The Work to Keep Working / by Nico Lund

I have been asked by friends how I do all the creative things that I do. Truth be told, most of the time I feel like I am not doing enough.

Most creatives that I know have at least three ideas ruminating around in their minds at any given moment.

For me, those ideas arise when I am taking a shower, cuddling with the sleepy kitty on the bed, cooking and cleaning, sitting in the sun or watching a dreary wet day out the window. Just like my anxiety, my creative processes are always running, even when I am not totally tuned into them.

The hard part isn't the daydreaming or the imagining, it's not even in the doing once it's been started. The hard part is the enacting. The hard part is clearing away the debris on the counter and making space for it.

What's even more, just like after a good run or yoga class, I know how good it feels to be involved in a project. Then my daydreaming isn't about what will be cool if I started it, but I daydream about when I can get back to my paper/canvas and pick up my brushes, paints, pencils or pens.

Right now I am in the middle of the dreaming and the doing. It comes in waves of course. I honestly can't do all the things in my head at once. But there comes a time when I can't hold all the things I want do in my head anymore! That's the point I start to get antsy and I have to clear away some space.

The other point to address is that for myself and other artists I know, receiving these creative urges and sparks aren't a choice. It's not like "hmmm, I think I want to have a creative idea today, I wonder what it will be...?". Creativity is more like a compulsion. It tickles the senses and when It's not scratched it it starts to fester.

Sometimes an idea has been festering so long that it seems too overwhelming to tackle. But when I finally tackle it, that scary monster of an idea turns into the sweetest little puppy; loyal, obedient and yearning for my undivided attention.

The work to keep working is about acknowledging the process. That I am working even when there is nothing to show for it.

Creativity doesn't thrive on its ability for show-and-tell, it thrives on it's ability to create.

What are some ways you get around the daydreaming to the doing? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.