Author and creativity expert Julia Cameron explains that creating should not be a difficult process of thinking something up; instead it is a way of “getting something down” and doing so without strain. Some people might call this being in a state of creative flow.
Plumbing the Deep Well of Creativity
Instead of thinking desperately hard to dredge up an idea, we should be able to simply listen for it. In her timeless and popular book, The Artist’s Way, Cameron refers to this as “tuning in and dropping down the well.” For me, this terminology conjures a split-second image of Alice in Wonderland falling abruptly down the rabbit hole, but Cameron has a more deliberate process in mind here.
Tapping Into Creative Flow
According to Cameron, all the creative ideas, stories, music and so on are “just under the surface of our normal consciousness. Like an underground river they flow through us as a stream of ideas that we can tap down into. As artists, we drop down the well into the stream. We hear what’s down there and we act on it – more like taking dictation than anything fancy having to do with art.”
Listen! Can you Hear your Intuition?
This explains how a writer might suddenly be inspired to write out a fully formed paragraph, or a painting might seem to take on a life of its own, or how music might flow from our lips or our fingertips. As Cameron explains, this type of seemingly effortless creating happens when we learn to “not only listen but also hear with increasing accuracy that inspired, intuitive voice that says, ‘Do this, try this, do that….’”
Since Cameron believes that it is not only natural to create but also that the creator, God, the Universe (or however you feel comfortable in expressing your view of the world) will collaborate with you and offer help in the form of “a second voice, a higher harmonic, adding to and augmenting your inner creative voice.”
And this second voice? You may well experience it as a powerful synchronicity. According to Cameron we may: “Expect the universe to support your dream. It will.”
Two Tools to Improve your Creativity
Using the daily Morning Pages and weekly Artist Date as tools to enhance your receptivity helps you become more accepting of assistance whatever the source, and also assists you in learning how to access that elusive state of creative flow more often.
The trick here is to use the tools consistently and routinely. If you are skipping these steps, you are limiting yourself, cheating yourself out of the primary benefits pf following the Artist’s Way program.
Obstacles to Creative Flow
Of course there may be some remaining obstacles to your receiving support or tapping into the flow of creativity. Sometimes the biggest obstructions or creative blocks are of our own doing. Next time, some thoughts on self sabotaging perfectionism and getting out of our own way.
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