I have what I like to think of as a digital Rolodex of websites I peruse when I'm seeking inspiration. And, it's as weird or creative as I need it to be. So here it is. A ticket to my own online inspiration museum. You are invited.
Patience seems counterproductive to the creative process. After all, many of us have been instilled with an industrial model of creation. Produce! Produce! Produce! But our brains are constantly making and remaking meaning with every experience.
There's a wonderful metaphor in Cræft: An Inquiry Into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts in which Alexander Langlands compares the creative process to the art of maintaining hedges, which often take years to grow into their full form. The gardener knows this, yet continues pruning and cutting day by day with a certainty of what will be.
I imagine that final works of art are much like that. I may not have a finished work at the end of the day, but in my own way, I have been "pruning" and "cutting" away. Every little note scribbled on a piece of paper. Every time I journal or revise (for the 100th time) a draft of a poem. And, if I remember to be patient, I know with certainty that I am indeed shaping something into being.
I originally began my first book Stereometry as a short story collection. If you know anything about the project, then you know that the book is starkly not that. To be fair, my first short story collection didn’t go anywhere, so I was eager to start fresh.
But it just wasn’t working. On a emotional level. On a structure level. On an everything-level. So after dragging my feet awhile (a whole year in fact) I started making small changes. First, I rewrote the stories as they had actually happened, essentially converting Stereometry to nonfiction. It was getting closer, but it still wasn’t there. Over time, and little by little, I kept trying to solve the problem. After a lot of gradual changes, Stereometry became a highly conceptual, genre-queer, lyrically poetic manuscript.
This is all to say that innovation happens when we make the choice to do something different. As an artist, this can be an incredibly daunting choice, especially when we’ve put our everything into this one thing. Sure, we have goals to create the next masterpiece, but in reality, innovation happens a little at a time. It doesn’t always work. This was a hard thing for me to grasp. See, creativity doesn’t always lead to innovation, but innovation always begins with creativity. Choosing to do something different and making an effort to be open to small changes when we need to solve a creative problem is where the magic happens.
tiny writing thoughts is a space for my unruly ideas, plenty of creativity, and all things writing. As a writer, I’m always seeking ways to understand my art and be inspired. I hope you find a little inspiration here, too.