Maybe you look out at the world and you don’t always like what you see.
All the over-hyped movies. Blockbusters that won awards and then were never heard of later. “Timeless classics” that became embarrassments.
The intellectual in me likes to try to complicate things. As a writer, I wanted to get away from “all that popular junk” and write something truly magnificent.
So I tried really hard. I bogged down my creative process. I strained. If you think of a book as a stew, I basically tried to throw everything into the cookpot.
I succeeded in making it difficult to write. Sometimes I succeeded at writing something I liked.
Eventually I was confronted by a truth that disturbed me:
[bctt tweet=”Just because something is complex doesn’t mean it’s original.”]
A work can be immensely complicated and still boil down to cliches and tired tropes.
It’s not true that everything highmindedly intellectual is free of tropes.
Try as I might, I couldn’t wrestle my way out from underneath this simple truth.
I continued to strain and try really hard.
And then I gave up. The overburdened intellectual in me gave out a long sigh and walked out into the wildnerness and was never seen or heard from again.
As a result, my writing process was 170% less constipated.
Ultimately, everything can be creative.
I learned to approach the creative process from different angles besides the one that I had picked up in school. The more I let go, the more I realized how many valid ways there are of writing a book that people will enjoy reading.
Note that I didn’t say it’s a “good” book. Not because I want to write bad books, but because I want to shift the focus away from judgment and towards enjoyment and enlightenment.
Depending on the author’s vision, even the most formulaic and systematized way to form a book can produce a unique gem.
What I am inviting you to do is to take steps toward having ownership of the state of things in the world. If you are waiting for the world to change before you feel safe enough to bring your own contribution forward, it might never happen.
Ownership isn’t the same thing as domination. When you take ownership of the world, it doesn’t mean other people are excluded from doing the same thing. Actually, taking ownership is something everyone can do.
Beneath and amidst it all, you might be surprised to find the creative spark, the liveliness.
The more you are in touch with it yourself, the more OK you can be with the state of things. That doesn’t mean complacence. Actually, the more you take ownership of the world, the greater you can contribute.
The more you have plunged into your own depths, the more impact you can make.
Trust the flow and you’re already getting there.