Embrace the Power of Your Creative Process

The theme running through everything for me today is the relationship between art, the artist, and the audience. Katie’s head is in this space because her Master’s thesis, and her Ph.D. proposal, touch on the value of art education in relation to the agency and identity of art educators. I’m thinking about it because it’s easier to pitch the value of what I’ve created when I understand and can articulate the value I gained in creating it.

One small realization that I had was that creating art is simply another means of experiencing art. I started writing stories as a child when I ran out of books to read. Somewhere in Katie’s childhood, she made the leap from playing with dolls to making them, so she could have the sorts of dolls she wanted to play with. It’s not hard to make a leap from this to tabletop roleplaying games and interactive fiction. Collaboration is simultaneously the act of creating and the act of enjoying what others are creating.

Journal: Sunday 12 February 2017

Today is nominally my day off, but as you can see, the things I do to relax all feed into my creative process. I end up writing, not so much anything that’s intended to be polished but bits that could be called “idea capture”, sketches of things that will be worked into existing projects or expanded into future project. It’s who I am. To stop doing creative things, or at least thinking about creative projects, is like asking me to stop breathing. I don’t think suffocation would constitute a fun day off. I’m simply trying to take a more relaxed attitude toward it. Yesterday I didn’t make it a priority to hit my minimum word count goal, or even to write at all, unless I felt like it. I hit word count goal.

What I’m Grateful For: Understanding My Process

I’m grateful that I’ve come to terms with my own creative process, and that I no longer feel guilty about doing “work” on my day off. There’s work and there’s work. There are tasks I enjoy and tasks that I don’t; I’ll save the ones that I don’t for office hours, and cheerfully lean into the ones I love on evenings and weekends. There are tasks that give me energy, and ones that consume energy; I have no issue with doing things that energize me during my down time, saving the drudge work from the Monday-to-Friday grind.

Big Picture Goal: Leveraging My Process

After a lot of tinkering, I’ve hit upon this journaling format. It’s a combination of a lot of things, but it serves me needs. What I’m trying to do is sit down for 30 to 60 minutes every day to have some reflective “me” time. I’ve decided that this is where the blog is going to flow from. Not every day, and not every item in the journal, will end up here on the site, but when I have revelations about the way I work or come up with things that seem worth sharing, I’ll post them.

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Today’s Dashboard

Yesterday’s Word Count: 2900
Month-to-Date Word Count: 36785
Year-to-Date Word Count: 144143
Average Daily Word Count YTD: 3516

Actively Reading: The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon

Every time I read this book — and I think I’ve read it five or six times now, over the course of my life — I come away with something different. I think that’s just the beauty of good literary, if I have to get twee about it. No matter where you are in your life, you can bring something of yourself into it, and it will act as a mirror for whatever it is you’re consciously or subconsciously looking for.

Recently Watched: Abstract: The Art of Design

Katie and I tend to watch documentaries on Sunday afternoons, which we work in our individual projects. Lately we’ve shied away from political things and have been trying to embrace anything that has to do with art artists, and creativity. This is an excellent series on Netflix, each episode highlighting a different artist and their creative process. As we’ve both been up to our eyeballs in speculation about our own processes (listen to the next couple of episodes of the podcast for more on that), this show dovetailed nicely into our day.

Latest Release: Story Design: The Obsession

Volume 18 of the series was released on Friday, and for a while it was #1 on the Hottest Small Press list! It’s on track to be a best seller within the first week of release, as is the pattern with most Dancing Lights Press titles (not-so-humblebrag).

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