I am rising out of sleep, not quite awake. It’s 4 AM. Half in/half out of a dream. Seemingly disparate photos slipping away. They get fainter and fainter. Just the sentence “Find the thread and follow it in” remains.
I grasp for the images but they will not be caught. They go. The who, what, where and why go with them. Just the one line remains.
Find the thread and follow it in.
I often wake to words that stay with me. I start writing in my head. Sometimes I reach for something to write on but more often I don’t want to disturb the flow that runs so easily in the quiet dark. In the relaxed body state where I’m melted into the bedding, where my body hasn’t awakened but my mind is gearing up. Many of my blog posts start there.
Where do things start for you? What quickens your imagination and shifts your thoughts to possibilities? Opportunities? A project in the studio or around the house, a job or life change?
What do you do with the idea once it arrives? Dismiss it or explore it? How would it feel to grab that thread and see where it takes you? Recognizing where it starts and allowing your process to take over can be the difference between a dream realized and a dream deferred.
Once the idea is allowed to live, what is your process to get started?
Do you feed it with small questions? Do you talk it over with a supportive friend or coach? Do you allow yourself to daydream? (Yes, daydreaming is a productive activity!) Do you make a list? Do you sketch it out, mind map it, doodle it? Do you look around at what’s out there to find what you like and, sometimes more importantly, what you don’t like.
Most importantly, do you let it emerge in its time, like a butterfly out of its chrysalis?
For me, with writing, it is often starts in that half asleep state. Rather than dismiss it I let it take its own course. It could be hours or days before anything gets onto the page. That’s okay. I find that the theme will linger for a few days in my waking-up time and show me more. I also find that it will spark other ideas. Those spark more and so on.
This is intentional creativity and it is available to us 24/7. In our dreaming and in our waking. When you're aware of how ideas take hold - when you're able to recognize your thread - you become aware of your creative process. This will take so much of the struggle out. Your awareness will provide a magic carpet that you can ride into anything. Your process is as unique as you. Go with it.
If you'd like to explore how a creativity coach (that would be me!) could help you with your process schedule a free discovery session. I'm a very good thread detective.
Kathy Kane blogs about the creative process in the everyday, in writing and in the magical transition to the second half of life.
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