Book: The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for Life, A Practical Guide
Author: Twyla Tharp
Genre: Non-fiction – creativity
Prompt chosen by me for the Yin Writing session this morning.
“Creativity is an act of defiance…You’re challenging the status quo. You’re questioning accepted truths and principles. You’re asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom: Why do I have to obey the rules? Why can’t I be different? Why can’t I do it my way?”
When I wake up at 5:15am to write, creativity feels like an assault on my body. I sweat. My heart beats in startled spurts. My stomach begins to growl like a playful puppy. I don’t feel playful or hungry though. I feel bruised and hungover from a night of spinning in my bed, from a night of rapid dreams that won’t let my brain rest.
I definitely don’t feel defiant.
Unless I am defying sleep. Defying a need for more sleep.
The thing is…how creativity ‘acts’, well, it changes. I remember being fuelled by the deep blue bear of anger, by the fury of red jealousy, by the haggard orange of frustration…by the supple light rose of flow and the delicate yellow of purpose.
But defiance takes an energy my body can handle less and less.
Could this be a side-effect of pandemic living? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I get angry when I watch the news, I get frustrated when I read stats, I get jealous when I get a rejection letter. But I don’t write it. I don’t write about these daily emotions, at least not outwardly. And I used to. I used to blog and poetry about the things that pissed me off, that felt unfair to ‘my way’ of believing, that felt incongruous to my rules…
I know I’m different. I’ve known this since I was a toddler. But even this…difference…this inside-ness of awareness of difference..it’s shifting. It’s revealing a foundation of radical intuition. It’s extending into prayer and a deep spiritual need to trust myself, no matter what I’m feeling.
So what does that say about my creativity? Does it change over time? It does, I’m writing proof of it.
How and why do the questions, the universal questions, shift over time? And how much does the body, the vessel capable of creative fury, affect these truths and principles?
My questions now play in fields of peace and calm. I’m chasing flittering butterflies because it’s fun and pleasurable. I’m smelling the air like a wolf, howling at the moon…and I can hear her answering. What the heck is that? Communications shift with seasons, that’s what’s happening.
Does defiance need a break? A nap? A hiatus to recharge? Or is being a creative the act itself? Is waking up at a gross hour to write – just that act – defiance to the day in its action to include my passion no matter what?