March 7, 2014

How to Stay Creative. {Video}

Tammy T. Stone

“It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

~ Ira Glass

I came across this video and instantly fell in love with it. The message is clear and profound.

You start out doing something creative and the masterpiece you’ll make floats through your mind. You get to work. Then it hits: that ocean-wide gulf between what you want to make or achieve, and what you end up with.

Ira Glass, American public radio personality and the man behind the radio and television show “This American Life,” deals with this delicate, awkward space, or lag, between intention and manifestation. He tells us to persevere.

Push through the feeling—even the hard-as-nails facts—that your creative work isn’t where you want it to be yet.

We can apply this idea to absolutely anything we are trying to do—and be—in life.

Everything we do is an act of creation, and requires our love, attention and determination.

I like to think about meditation here in addition to my writing practice, about how we sit down hoping and expecting for any number of enlightenment-oriented miracles. When reality sets in, there’s are high odds we’ll slam into a wall, and this wall is us telling ourselves that giving up is the logical thing to do.

Watch this video—it does get easier!

For some extra inspiration, here are some of my favorite quotes about creativity:

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut

“There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into sun” ~ Pablo Picasso

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” ~ Albert Einstein

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” ~ Jim Jarmusch

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” ~ Stella Adler


For something a little cheekier, check this out.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photos: Courtesy of Author

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