Monday, July 5, 2010

Everyday Creative: Going Deep

This month required me to “go deep” or what Eric Maisel describes in The Creativity Book as going below the surface to find profoundness in your work. Unlike last month, I had so much to ponder that I could have easily spent half a year working on these exercises. Yes, they were that helpful!

The first week laid out the theme for the month by asking you to dive deeper into the meaning of your work and subject. Buying bewilderment is the activity. It was quite a helpful one too, because you can’t really go deeper into your work until you realize there may be things you just don’t know about it. By reciting “I am prepared to work blind” and “It’s all right not to know,” you are truly opening yourself up to the unknown depth your work can extend.

By the second week, I was ready to continue to go deeper by throwing myself into my fears and unlearning everything school has taught me. Actually, one of the exercises was to physically shred an old textbook. But since I am still in school, I thought I’d skip that one considering how much text books cost nowadays.

Week three was one of my favorites and the most useful. Maisel asks you to put up a big idea to describe your current work whether it be color, peace, urban or whatever is the theme of your project. While I never could quite get a theme for my work, it was a great intellectual exercise. Try it yourself!

By the end of the month, I had to incubate, which seems like an easy enough task, right? But I think a lot of people get stuck incubating and this often leads to a creative block.

But the way Maisel explains incubating, it is more of an active process. Slowly, you are building up to your project by asking questions and checking in with your project and even scheduling time to think and incubate your ideas. Oftentimes, we view incubation as completely letting go of your project, but this exercise really allows you to go deeper into it. I know I found this to be a great way to keep my ideas in the forefront of mind and not get lost.
  • Stay tuned next month when I “use myself.”

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