Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Artist in Motion Tends to Stay in Motion

Newton’s law of motion – you guys know this one.  An object at rest stays at rest, unless an external force affects it.  An object in motion stays in motion, unless something impedes it or changes its direction.  Okay, that’s not a direct quote and I’m not actually that great with scientific theory, but that’s the gist of it.

This is one of those things I’ve known for a long time, just on experience.  I know that the more creative I’m allowed to be, the more I feel like being creative.  Those people who “wait” for the muse are kidding themselves.  The muse won’t come to you unless you’re likely to do her bidding.  She’s kind of a realist that way.

True story about writing – it keeps going, long after you’ve closed down your computer.  Any writer will tell you this.  The story line is playing out in our head when we carry out mundane conversations, do our taxes, or wash the dishes.  When we’re out with normal people in the middle of a social gathering, there’s a voice in our head writing a scene.  We tune it out when something important is going on around us… but not always.

I think it takes a special brand of person to put up with us.  Whatever characteristics you’re born with, it still appears that you’re not paying attention to the people in your real world on a fairly regular basis.  Sometimes we’re not.  Often we’re multitasking.  Real world people might think, “What’s more important?  Me or the stories in your head that aren’t even real?”  If we’re honest, they might not like the answer every time.

I have the pleasure of watching the creative psychosis manifest itself in my daughter these days.  It’s funny.  I know these things about myself, and other creative types that I’ve known.  But to see my daughter have the same leanings kind of brings it home.  It’s not something you can get around – maybe it’s not something to be overcome. 

With my daughter, it’s a lot of things – but her main creative focus is music.  She went to a concert with friends – a local band someone’s sister was in.  When she came home, she gushed about how great the musicians were, showed me a tee shirt and cd she bought, and then spent the next 5 consecutive hours playing… first piano, then guitar, then bass, back to piano, her keyboard… then bass again.  It was a weekend, so I didn’t bug her about it… I think she called it around 3 in the morning.

She had a concert at school last week.  It went well and she had a short solo… did she come home ready to be done with it?  Nope.  I had to make her stop playing at midnight.  That time she was composing.  “Mom… just two more measures… I can’t stop here.”
And I get it.  Playing doesn’t quench the urge to play.  It stokes the fire.  Writing doesn’t fulfill your desire to paint your story… it propels you further.

When your muses have all abandoned you, write something.  Read something.  Surround yourself with those who are creating.  Creativity begets creativity.  And the motion starts with you.

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