ON FORCING CREATIVITY


 Many people believe that the creative process – in art, writing, music, sculpting, needlework, pottery, or whatever – cannot be forced. The juices are either flowing, or they aren’t, and if they are absent one may as well go and find a good book to read.

This is not my experience.

I have been eager to do a final movement for my second symphony, but I want to make it particularly tuneful and a worthy climax to the other two movements.  I must say that I am pleased with what has been done so far, and confess that I listen to the second movement, in particular, with some pleasure.

Anyway, I found myself getting promising traces of melodies in my head when driving or going to sleep – anywhere but at the computer – and then forgetting them by the time I was in a position to jot them down. Finally, last evening, I told myself that whether I felt any inspiration or not I was going to start it. I thought a 6/8 rhythm would give a good contrast, and as I wanted to begin with a string passage I made the key signature D Major. Then I forced myself to start entering notes. At first nothing emerged, but gradually a flow started and I completed a commencing outline for the first fiddles which seemed to have merit. Today, after building on that base, I have 34 seconds of music which I think does provide a most promising platform for the work. It is (to my mind, at least) tuneful, interesting, and exciting, and the harmonies I have given to the rest of the string section are making it come alive. Now I can perhaps start bringing in a flute and woodwinds – hmmmmmmmmmm…

Anyway, it was definitely a forced process, but it seems to have got things going pretty well. I notice much the same with writing. Not a clue where to go next, but after reading myself back into the chapter the characters take over again and start dictating! I expect blogging may slow down for a while if I am giving myself a push on the music and on my current novel. The latter I have tended to push into the background in favour of blogging, which is not bright thinking.

As with everything, the secret lies in balance. A bull is far more successful at a gate if it waits until it has been left ajar, or else when nobody is looking takes a nice determined thrust at it until a weak part is found!

© June 2010 Colonialist (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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16 Responses to ON FORCING CREATIVITY

  1. Oh, Col., that is so true. I try to keep a minimum of 7 poems in reserve (now I am down to 5 for the first time) and when I reach the minimum I try to think of a subject while I go about my daily life. Driving the car is usually when I get inspired, lol, and at the first opportunity I write down those key words that I remember. Of course, trying to decipher my writing is another matter. The best of luck to you in both your music and writing.
    +1

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  2. I sometimes sit here, trying to relax my mind and some one will always interrupt, after all I’m just blogging.

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  3. Col – I find that if I’m given a subject to write about, it is relatively easy for me to get creative, but without that little push over the edge, it is difficult most times. What’s even odder is that I may write something and think it is not at all good, yet I get some fabulous comments. It boggles my mind!

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    • colonialist says:

      That is at least encouraging. I have found on a number of occasions that something I have really been proud of has been greeted with a lukewarm response, or polite silence!

      Like

  4. Rob says:

    I must cease all other activity and become still. I write a blog with the trepidation that it will be awful and I ridiculed. I post, read, edit and leave it to become what it must.

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  5. cindy says:

    A very good post Col, I find I work well under pressure, but also have times of extreme famine, so I like to stock up against the lean times.

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    • Colonialist says:

      I need to touch wood… strangely, I find that even if I have no ideas, once I actually start writing they do come.

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  6. Pingback: STOCKING UP AGAINST WRITER’S BLOCK « The only Cin

  7. adeeyoyo says:

    Oh, Col., that is so true. I try to keep a minimum of 7 poems in reserve (now I am down to 5 for the first time) and when I reach the minimum I try to think of a subject while I go about my daily life. Driving the car is usually when I get inspired, lol, and at the first opportunity I write down those key words that I remember. Of course, trying to decipher my writing is another matter. The best of luck to you in both your music and writing. 😀

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    • Colonialist says:

      I have never had the discipline to jot down ideas, so very often I tend to remember I had a brilliant idea but can’t think what it actually was! Rather frustrating.

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  8. Tokeloshe says:

    This is a very good post.

    I read a very good book about Creativity “Understanding Creativity” by Jane Piirto
    http://tinyurl.com/2cyvohd

    I should be scrapbooking instead of blogging. 😉

    PS: Some photos of Horses posted
    http://tokelosheblog.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/feral-horses/

    Have a creative weekend.

    Like

    • Colonialist says:

      Thanks!
      As I thought I had already commented, I am amused by that title because it could mean that one is creative in an understanding way, or that one is to understand creativity!

      I loved the horses – and the adventuring dogs!

      Like

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