Sometimes you spend so much time working that the creative thought just trickles out of you. Somewhere behind your ear is a glossy line like a snail’s trail where ideas and magic have slipped away. They hide behind the piano until you’re ready to reclaim them, trying not to disturb your Very Important Work in case Everyone Becomes Homeless.
But you don’t peer under there, hunting for your ideas amongst the dust and the endless dog hair and bobby pins. You leave them on their own in the dark and the damp, hoping that maybe they will ferment like mulled idea wine, so that when you have ten minutes to think about being creative again, your ideas will have matured and bubbled all by themselves.
Then eventually you do blow off the cobwebs and unfurl the hibernation blankets and realise that fuck no, nothing has happened at all except that you’ve forgotten how to push the creativity back into your skull.
I have long believed in the value of letting creativity lean. Sometimes you just can’t make something from nothing if you’re staring right at it. Sometimes you have to let it bump up against you, to rub itself around your legs and sit on your shoulder while you do something else.
But you can let it lean too long. Before you know it, it has stopped leaning and has just died on the floor and you’re not Creativity Jesus so you have no choice but to bury it. Then you have to start from a seed again, to grow the creativity and nurture the creativity and water it three times a day until it sprouts roots and takes hold a little, but you’re three months behind and maybe this time your creativity is a bit top-heavy or kind of unpleasant to its parents.
Don’t work so hard. Don’t lean too long.