The Power of the Cookie
Today is great day, I’m so energized! I got so many things planned! I got costumes to sew, drills to practice, choreography to work on and I’m even going to work on my stretching!
But first let me check what’s up on FB, oh I see a kitty picture, oh-oh a rant, selfies, inspiration quotes, scroll, scroll, scroll, another kitty pic. Hmm… what was I looking for? Let’s see what’s up with latest shows online? Oh, that Jimmy Fallon sure is a funny guy! 2 episodes later, I need chocolate. There’s none in the house. I must have chocolate now! I need to go to the store to buy some immediately and something salty too!
Wow, where did the day go? I can’t believe I wasted my day away and got nothing done. I’m beating myself up at the end of the day for not having accomplished all I had set out for. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I focus? Maybe I have adult ADD?
Well, come to think of it nothing is wrong with me! I don’t have adult ADD, for goodness sakes my day job is to organize large groups of people and keep everyone else on task! Actually, what I’ve come to realize is that what I’m “suffering” from is the creative process!
The other day I was dining at a Chinese restaurant and I was taken aback by my fortune. It said “How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes”? And it resonated so strongly with me because it made me realize that my expectations of creating and accomplishing in any given timeframe wasn’t realistic. Sure there has been a rare moment or two of inspirational genius where I came up with something new on the spot, but that is a rare occurrence likely not to be repeated again.
I’m learning that the creative process requires taking breaks and making some mistakes. I’m learning that it’s okay to have a costume that has been sitting in my closet unfinished for over a year. The design work or craftsmanship that I’m not satisfied with is okay because those mistakes are teaching me how to perfect my craft and develop my design skills. Starting over is nothing to fear. Sure you put a lot of work to get to where you got, but that work isn’t wasted. It’s work that you’ve learned not to do again.
I’m also learning to accept that periods of doing nothing are actually quite necessary. It’s okay to step away and take a break. I’ve learned that for me stepping as far away as possible from what I’m working on and getting immersed in other areas, such as photography, theater, musicals, nature and art are very productive, even if it’s just observing because it helps expand my perspective.
I’m inspired when collaborating with friends and artists that are creative in other areas. Not only does their energy and different perspectives help me explore new angles in what I’m working on, but also collaborating together keeps me from becoming discouraged.
I have a purple costume I’ve been working on for the past year and I’m not satisfied with the design I had originally created. I’ve let it sit in my closet hoping it would finish itself overtime. Tomorrow I plan to work it on it some more, by letting it sit a little while longer while I go out and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Then when I’m ready I’ll take apart my beautiful mistakes and not feel bad because I now know that the cookie was right and that a beautiful costume will emerge from it someday!