Kim Lajoie's blog

Variable creativity

by Kim Lajoie on October 12, 2012

Erik Magrini:

[I]t’s a reminder to myself and other musicians out there that if you keep your head high and stick with it, the ideas WILL flow again.  Every one of these lulls in my creativity is ultimately followed by a beautiful period where I’m able to create at an almost magical pace, I just need to have the patience and positive outlook to see it through to that point.

Some people are gifted with the ability to create at will, to turn that spark on or off as they see fit.  For the rest of us though, it’s the struggle to get to those moments that defines why we do what we do.  We just need to have the foresight to remember that it can take longer than we’d like, but it’s always worth it in the end.

True words.

When I first read this, my thought was: “I am that person”. I never feel stuck for ideas or low on creativity. But thinking further, I remembered that it’s not because I have a bottomless bag of ideas (although I haven’t found the bottom yet). It’s because each idea that I choose to develop is actually the beginning of a project. And a project can take months or years to see through. And that’s mainly work. It’s often creative work, but I’m not ever stuck for ideas because I already have the framework (the project direction) for being creative.

The moments of ‘pure’ creativity – coming up with something from a clean slate – only need to be few and far between. I only need two or three each year. And in between, I come up with plenty of other ideas that never get developed or shared. And that’s ok. When it comes time to start a new project, I’ve already got several ideas that I’ve been exploring and developing in my mind. I just pick whichever one is most suitable or best represents my style of creative expression at the time.

Do you ever get stuck for ideas? How often do you need to come with an idea from a clean slate?



2 thoughts on “Variable creativity

  1. Jordan says:

    As they say, success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration.

    I think that’s where a lot of people, including myself, can fall behind. A burst of creativity is like the match-head exploding, but that’s the only spark people enjoy. They dont have the patience to let the flame crawl down the rest of the matchstick, because that’s less exciting.

  2. Kim Lajoie says:

    I like that analogy, Jordan. It’s a great question – “Are you a matchstick or a candle?”


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