working on our creative projects with devotion, logging the hours it takes to bring something from seed to fruit. This is where you put in regular “studio time” so those precious, bright ideas can become actual finished pieces.

Summer: A Time of Sustained Growth

The summer of our creative life is the middle of writing the novel, making the painting, choreographing the dance piece, or building the house. You are riding the current of the initial ideas and sustaining the growth to bring your project or dream to completion.

This is the phase in my IMAGINE Dreamtending process that I call GROW. This is when you grow your dream from its first shoots into a full, healthy plant.

At this cycle, you need structure, a map or plan, a way to break your big goal down into do-able steps. You need support, feedback and regular doses of inspiration, so you can keep going.

Summer: A Time of Sharing

Summer is also an expansive, outward-focused time in the natural world. We tend to be more playful and more social in this season. In the summer of your creative life, this is a time to put on shows, give readings or performances, send your work out in the world or find ways to share it with others, even if it is just a few others. You might want to collaborate on a project at this time.

PeopleTalking_123rfOur creative lives need this sharing of our ideas and creations in order to feel meaningful and complete, in order to keep generating energy and enthusiasm to create. If you are lacking in creative community or places to share your work, you are missing a key, essential element in a creative life. (See my book 6 Essential Ingredients of a Thriving Creative Life.)

If that is the case for you, take a class, join or start a group, rent studio space in a collective, host a creative salon in your living room, find like-minded people who are up to similar things that you can be in creative conversation with.

In my next post, we’ll visit the creative season of Autumn and learn how valuable and essential that season is.

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