My Creative Plumbing

Extra Nutty

It has been nearly a week since I have created some art.

Do you find that if you don’t create regularly, you start fraying at the edges? For me, usually a maximum of around four days of no creative time for myself will start sending me a touch crazier than usual.

I liken my need to create to a set of pipes. When they are clogged by the necessities of life, the pressure builds and I get cranky.

One side effect is that when the dam finally breaks, I gush creativity all over the page. When my main creative outlet was writing fiction, after a few days of being held back from writing, what would come off my pen would often be over the top poetic or incredibly intense. Certainly made for interesting reading.

This knowledge is also useful when I have been creating too much. Is there such thing as too much creativity? There most certainly is. At the other end of those pipes is a reservoir and it can sometimes be drained.. You can only push inspiration so far before it stops being inspired and becomes dull and lifeless. I’ve found it a good thing to sometimes take a day or two, do something completely different, and let the reservoir refill. It will, quite nicely, all by itself. And then I open the pipes again.

Another factor that affects my creative pipes is my emotional state. If I’m upset about something, creativity can help me get the emotion out. One of my favourite ploys when I was writing fiction was to grab a character or two and throw them into a fight. I love writing fight scenes. Not for any gore’s sake, but more for the ebb and flow of the action, moving a character’s body in ways I could never move my own, and usually some nameless goon is the punching bag. I get to channel my anger into something productive that I can then use.

And that is important to me. If I can make a positive out of a negative, it goes a long way towards making me feel better. And it can be cathartic. It may not fix the problem, but it does help to have some completed work to show for my angst.

All sorts of emotions can be channelled down those pipes. I’ve even induced emotion through music and then channelled that onto the page. If you know how to manipulate your emotional state, it can help in your search for inspiration.

And of course, the lack of time to create doesn’t stop inspiration from thwacking you across the head while you’re trapped in the land of chores. I’ve lost so many good ideas simply because I couldn’t attend to them when they sparked. I do write them down, but I find that if I don’t grab them when they are fresh, I lose momentum and over think the idea before I can put pen to paper. It goes stale. This is where I need to block my creative pipes on purpose and try to save that inspirational moment until I have time to follow it through.

The reservoir continues to fill whether the pipes are open or not, so if I don’t get art time, the pressure builds and I get grumpy and frustrated. Is creativity a drug? Possibly. I know I turn into a snarling monster if I don’t get my regular fix.

Anyone know a good plummer?

(too tired to art)


One response to “My Creative Plumbing”

  1. Me, me! I started reading your post and thought “That’s me.” Like you, its been about a week (maybe a bit more) since I did some art of any kind. Things have been a bit nutty around here, and it’s all I can do to keep going day after day. And I can feel the wear on my mind (and even body in a weird way). I miss the freedom from creating something, just the sense of seeing what comes out of my mind, and what new idea I plan to make into reality. The creative plumbing is both stopped up and dripping at the same time – not really one way or the other, as I keep thinking that I want to work on X or Y project, but not getting to do so. Sigh. Not sure what to do here, but I definitely need to have some me-and-art time. Or even me-and-scribble time would do!