I was asked this past week to picture myself at a time I felt most creative. I have two instances I can think of for this:
The first is me at 15 or 16, sitting in an art class with a charcoal pencil in hand. We’ve been given a prompt of an emotion but nothing else. There’s some soft music playing with the sound of other student’s scratching their own interpretations out on the oversized swath of parchment we each had in front of us. Art classes were always right before or after lunch for me, which left the mind in that strange state of being easily lifted out of whatever state you thought you were in. We were told that what we were doing was practice, that it wouldn’t be graded. A switched flipped, and my hands moved.
I was free in that moment to be creative without consequence. It was not a math quiz, a reading assignment, or a missed opportunity in a sport that would follow me around like a dark shadow until whatever was next. This was just a moment to create.
Then I thought back further. This time I was sitting in a group at recess with my friends, all of us 10 or 11, giggling over stories we were telling each other as we frantically wrote down in notebooks. We’d pass them around, put notes in the margins, but we would never critique. It was all just for fun. I remember the fresh air of those days, the cold pavement in the shade, and again having done those things either right before or after lunch.
What stands out about this instance is again, the lack of consequence. I was writing for fun. It didn’t matter if the story made sense or had flowering language. It was simply because I enjoyed it and I got to share it with my friends. Ever since those days I’ve been chasing that feeling. Sharing my stories with friends, getting comments about the characters, having someone who knew me be invested in seeing it through.
Creation without consequence. Writing for fun with a community.
How do I get those things back in my life? How do I infuse that into my routine now?
Have any of you ever thought about when you’ve felt your most creative? I’d love to know!