I believe God created the universe—including people, too—and likewise gave us humans the ability to create. For me there is something mystical/cosmic/spiritual about creativity. Because creativity is my strong suit (as opposed to accounting, electrical engineering, or brain surgery), I’m always trying to figure it out and how to utilize it.
I think creativity lives in all of us—like a lighthouse—emitting a positive stream of energy. It’s not something at the forefront of our consciousness; but resides in the unconscious. Some know how to tap into it better than others.
I imagine my creativity as a young child—like a little boy out of Spanky & Our Gang. He wears shorts with knee socks and oxford shoes; suspenders, a short-sleeved white shirt, bow tie, and pork-pie hat. He lives in my brain. I call him Buster.
Creative spirits thrive on attention. They LOVE to be acknowledged. That’s how they play.
Buster will play (interact with my brain) as much as I allow him. I think that’s how it works with everyone’s creative spirit.
Unfortunately as we get older, we downgrade the role of our creative spirit in our lives. We get too bogged down with life—the mundane, the drudgery, the routine.
We prioritize “work” as the most important activity and ignore the impulse to play. We downplay the value of paying attention to our creative spirits to the point that they have withered.
But they never die. They live in the confines of your mind—sometimes just snoozing—sometimes gasping for air on life support—waiting to be acknowledged—and played with.
I honor Buster in my life. Because when I write, he has a large playhouse in which to function. I think he’s a happy boy.
I like Buster. He has helped me innumerable times—everything from figuring out plots, blog topics, dialogue, etc. OR solutions to anything. (My Buster is also an astute judge of character. He can spot a phony much faster than I can. Your inner spirit is also the guy who stores the collective unconscious and keeps the truth—including yours.)
Like everyone’s creative spirit, my Buster never sleeps. He’s like a gear in my head that never stops spinning. When I sleep, he’s in the attic, tap dancing. Or riding a rocking horse. Or playing hopscotch. Sometimes he gets impatient and can’t wait for me to wake up at my normal time because he is so excited to tell me something.
He will wake me up in the middle of the night if he has thought of a new sentence or a picture of something and he has to tell me about it RIGHT NOW!
Like the other night, there I was peacefully slumbering in my comfy bed and at 3:30 AM Buster says, “Wake up! Add: ‘Don’t let the red nose fool you’ to the sentence about Rudolph in the Santa story.”
So I reached over to the tablet and pen on my nightstand and jotted it down. (The chance of me remembering it in the morning is nil.)
Then Buster, being the wild child he is, say, “Well, since you’re up, here is more stuff!”
A stream of consciousness poured out and kept me writing for pages in the darkness.
The really weird part about this writing method (and hopefully I can read my own handwriting in the morning): It’s almost always good stuff.
One time before I fell asleep I told Buster to think of a topic for my next blog. The second I woke up this thought popped into my brain: “Purple cookies and green muffins.” I don’t know what that means or applies to. Thought about it for days, then weeks. And still don’t know. I’ve never been able to use that image in any writing—so far. But Buster never lets me forget it. He thinks it’s terrific!
How do you get Buster—meaning or your own creative spirit—to come alive and help you?
Be engaged. Spend time in a creative manner—doing anything—from singing to gardening, drawing, knitting, cooking, coloring, dancing, listening to music, playing an instrument, writing, designing, painting, hair styling, etc. You can look at your creative mechanism as a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
So have fun with your creative spirit everyday. And be prepared for amazing results!