What if your car ran on crumpled up love notes for two weeks, wouldn’t go for one, and then ran on X-Large dog biscuits for six months? And then it went through a period where it took two trashbags full of used clothes just to get out the driveway. Oh yeah, and then there was the time it ran like a dream on just a few whispers from your sweetheart, for a whole year. Those were the days.
How do you find fuel for such a vehicle? Everyone else just pulls up at the gas station and Eeyores their way through yet another reaming by the Oilogarchy. It’s dreary, but easy. You, on the other hand, are always on the lookout for what will make your car go. You ask your car “How about that crate of bananas behind the Coop? Could be nummy nummy banana bread…” “No.” (car crosses arms and humphs.) “Hmm. How about those photos of ancient pot sherds from Mesopotamia?” (car perks up.) “Ok. We’ll stuff those in your gas tank, and head down the road.” For… who knows how long.
It’s not easy, feeding a finicky vehicle like Creativity.
You’ve got to get to know what gets your engine running. No–you’ve got to get to know what gets it purring like a Ferrari at a stoplight surrounded by Yugos. It’s going to be different month to month, even minute to minute. Frustratingly, unreliably, weirdly different, in fact. But then, you’re a creative: you’re used to adventure. You’re used to flying by the seat of your pants and making it up as you go along. Thankfully, your creativity is not a car. It’s an integral part of the rest of you. When you’re out in the world, though, it can help to see it as a wild beast/lover that you’re not quite sure about yet. It’ll need space sometimes, but mostly it’ll be looking for stuff to devour and digest. Fuel for… itself, and whatever it is that it does. You’ll have to keep on the lookout. You’ll have to cajole it at times, be stern at times, but mostly, you’ll have to keep looking until you find whatever it is it likes at that moment. (It being you of course.) All in all, doesn’t that sound fun?
Now the downer stuff.
While your car was changing its mind, you still needed it to pick up groceries, get downtown to visit your friend. “And the little porker wouldn’t move? Doesn’t it know who’s in charge? Stupid thing…” you say to yourself as you figured out a way around it, and made the journey alone, without its company for a spell.
Have you figured out how to get the groceries when your Creativity is refusing to budge because the fuel you’ve been feeding it suddenly got boring? That’s going to be important.
How have you smoothed out the peaks? How do you survive the valleys? Share your stories!