I feel invincible. Everything seems to go right. The muse loves me and I love the muse. My energy seems to never end. I walk around longing to create every day.
I'm at the top of a wave in the stormy sea of creativity. Nothing can beat me up here. I let the feeling rage through me, because I know it won't last forever. We can't stay on top of the wave forever.
It's only a matter of time until it's time to go down again.
Before I start feeling sluggish and doubtful.
And down we go again.
The ups and downs of creativity
On good days, we ride on top of the raging, sputtering wave.
Our vision stretches out far over the sea of creativity.
We enjoy it because we know that it won't last. Soon we will be over the crest and a downturn is waiting. Riding the furious wave down again all the way to the dark bottom. And that's when we need to remember the highs, that we'll get back there eventually.
Of course, this is life as well as creativity. The ups. The downs. It's all of it. We don't get the good without the bad. That's just how it works.
Sometimes the waves are gentle and we bob along pleasantly. Sometimes the highs are much higher than the lows are low and sometimes we're unfortunate enough that it's the other way around, when we feel stuck at the bottom of a stormy sea.
But nevertheless, up and down it goes. More often than not, it's when we're at our most fidgety, annoyed and doubtful that it's about to turn upwards again.
Whenever I'm in a bad creative mood and complain to my fiance, he listens patiently but don't take me too seriously. Because he knows me, and reminds me of how I work.
It'll be better tomorrow. You always get like this before you solve it.
And it's true. It seems the frustration is needed to force out a creative solution.
Embracing the waves
What do we do? We do our best with what we have. We don't wait around for those brilliant highs. We don't stop creating just because we've fallen down into a slimy beige hole of sullenness. Just because the blank page is intimidating instead of enthralling.
Maybe we do allow ourselves a little slack and a snack, to go slower for a while. A little break perhaps, as long as it's intentional. Consume a little more than usual, get some new perspectives. Take walks. Calm or rouse the brain, accepting that we're in a funk and that it will affect us whether we want or not.
But we don't stop. We stay creative.
We slug on, patiently, tending to our sails, waiting for the wind to pick up again and the tides to turn.
Maybe we even learn to love the bad days too, because they're evidence of the good ones. There's beauty in the fact that it's not just a string of same same. It's a whisper that what we're trying to do is hard, that it was never supposed to be a comfortable ride. We're growing and challenging ourselves and pushing through, and sometimes it feels hard. And that's okay.
To be creative is to create even when it sucks.
It's to ride out the storm, both when the storm is on our side and when it's against us. We can't lose hope. A creative who loses hope is one who quits.
And we are no quitters.
We are in it for the long run.
For as long as we breathe, we will be creatives.
And we will create, on good days and bad.