When I put pen to paper, I literally have no idea what will happen.
I just start moving the pen, and images emerge on the page. And so to me, it sometimes feels as though my creative practice is not something that comes from within me, but something that comes through me.
It's as if this 'creative energy' and I are collaborators. In order for this to be a fruitful collaboration, I have to hold up my end of the bargain by keeping myself creatively fit.
This means working on my craft – studying, practicing, researching, training, reading, mining seams of inspiration - but most of all, just showing up at the page or laptop, whether I feel like it or not.
This means taking care of myself in a bigger sense, too – to help ensure that I am emotionally fit enough to handle the inevitable challenges that will always come with perusing a creative practice.
This idea has always been vaguely hanging around in the back of my mind, but was never fully articulated until I saw a TED talk by the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, in which she explores this exact theory. I thought – yes! This makes a lot of sense to me, and helps me to keep a healthy perspective on the work that I do.
I'll paste a link below if you're interested in hearing her speak yourself – I think it's about 20 minutes long.