Saturday, May 1, 2010

Creativity as inner work

I've been taking two online classes, one on creativity coaching and one on existential cognitive behavioral self-therapy. They've dovetailed nicely and gotten me thinking about creativity as inner work. Who do we paint for? write for? create for? Who do native peoples dance and drum for? Each other, of course, but is there also something deeper, something other, something greater that we do this work for.

In our culture, creative endeavors are typically seen as a way to make money or get famous or both. In fact, in many parts of our culture, if you can't make money from doing your creative work, people don't understand why you would do it, or what purpose it might serve. But if we see it as inner work, as something that feeds our soul, then a whole other element opens up.

I've been listening this afternoon to the amazing cello art of Jami Sieber, whom I saw in concert with the Aurora Chorus last winter. Some part of me is touched by this music and by much of the classical and New Age music I listen to that is different from the part of me touched by rock and roll or pop music. In some ways, music is music, notes and silences and beats, but in other ways, it has amazing effects on us that I don't really understand.

Listening to Jami play today gave me some different places to take several of the characters from the novel I'm writing and I don't know why, except that it encouraged me to see the writing as inner work. Inspiration. The muse. All good things.

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