Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. You can't try to do things you simply must do. - Ray Bradbury
Thinking is the enemy. Who would have thought?
I have to agree with Bradbury's statement. Creatives do have a knack for "just doing" things. It's not necessarily that we want to, we have to. It hangs out at the edge of our subconscious, ghost-like, a lost spirit.
I've personally been stuck in this must do thing for several months now. I'm a writer and I've spent the last year writing articles on creativity. It goes well. I don't think about it, I just do it.
I also write fiction. I've spent the last year avoiding the novel. But I've been spending a great deal of time thinking about it. Oh, I've tried several times over the past year to work it out, to get the story on paper, but no matter what I did, it didn't. I was constantly thinking about the best way to move forward. I was listening to my brain. It's the brain, the thinking brain that creates all the problems.
I did finally get back to it. I had to. That ghost at the edge of my subconscious wouldn't let it go. I finally said screw it and just started writing. After a few false starts, it finally happened - the beginning I was looking for. When I stopped thinking about how to sort it out, the writing came as needed.
This creative thing, it's something we must do, it comes from somewhere deep inside and I really don't think we have a choice but to do it. Well, yeah, we have a choice. We can go a bit mad or we can learn to embrace it. And here's what it comes down to...when we think, we hit madness. When we embrace it, we hit sanity. That sort of contradicts the lives of many artists, as there does tend to be a touch of madness in the creative world, but sanity is - let's use my favorite word - subjective.
Creatives are often looked at with a sense of awe. Others don't understand how we do the things we do and they long for our secrets. What they don't know is that sometimes even we don't understand how we do the things we do and that there really aren't any secrets. And if there are secrets to our creative being, we don't know what they are. Creatives are known to be generous with what they know, they share their experiences. We really don't keep secrets. We just do.
Which brings us back to the Zen of creativity. Creativity is a state of being. It's not about our education or our tools. It's about our awareness and our connection with the world. It's how we observe and how we put that observation into motion. A creative doesn't make himself creative. He feels it. A creative doesn't spend much time thinking about her art, she simply does it because she must.