BALANCE: A Creative’s Challenge

I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me. I would write on the lintels of the door-post, Whim. I hope that it is somewhat better than whim at last, but cannot spend the day in explanation.

self relianceIn his essay, Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, extols the virtue of dropping everything and ignoring everyone when he is feeling the flow of his creativity–the siren call of his genius. Such is the “high” most creatives get when fleeting ideas, words, images or musical notes take form–solidifying in their reality.

That feeling is hard to set aside for any creative person. Yet, the realitiesworkout of life, mean that it must happen. Today, I wanted nothing more than to dive into work on the second book in my new science fiction series. The Saga of the Cerulean Universe cannot wait! But, I also knew that if I didn’t get in some kind of workout this morning that I would not be quite right in the head all day–such is also my commitment to fitness. On top of that, I also need to take care of my financial realities. I’m not making enough money off of my books and nasm and notepadwriting (yet) to do it full-time–I still need to pay the bills. So, today I also have to set aside a portion of my quiet, alone, at-home time to do some Endeavor Racing administrative work and to study for my personal trainer certification.

Consequently, I create a schedule for my day–parceling out the hours to write, to do my bookkeeping and to study. Still, when I get to my allotted writing time, there is a risk. I’m very excited to work on my follow-up to Piercing the Celestial Ocean–and ideas and writing seem to have been exploding from my mind in past sessions. The risk is that I’ll get so caught up in what I’m doing that I “decide” to keep writing and ignore the other tasks on my list.front cover KINDLE

Hence the creative’s dilemma–when do I embrace Emerson’s whim and when do I stop  to move on to another scheduled task? It’s never easy to evaluate in that moment–to step out of the flow, stand on the shore and weigh the costs and benefits. Sometimes, if a marvelous idea is just in its infancy, I can get away with jotting some quick notes–without fully developing the thought and then jump to the next item on my list. Other times, I just need to keep going–the idea has already crystalized into words, sentences, paragraphs and pages–and I must write until my mind is emptied.

The real challenge for me is to make sure that on the days where the writing is not flowing that I do not try to force it by extending my time. On those days, I need to make sure I’m doing the other work on my list—my workouts, accounting, marketing, studying. If I can do that well, I’ll be able to allow myself a little more leeway when a writing session turns into a creative torrent.


~ by kipwkoelsch on July 19, 2020.

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