I’m often a sucker for reading articles and online screeds about creativity.
And almost always find them disappointing.
Yeah, you have to work at creativity and sit down to create even when you don’t feel like it. But often you do feel like it and then you have to leave yourself open to somehow receive what your unconscious mind is trying to feed to your conscious self so that you can write it down, or record it or… do whatever with it.
If I’m working on a short story or a novel, the process is pretty straightforward — call up the proper screen on the computer, put fingers on the keyboard and give yourself a kick in the butt. Actually writing it is the only way to truly discover what a story is about it.
As for writing songs — I like to work them out on the guitar, try out different phrasings by singing them and experiment with chording and harmonizing with what’s popping out of my mouth and being created by my fingers. I usual find that the music comes from my fingers and the lyrics are on my tongue. Somewhere in the brain the neurons that control those functions get together and… and do something which I can’t quite explain.
For me, the initial melody/lyrics/chords that get the song started are synthesized from somewhere in my head to the physical world fairly easily (when my mood is synchronized properly with the earth’s rotation or… fill in the blank). And after the first rush of putting things together — words, melody, etc. — I have to coax the rest out with pushes and prods that are more prolonged and strenuous.
And I can’t tell if what I’ve created is any good until a few days later when I can be more objective. Even then, it’s hard to tell until you get somebody else’s POV.
Persistence is also key to being creative. Did the creativity work for you today? Get back at it tomorrow.