What to do when you don’t feel any ”creative” energy flowing?”
The Muse can be a fickle little princess.
When you need her she’s nowhere to be found.
You’ve all been through that excruciating moment where you exclaimed: “I would give my kingdom for some inspiration!”
But you didn’t have a kingdom to barter with, so therefore the Muse couldn’t care less about your creative needs!
But there’s this story my grandpa used to tell.
I’m pretty sure he made it up, but it was a good story nonetheless.
There’s a good possibility he wanted us to be inspired and cultivate a love for gardening!
“When the rain didn’t come that year, the ancients realized they needed water!”
That’s more or less how the folk-tale started.
So they pooled resources, and started using thick reeds from the vicinity as makeshift pipes, and quickly developed a knack for understanding irrigation.
They became artisans!
And the crops flourished.
Their equivalent of the Norse god Thor saw that, and started feeling redundant!
Because what’s the use of having followers if they don’t have a reason to follow you?
He then scheduled a conference with the elders, and told them he would zap a few clouds, and provide ample rain during the next planting season!
And he did!
Everyone was overjoyed!
But, my grandpa didn’t stop the story there!
One year, when the rain god lost interest or went to do battle within other realms the townsfolk once again saw no clouds forming on the horizon.
But they were sorted.
The pipes from earlier years were still in place.
And they were thankful they maintained those pipes.
Maybe they even formed a “Department of Irrigation and Water Monitoring!”
I reckon the moral of the story was, “don’t wait, do!”
When help arrives, at least you started!
Ok, there may be a lot we can glean from this makeshift fable— but one thing always stood out for me: They used that which they already had!
So where is The Muse? But a better question might be, “Does she matter right now?”
Artists, businessmen, writers— everyone gets to a point where we feel The Muse deserted us!
That’s a legitimate feeling.
But start “doing!”
Rearrange your office.
You might find notes about a project you had all but forgotten about!
Experiment with textures.
Start “doing” without “feeling” it.
The cartoon character I sketched and posted here was one that I started during my daily commute last year.
In between the escalator and the platform, I waited for the next train.
Out of sheer habit, I started doodling and the lines looked like a mess.
And by the time I got to my end-station, well— it was still a mess.
Later that evening, The Muse swung by.
I started working on my doodle again— erasing and smoothing it out.
Mostly cleaning up.
What I already had, I started “feeling ok” with!
I enjoyed the last part!
That’s how many projects go for me.
I often struggle to get started, because I believe I need to be “inspired.”
This doodle remains one of my personal favorites.
I use it to remind me that a creative process is largely dependent on groundwork.
And when that muse does pitch up, she’s going to take credit for making you piece it all together!
And that’s fine!
Let’s not upset her needlessly!