My Creative Process – What’s Yours?

My Creative Process  (Enjoy the podcast or the transcription below)

 

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I was asked this question the other day when I was speaking to a group of women.  The question was:  What is your creative process?

I don’t know why I was so taken aback by the question.  It’s a valid question,  but I guess I hadn’t really thought about it as a creative process.

I think one of the most important things that you can do as an artist, in any way shape or form that doesn’t get enough credit, is daydream.

I go running in the morning down to the beach and I have a bench that I sit at that I absolutely love – and there are times when I’ll drive down to the beach even after I’ve gone for a workout or whatever and I’ll just sit on that bench and I daydream.  The process of being able to sit quietly and just think things through — this is probably the most important thing that I do as an artist especially when it comes to writing and especially when it comes to writing my book.  Those stories are pretty much real true stories that happened to me, but I had to decide how to tell the story.

So one of the things  I would do, is kind of see that story in my head and imagine myself back there. And sometimes that’s a really good thing, and sometimes it’s a hard thing, but that’s the first part of my process.  And I think sometimes we’re really mean to ourselves about daydreaming and about just having time to imagine, imagination and story-telling.  In our own heads we kind of think we’re being lazy or you know that we should be automatically writing everything right now…  that’s not how it works for me.

I spend a lot more time thinking about what it is I’m going to write — and then I am someone who writes in journals.  And I prefer that texture of actual paper to pen — pen to paper —  so I will write out those stories and I write every morning and it is long hand and sometimes it’s cursive sometimes it’s printing sometimes I’m just doodling, sometimes I’m writing just the name over and over and over again – Like you did in high school or whatever.  Some people who follow my blog have seen some of my Journal entries.  The reason why I don’t do them all the time is because I’m not always “journaling” about one subject and you know sometimes I’m venting or trying to process things because it is a Journal.

But I do enjoy that long-hand part, so once I write down that story or that part of the imagination or day dream that I had,  then I go and I put it on the computer.  I just basically try to put it into some type of form on Word and then I leave it alone.  I leave it alone for a long time. And then I come back to it.  It could be a month later, or it can be 2 days later, but I come back to it and make a decision on whether or not I’m gonna keep that or not.  Then once I keep it, it is sent to an editor.

I tell people when I first wrote my book it was 664 pages. Now it’s not that at all, I think it’s like 160 pages now — but I wrote everything and then I went through the process of having three different people — that I will call editors – they were people who know me and who don’t know me – and I wanted them to just look at it for clarity.  And then I had an actual editor work on it before it got published of course.

That’s the process of how I went about doing my book and that is the process that I’m going through right now with the second book that I’m writing as well.  And in everything I’ve ever done, dancing, acting, any of these things —  I do kind of the same thing: I daydream.  I imagine, I dream and I try to conceptualize it in my head.  And I honor that process — I honor the process of being able to sit quietly.  And sometimes I think about nothing! Because sometimes, that’s when something pops and something makes sense, and something comes together is when you take the time to just BE.

So I wanted to share that. I thought it was kind of a cool question and maybe it’s odd, but maybe there’s a lot more people out there that do the same thing I did.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a sweet day and I’ll be back again real soon.

Carmen

 

*Music – “Prelude No. 23” by Chris Zabriskie

Where I’ve Been – Imaginatary

Enjoy the Podcast or the Written Word (transcribed):

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Kid Imaginatary ME

When I was a little girl I used to sit in this corner of our apartment. It was kinda the kitty- corner to the kitchen. And I was real little. My mom was alive back then so I was probably about 6 or 7. And I would sit in this one space and I would create these universes.  I pretended to be able to walk into another parallel universe bending time and space and I would play in those other places – like they were always so magnificent too!  And I remember thinking I was pretty “genius-like”.  And sometimes the adults in the house would come by and shake me because I guess I’d be zoning out. But they’d be asking me, “Are you okay?” and “What are you doing?”

And I would just be imagining.  I would just be creating.

And I yearn for that now.

It wasn’t a way to escape. My life was fine, it was pretty normal.  Before my mom died, life was me being a little girl.  Very simple.  And there was this freedom and encouragement to be by your-self imagining the world.

For the past 3 to 6 weeks I have been doing what I can to get back to that space of pure imagination and creativity.  And you know, it’s not as easy as I wish it were because as an adult we have all these other things that we bring to the table, right?  Is it going to be a good enough creation? Is it going to be cost effective? Will people like it? All of a sudden there’s all this other stuffage that comes with being imaginative. And so, for the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve kinda just been being quiet. And trying to put my life in such a way that I can be that little girl playing by herself imagining a different universe in the kitty-corner of the kitchen.

I’ve also been doing what I can to eliminate circumstances in my life that don’t allow me to easily create. And so that’s also been part of what I’ve been doing.  Walking away from certain people or certain positions, or certain areas of my life that I don’t think are conducive to the kind of joy and creativity I want in my life every day, so, we’ll see…

But I’m back today. And if any of you have any other ideas or suggestions on how to stay in that beautiful, creative, imaginatary – did I just make up a word? Imaginatary?  – space,  (I’m gonna say that I just made up a word, but basically I just misspoke, but it’s all good!) I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks.  Have a sweet day!

Carmen

*Music by Chris Zabriskie, Prelude No. 23, Licensed by Creative Commons