The Creative Fountain
It came to me while writing, as seems to be my M.O. these days. It came to be while I was writing because I do nothing but write, it seems.
But let me back up just a little bit.
I didn’t always realize it, but I’m an incredibly focused, driven person. When I get on a “kick” for doing something, I re-invest all of my effort into it until I’ve done the sh*t out of it, beat it dead, dug it up, reanimated it and gone through the whole process again. No breaks. Very little sleep. Slightly creepy.
It’s the same for everything I’ve ever been passionate about. People, even. When I’m in love, it flows through me like a fountain and all of my effort re-invests into that love. Love seems to be the key. I love writing so that passion has always been there, but there were blockages. Self-doubt, perceived barriers of time and energy, and then the ever-powerful self-editor.
Not anymore. Not since I’ve decoded creative blocks and have been devoting my time to obliterating all the blocks I can. Write a book in three months? No sweat. I’ve got three weeks left on the contract and I’m right on schedule. But you know what? That’s not enough! I decided to write some fiction in my “spare time”. You know, to reinvest in the Craft. Gotta focus, expand my skill set, broaden my understanding of the art. Because obviously, I’m not doing enough already.
Unfortunately, that challenge proved too easy. I wrote a 50,000 word story in fifteen days… in my spare time. Then I wrote another one, a few thousand words longer. Now I’m working on a third, which is only quarter finished and is already 22,000 words finished with another 20,000 words for later chapters, all while I write a non-fiction piece for a client during the day, all just in the last three months. It’s beginning to feel a little worrisome, like there’s something wrong with me, a shadow of the feeling I used to get back when I couldn’t finish anything.
I turn off my laptop and put it away each night and half the time I end up turning it back on so I can write some more. (Like I did tonight.) Hell, I’m not even a particularly fast typist, but I write thousands of words each day. My previously perfectly-edited words are now coming through riddled with typos because my fingers can’t keep up. My internal editor is muzzled and chained in a corner, mascara streaked down her face like a horror movie.
So tonight the thought came into my head, “I can’t stop writing.”
It was the word “can’t” (a word that implies self-inflicted limitations) that made me realize that I’ve learned how to turn on the creative flow to full blast, but I don’t shut it off. I know how… I just don’t.
I like being a fountain of creative energy. I’ve built a day’s activities around producing more flow, to create more connections that are the source of creativity. But nothing else. If I devoted more time to, say… balancing my checkbook, the flow would slow down. Or organizing my book shelf. Or other mentally-focused activities, like, I don’t know, reading. For someone who used to read upwards of five books per month, I just get bored too fast with it now. There’s no rush of creation, and physically focused activities provoke more creativity.
But what am I? What is this life if all I do is produce? Am I any different than the investor who does nothing but look for the next money-making opportunity, while his family waits for him? I think not.
There’s a knack to being able to shut it off. I can teach people how to do what I do, but it’s just as important to be able to unplug, shut down, and just be a fountain of life, instead of a fountain of creative energy. There are things that need to happen in life. I can write a dozen books, I can create beautiful worlds for people to delve into. But I also need to be a fountain for my own life. This life that is already here, and is constantly creating itself around and through me.
And now, I’m going to stop writing for a little while.