Do you sometimes find yourself running out of new ideas? I think it happens to all of us who are engaged in creative work. Of course to a greater or lesser degree. I see artists who seem never to run up against the wall, they just appear to be a cornucopia of sparkling ideas. Still, I am sure it happens to them, too, from time to time, the pressure of coming up with something new. Certainly I happen to go there myself – particularly after an intense period of creative work after which I might fall completely apart while thinking I will never come up with something as good as this again. And then slowly the sparkle ignites again.
This pressure of coming up with something new is very much related to what I wrote in my posts about being in flow – or more precisely not being in or finding that flow (se the posts Finding Flow and In the Heat of Flow). Carrie (Nienierza) commented about this pressure in my post Set Sail almost a year ago. She wrote: «After each blog I think how can I possible come up with something new as I hate to repeat anything. But just while taking a walk the other day and my mind was free to run creative thoughts through it with the image of some photos I had taken already and suddenly I could see the words start to come to me. It’s often when I relax and let go of the pressure to get a blog out that one comes to me.»
The interesting thing is there is never a shortage of creative sparkles – if we only don’t put ourselves in that corner of not believing in it and by so doing cutting ourselves off from our creative well. We get so uptight about having to find something completely new, that it drives us blind. We put the pressure on ourselves and feel we are running on empty. Carrie shows one way to get around the issue: By letting go. If we don’t force ourselves to make something spectacular, but just sit down or go out on the street (or whatever we do when we create), do the creative work and letting go of any aspirations or ambitions, then the new idea might just show up by itself. Often the thought of having to come up with something «new» makes us stall. The best thing is to let go of the pressure, as Carrie writes, and let the ideas come to you instead of forcing them to happen.
One thing is for sure; we shouldn’t get discouraged by not being able to come up with new ideas. It happens to us all – and eventually we will get out of that state of mind when suddenly the sparkles ignite again. The clue is somehow to find a way to let go of that pressure, it could be as it works for Carrie; going for a walk, or it could be something complete different, like reading a book, going to a concert or visiting a gallery. We all have different ways to deal with this pressure. How do you do it?