Fueling Creativity

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!


2 responses to “Fueling Creativity

  1. I find that in those “slow porker” moments, when it feels like the world outside is definitely without grace and has no sympathy for my derth of creativity, that I rely on the standstill. It is as if my earth within me has inhaled and is waiting to exhale, and of course, I am caught in the inhale. We cannot always be in the exhale; it is the pause before the exhale when I feel the stillness of now and prepare for the movement out.

  2. Hmmm, I like the concept of the unruly, and capriciously hungry car as a metaphor for creativity. Talk about fuel for thought…

    For me? Jeez… my fuel seems to come from the craziest places, sometimes… My main problem, is that I’m usually in the middle of working on my “car” and thus, fueled or not, the blocks it rests upon prevent me from driving it anywhere. If I could just get those hot, new wheels on it, then I’d be good to go.The upgrades seem to inspire me as much as the constant and varied sources of fuel drive me. I’m in a constant purgatory, I feel, of wanting to fix up my ride and wanting to just start it up and drive till it rusts out from beneath me.

    And in this society of competitiveness and one-upmanship, I’m very aware of every bolt I didn’t properly torque on the manifold of the engine and road that I have yet to actually drive down. So, I’m constantly battling inertia as I try to plan what to do next.

    Pimp my ride? Or drive it further? What to do, what to do…

    And don’t even get me started on the analogy of the planning of trips…

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