When you mention to me that you like to stay scheduled and busy, not have any free time on your hands, I will admit that the question passes through my mind, “Why do you not want to spend any time with yourself?”
You see, in my world, spending time alone and relatively unencumbered, such as on a walk in the neighborhood, is vital to keeping my creative juices flowing. Those are the times when I look around and notice details I have not noticed before, leading eventually to finding connections between two seemingly unrelated ideas, leading to more ideas that have never occurred to me before. And, I thrive on that. It’s how I stay in business.
On a related subject, I often listen to people telling me that they aren’t creative. I can’t quite grasp what that means, since most of us have to invent work-arounds when things do not go our way, and that requires a lot of ingenuity- a first cousin of creativity. But, let’s just say that people who are telling me that they aren’t creative really mean that they don’t come up with new ideas without a prompt from the environment.
My thought is: Go for a walk. Go for lots of walks on lots of days. Quietly read. Intentionally listen to music- while doing nothing else. Garden without earbuds. Live in your mind for awhile. Explore- see what’s in there. See if you haven’t inadvertently left a trail for yourself. If you hate what you find, get therapy. But if you have never given your mind room to roam, then don’t tell me that you aren’t creative. Don’t tell yourself that you aren’t creative.
Creativity does not come in pre-measured doses- when the dose is swallowed or spilled or given away, it’s gone. Creativity is generated by the actions of our thoughts, roaming at random, within the context of habit. The more you exercise the habit of putting together unrelated thoughts to come up with a newly synthesized thought, the stronger the ‘creativity muscle’ becomes. Creativity feeds on habit- the habit of walking, or paying attention to images on the backs of your eyeballs when you lie down at night, or sitting at your writing desk, or standing at your easel, or walking onto the dance floor. Shambling into the kitchen, looking into the fridge and figuring out how to make dinner with the stuff you find there.
Now it’s time for me to rummage around in my mind and see what I’ve put in there that I’ve forgotten about. Maybe I can do something with it. The mind- the original recycle/reuse/repurpose repository.