Solitude and Creative Expression

“Solitude or working alone can help a creative person develop and refine their work, but it is certainly not the only way to nourish creative projects,” so states Douglas Eby in his new book. Well, to each his own. Some creatives prefer isolation while others seem to strive amidst a collective. Both environs serve a purpose. It depends, I think, on how you’re wired.

Many artists acknowledge the value of academies such as Juilliard, and less formal artist retreats and workshops, like Idyllwild. Others give credit to formal education at a university’s marketing and communications school or a structured curriculum at, say, the International Center for Studies in Creativity.

Eby points out that much of the writing and advice on creative expression and enhancing creativity focuses on the inner journey of the individual. Furthermore, creating happens in a social context, and often depends on inspiration and support from others, on finding an audience, and getting financing from publishers and producers.

Perhaps, I say, but not always…

[irevuo] The Inspiration Myth

Kurt Vonnegut would wake up at 5:30 a.m. work until 8 a.m., eat breakfast, and then work a couple more hours.

J.M. Coetzee, the 2003 Nobel Prize Laureate, supposedly spends at least one hour at his desk, every morning, without fail.

Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4 a.m. and writes for 5 or so hours. Every single day.

Franz Kafka, one of the most influential writers of the past century, would work each night from 11 p.m. until early in the morning.

Maya Angelou used to write every morning from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

One of the most prevalent myths is that to do creative work, one must feel inspired. It’s not true.

We can always work, whether we feel inspired or not.

It’s all about developing a routine.

[irevuo] How to Fall in and Out of Love With Your Muse

You will want to create something of your own. You will want to do what you can, with whatever’s at your disposal at that moment. Right there, right then. If you have to write your story on a piece of napkin, so be it. If you have to sketch on your phone, fine.

When you find your muse, you will feel yourself becoming addicted to the promise of doing work you hope could last forever.