Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Signposts and Guides for the Creative Life

I've mentioned Alyson Stanfield's blog in the past and sometimes posted a link to one of her articles that has seemed especially helpful or provocative.  Her book  I'd rather be in the studio!  is a great guide to the creative life, especially with regard to taking steps to market and share your work.  She subtitles her book: "The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion".

"Live with Routines to Free Your Creative Mind" is a title of one of her chapters.  Do we automatically associate routines with creativity?  On the one hand, I continue to hold dear the idea that creativity should bubble freely, without being bound by restriction or structure.  And yet, if you go back through some of the previous posts in this series, you'll sometimes see that there are many people who use routine and discipline to make themselves ready for their creative expression.

Alyson suggests that "if you structure your life around routines, your mind will be free to respond to your creative inspiration."  Her favorite routine is to make sure she is dressed, made up, hair done before she starts her day - it establishes the professional tone she wants right from the beginning.  The last post on Maya Angelou talked about the ritual she uses to begin her writing.  I like to set out the materials I expect to use, clear the kind of space I'll need, choose music or cd's that I will listen to.  I get certain tasks done early in the day - exercise, meditation, shopping, etc. , so the studio time will not be interrupted by things hanging over my head.  There's often an inertia when I want to work.  The idea of just sitting down and beginning feels impossible.  But if I ease myself into it by my small rituals, then I find myself relaxing and ready, ideas flow.

How about you?  Do you have established routines that enhance your creative process?  Or does that feel too cumbersome?

1 comment:

  1. That sounds extremely interesting. I will definitely check out her book!