Honor the Creative Process

by Barbara Martin

in Creativity, How to Tips

Are you committed to the process of making art, or are you one of those creative types who, as Eric Maisel describes in Coaching the Artist Within, would much rather imagine that other (lucky!) people’s creative projects finish themselves joyfully and magically by effortless genius while you, meanwhile, refuse to get out of bed?

Dilemma: Show Up — or Stay in Bed?

Some creative people approach their projects with so much wishful thinking that they never even begin to do the work because we are waiting for a miraculous occurrence wherein the thing writes or paints or sings itself. How likely is this, really?

And some of us look at our output and are totally derailed to discover that some of what we create, some of our work, might be ok or maybe even inspired, but a lot of it is not all that good or may be uninspired or even lousy. Discouraging. “Why bother?”

Sometimes we start a project but soon begin to hate doing it, because it’s, um, work. And then we quit because we don’t think being creative should take work. “Nobody told me it would be work!”

But is work really such a four letter word?

According to Maisel, we must recognize and accept reality. There is no way around it: a commitment to process is required so that the work gets done. Otherwise, we’ll never accomplish anything.

And if you stop to think about it, this is true for both process-oriented work and for goal-oriented work.

Be the Exception
And either way, proving the exception – being the one who shows up and does the work as required, does what is right at this time, taking the next right step, for their project at hand –being the one who honors the process as well as a goal has a better chance of success.

How do you Honor the Creative Process?
Are you doing anything currently to dishonor your creative process?

If you set out to purposely honor the process of your current project, what would you do differently?

Click here for 20+ Additional Posts All About Coaching the Artist Within!

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{ 1 comment }

Eileen June 30, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Hmmm…what would I do *differently*? Wow, I have to be honest and say my first thought was “relax.” If i were to purposefully honor the process, I’d try to relax and savor every step of it. From the spark of an idea, to the uncertainty surrounding the execution, to the hard work of refining and polishing. Yep, I’d *relax*.


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