Paint Your Bicycle, Decorate Your Ox!
I don't know about you, but I get stuck from time to time.
I feel like I've used up all the creativity in my body and I'm just plain out of stock.
And sometimes wonder if there's a way to replenish, or if I should just go ahead and switch professions.
Liz Gilbert offered some of the best advice I'd ever ran across in her marvelous book Big Magic.
It's a wonderful tale about a writer who couldn't find any more words to put on paper. He was stuck, and he was simply failing at life. His wife had to get another job just to make ends meet and his family was feeling the burden as much as he was feeling the pressure.
Then one day, he decides to paint his daughter's bicycle for her, after much pleading. So many stars he painted and she was so pleased with it that she rode off to show her friends. Then THEY wanted a shimmery starry bicycle, so he continued painting.
And then, after all the bicycles in the neighborhood were adorned with stars, his spark came back. His mind had new thoughts. He began to write again. He had pushed through the block.
The point she makes with this story is that when you can't do what you want to do, just do something, anything. Paint, dance, move your body, decorate your house, clean it up, make energy of any kind start to flow again.
In the same book, she tells a tale of a man in a small remote village with an elaborately decorated ox. Why would someone decorate their ox? Why the hell not?
For the sake of creativity, that's why.
Make beautiful things, no matter if you are making money with them or not. Do it for the pleasure of doing it.
Bake a beautiful cake, Gram it, then eat it! Build something beautiful, then show no one. Paint, sing, write a song and sing your lullaby to an empty room. The spirits will hear you. The muses will be delighted.