Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missing muses and flying monkeys

Today is the day to write about creativity and, I have to admit, the muse is missing. I've spent most of the day tracking down some computer issues, making other people look good while remaining invisible and this makes coming up with something creative, let alone possibly inspiring, challenging. Which leads me to today's topic.

There is a creativity teacher named Jill Badonsky who calls blocks flying monkeys. She includes little devils like procrastination and taking yourself too seriously in the category of flying monkeys.

Today I have felt like an animated character with a halo of flying monkeys about my head. I find when I'm having a day full of these charming friends that if I name them, notice them and invite them to leave, it helps. By naming the little problems I realize just how small they are.

This is my list for today:
  • I have a headache. So take some medicine!
  • My computer is being weird. So I got some help, fixed the problem and things seem to be okay. It really wasn't the end of the world, just slowed me down some.
  • I did something for someone and someone else was credited. So what? If I dwell on it that makes it worse. I can choose to speak up or let it go. It's not worth dwelling on.
  • My desk is messy. Oh, come on. There is a lot to be said for good, creative workspace, but it's not an excuse to not work.
You see what I mean? Each one of these flying monkeys is ultimately a small and insignificant excuse for not sitting down and working.

Which leads me to the last thing I want to say tonight. Creativity isn't a bolt out of the blue. You can't sit around and wait for it. Creativity comes from practice. Instead of hoping that I'll have a magical moment when I can finally write, if I can get past my flying monkeys, sit down and give myself the opportunity to create on a regular, routine basis, I am much more likely to create. It's like exercise. You get strong by using your muscles even when you don't want to.

And that's what tonight's post is; it's my exercise. I'm all sweaty with creativity now. Now it's your turn, go out there and work up some creative sweat. Tell me what you come up with.

(c) 2009 Laura Packer Creative Commons License


  1. Here's my flying monkey:
    "I'm too tired." Aw, come on. It's not that hard and it won't make you any more tired. You'll feel more energized by it.

  2. I wasn't even thinking of being creative today until I read that the process comes with a chance at flying monkeys! ;-)

    Thanks for walking through the exercise. I can already see where it will come in handy.


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