Creative Chaos

03Sep11
Portrait of Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Image via Wikipedia

Just a few thoughts.

You know the received wisdom that to be creative ‘you need space to think’, space to muse and space to ‘be’. Virginia Woolf wrote a whole book about it – A Room of One’s Own and I believe it. I really do. What I did not understand. Until yesterday. Was how much brain power being creative actually demands.

There are the ups and downs – the ups when you get that delicious feeling of being so in ‘the flow’ that the words just pour out of your head onto the screen (like they’re doing now) and there are the days when you are tired, depressed, stressed and every little thing seems to loom like some enormous great worry – despite the fact that you can put the kettle on, get clean water from the tap and there’s still an NHS.

But that feeling comes at a price.

I handed in the results of two years of work this week. Celebrated with a coffee and a cake with a similarly exhausted friend and got home to the sight of my desk.

Now. My desk is not a desk. It’s one end of a solid teak dining table bought from a boutique furniture shop in Singapore when we lived there a few years ago. I love this table. It’s far too big for our house. It fills the room. It’s heavy – and it hurts like hell if you kick it by mistake. But I love it all the same. And it was covered. Covered in crap.

Bank statements, credit card bills. Plasters. Paper clips.  Cheque book stubs. Incense dust. Pencil shavings. A guide to the chakras …

For two years – as I learned how to write. How to create. How to script – my brain has been full. Full to bursting. Whenever a new piece of work came in I would feel a shiver of panic. New client. New project. Brain space. Did I have any left?

It’s gone. Not the brain power. The work. A script. In one red shiny folder: Ninety pages of brain power, one paradigm, two inciting incidents and a climax.

I can’t edit it. I can’t rewrite bits of it. I can’t take a scene and shift it about a bit.

It’s in and it’s done.

I feel as though someone has poked a feather dusted into one ear, jiggled it about a bit and pushed it through the other. I feel lighter. I feel calmer. I feel relieved.

And a bit lost.

So. I’ll dust the desk, pay the bills, check my chakras and buy some more incense (sandalwood is good for late night writing) and, until Lady Muse decides to descend once more, I’ll live in slightly less chaos.

The end.

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4 Responses to “Creative Chaos”

  1. This bit “I feel as though someone has poked a feather dusted into one ear, jiggled it about a bit and pushed it through the other. I feel lighter. I feel calmer. I feel relieved.” Reminded me of Dumbledore’s Pensieve 😀 @skinnycap

    • Oh yes!! Brilliant! : )

  2. 3 Toby Lightfoot

    I can vouch for the chaos and the quality of the creation that it gives birth to xxx

    • Thank you – and thank you for putting up with the chaos! x


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