I’m going to expose my recent creative process, because it was a complete mess and completely ordered.
I last wrote about losing inspiration and motivation. Thankfully I had the structure of showing up to work every day. Since I didn’t feel like myself or have a clear vision, the order of routine and schedule helped hold it.
There are steps in the creative process. In sum, incubate—prepare—evaluate—implement. Then there are more nuanced steps, like invoke and inspire. And the one we often ignore, restoration.
I went on Sabbatical for all those things, mostly rest and incubate, which ended up being more like purification. Warm October Pennsylvania weather gifted me with walking walking walking in the woods, just getting cleaned out. It didn’t feel like a vacation or holiday. I had the sense of process, purpose, and invocation.
The continued emptiness felt necessary, like allowing the Biblical every-seven-years fallow field. The arrival of feeling more like myself was faster than the arrival of ideas and direction. The field has to be amended to receive the seeds.
I’ve said before and was reminded again and again this fall, we have to trust however we understand the source and wait for it. The human drive to figure things out, find the answers, and know the truth can pre-empt or obscure the dawning of deeper wisdom. I asked daily for guidance, strengthened my practice, and was mostly given…more rest.
When the ideas did begin arriving, slowly, suddenly, expected and unexpected, they were beautiful. I was alert and clear enough to receive them. The ones that might seem intimidating, like compile a book, transcend me having a choice about it. The most unlikely direction may simply be the one to claim.