Being Creative in a Mad World: Stopping

So we come to the end and it’s time to stop. 

To be creative means to recognise when you’re not being creative, and be able to do something to rectify that situation. To change and move forward you must stop whatever it is you’re doing (or not doing) that doesn’t serve either you or your creativity.

Stopping links all the other active qualities of the creative person, making it possible to leave behind unproductive behaviour and negative thoughts, opening the way to freedom through active creativity.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Learning

To be creative means to be open to life and curious about what’s going on and why. If you want to create something meaningful you must educate yourself: demand to know everything there is to know, whether about the world around you or the world inside you.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Looking

Look with more care than this...

To be creative you must pay attention to the world around you. Creativity is born out of an interest in life and other people. Turn your gaze outward. Search out the telling detail, ready for the moment the mask drops and the truth is revealed.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Rebelling

Stand out

True creativity happens right on the edge of rebellion, on the edge of chaos. This is where life functions at its best: at a point of dynamic equilibrium. Always changing, always transforming into something else.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Affirming

Be Yourself

Living creatively means being you. Who else are you going to be, if not yourself? Whose life are you going to live, if not your own?

Affirming means saying yes to being here and being alive. To be creative you must make manifest who you are through your creativity, and you do that by giving voice to your unique take on life.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Acting

Act on your desire...

To be creative you must act. Creativity is meaningless if it isn’t acted upon and made real. If you do nothing, you’ve got nothing.

You become what you do.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Encountering

Encountering means confronting life and yourself. 

This isn’t an aggressive confrontation with lots of bared teeth and frowning. It's non-demanding – more like an embrace. But not clinging, not a death grip. It’s about giving your creativity space to breathe, holding it in your mind and letting it be.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Committing

Commit before it's too late...

Committing to living creatively means you care. It’s an investment in yourself, in your future, in the process of creating, and in others.

You are entangled with your inspiration and passions, like two quarks linked across time and space, pulsing with the dance of life.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Doubting

Invert your thinking...

If you are creative then you’re paying attention to the world around you and exploring your inner world looking for inspiration and passion. But the more you look, the more you will doubt.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Meaning

What is the meaning of life?

We all have our favourite answers to this question, but it’s a mistake to think meaning exists out there in the world somewhere, just waiting for you to discover it. 

Of course, you can take your sense of meaning from outside yourself, in family, career or accomplishment, but this leaves you wide open to disappointment and disillusionment.

Whatever you invest with meaning has power over your life. If you invest meaning in something outside yourself, you render yourself powerless. You will constantly be thrown back on yourself, never feeling the master of your life.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Choosing

Choose wisely...

Sartre said we are condemned to be free. But you could say we are condemned to choose. Having big brains frees us from being driven by instinct, but our consciousness only makes it possible for us to be free. We are only free if we act on it and make a choice.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Thinking

Creativity involves a lot of thought. Most of the work of writing is thinking: questioning, investigating, exploring and researching, turning the idea round and round, interrogating it from every angle.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Dreaming

If you want to be creative you will have to create the right environment to allow your imagination freedom to roam. Imagination is the essence of creativity.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Loving

Love is a condition of relatedness. True love is a recognition of the fundamental unity of all life. To be alive means to be in relationship – to yourself, to other people, to the earth, animals, plants, water, the sky…

Even though unity is the inherent nature of life and love is our natural condition, we must act on it in order to realise it.

Being Creative in a Mad World: Existing

Do you know you’re alive?

It seems like an obvious question. Descartes summed it up in his famous statement, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ There is no way you can doubt your existence because the very fact of your doubt proves it.

Being Creative in a Mad World

The world has lost its mind. When I say ‘the world’, I mean the human world – what we are pleased to call ‘civilisation’. The natural world is doing its best to prop us up and keep us alive, despite our best efforts to undermine its ability to do so. We're testing our Mother’s patience and a climatic arse-kicking of apocalyptic proportions is heading our way. Probably.

The only way to respond to such rampant insanity and myopic destruction is to create. I’m not suggesting that everyone bury themselves in artistic creation: paint a pretty picture and you won’t notice the destruction on your doorstep; write a novel and the stories you tell yourself and your readers will replace the reality outside your window. 

No, creativity isn’t about denial or running away.

How to Stop Procrastinating – Now!

Don't let your life slip away...

Last time we successfully avoided doing any work by looking at the eight styles of procrastination. But no matter what your style, you can’t keep putting things off forever. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to get stuff done. But first you need to figure out why you’re procrastinating. So here’s another thing you can do to avoid doing the thing you need to do: dig through the excuses and find the root cause of your avoidance.

What kind of Procrastinator are you?

I’ve been meaning to write this for ages. It’s been on my list of possible posts for over a year, but I kept putting it off in favour of other stuff. Then around came the new year and it gave me the perfect excuse to stop making excuses and get it done. Everybody procrastinates some of the time, but writers are particularly prone. There may be many reasons for this – writer’s block, for example – but we might just be at the mercy of our brains. If you keep putting stuff off, it can look like pure laziness and a way to avoid work, but procrastination isn’t really about poor time management either.

The Real Cause of Writer’s Block and How to Overcome It

Every writer gets stuck once in a while, but suffering from writer’s block takes stuckness to a whole new level. It’s said that the difference between writers and would-be writers is that writers write. They actually put the words down and keep putting the words down – regardless. So what happens when you’re a writer (or think you are) but you can’t write?

How to make your New Year Resolutions Stick

Congratulations on surviving the holidays! Now it’s time to kid yourself that you’ll make spectacular changes to your life for the New Year. Lose weight! Get fit! Learn Chinese! Write a novel! Yeah, right… 

In this post we’ll have a look at where we go wrong and how we can choose resolutions that’ll stick.