Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where Do You Spend Your Creative Energy?

I've been embarrassed lately. My last blog post was four months ago, and I was starting to feel like a failure for not writing. In fact, as a person whose strength is in communications, I had started to doubt whether or not I should even have a blog if I wasn't going to keep it current.

However, after a lot of introspection, I realized that my blog isn't so much about me being a writer, and having something of utter importance to say. Rather, it was an outlet for my creative impulses. And, after looking back over my life, I realized that much of my life's journey is plotted with phases of creative expressions -- all good, but none defined to just one area.

I love to cook, and lately I've been doing a lot of it. I reorganized my recipes, created a customized cookbook, and have been working through some new culinary experiments (much to the demise of my waistline). In the recent past I found my greatest outlet for my creativity to be at work creating strategies and communication plans for my employer, before that it was writing, before that speaking, before that...and the list goes on (mostly in a circular motion as I tend to revolve around writing, cooking, speaking, working).

I also found that when my need for creative expression had been met that I defaulted to absorbing other content -- watching movies, listening to books, reading articles, playing games with my kids, or just letting another obsession take over for awhile (like cleaning my house, or organizing the basement, or some other lower-level, obsessive-compulsive behavior).

Okay, so what does all this mean. First, I've gotten over the guilt for not writing more frequently. Also, I've become very comfortable with the idea that whatever my outlet is -- the important thing is that I am expressing it. When I worked in higher education, the faculty operated under the saying, "Publish or perish." This drove the professors to always be writing something -- and it rubbed off on me a bit causing me to think that I had to produce something in all my creative outlets in order to be legitimate in any of them. Simply not true.

I see it this way -- we need to be true to our whole selves. We are not just butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. We are multi-talented, multi-faceted people with many possible expressions of our being. The important thing is to spend that creative energy, not bottle it up. And, most importantly, allow for that energy to change what it looks like over time.

So, in 2011, there will still be blog posts (I am still doing lots of author interviews and will be posting my backlog of them soon), but they will all be guilt-free. I'll write them when it makes sense, and not feel the least bit guilty about not writing.

How will you spend your creative energy in 2011? What areas (note the plural) will you cover?

-- David Kinard, PCM
(photo credit: AnaMaria Maestas-Wertz)


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theladytramp said...

Great thoughts David! I love what you've written about the circular motion of creativity and then absorbing other content! Feels good to be validated by your thought that one can express in multiple ways - and more importantly to allow that expression to change.

nikki dang said...

I know how the creative energy feels like when I read your article, since I'm obsessed with fiction writing. Spending creative energy is a wonderful moment and I like to make it last longer every time I write a story. I like your thoughts that we should allow that energy to change over time. I will keep that in mind.