“What don’t you understand? I found the cure for the fucking plague of the twentieth century and now I’ve lost it. Haven’t you ever lost anything doctor Bronx? Your purse? Your car keys? Well, it’s rather like that: Now you have it and now you don’t.”
Dr. Campbell from the movie Medicine Man
Have you ever lost anything?
Have you ever felt like you lost your creative spark? Misplaced that internal fire that makes creating so wonderful?
At one time or another, we lose it. It just vanishes one day and it is hard to figure out where it went. I know that I have had days where I have woken up intent on creative work and found that inspiration had disappeared; it took itself out for a walk and left me behind. Usually this happens for one of two reasons.
- I wasn’t using it. I kept thinking, “Oh, I’ll get to that” or “I’ll paint that image when I have time,” but the time never comes. My creativity needs to be used, practiced, exposed to the world often and with regularity. Even if it is in the smallest way, I NEED to use it or it will become lost. I have woken up to finally do something creative only to be stumped, confused about what to do because it walked away from me. I lost it.
- I over used it. I pushed to hard and though the creative self was yelling, screaming and crying for a break, I kept pushing. Then I wake up, sit down to work, and found creativity fast asleep. Creativity is flow, in and out. It isn’t one way. If I am always expressing my creativity outward and not allowing in any creative in flow, like a good book, a play or something to fill up my soul, then my creative soul weakens; she gets tired and cranky and refuses to come play.
The wonderful news is there are ways to find the lost creativity. There are ways to bring it back to us. It will never have abandoned us forever unless we refuse to see our part of the problem. But, if we can look, with honesty, at what drove our creative spark into the corner of lost things, then we can sweet talk it back into our lives.
When creativity has been lost because of disuse then one has to stumble around a little, playing. PLAYING. Play with your creativity. Color in a coloring book. Read a book on your favorite creative expression like writing or sketching. Look at Pinterest for crafty DIY ideas, or doodling tips. Here are some free coloring pages. Do you need a reason to play? Here are FIVE Reasons you need to play. You only need Ten Minutes for Creative Play.
If creativity is overused, exhausted, and wanting to hide out, then it’s time for a break. Do something away from the creative project. Take a walk. Cook a meal. Read. Veg out on Netflix. Give creativity the rest it needs. It will come back to you. You might have to work with it, bribe it to get out of bed but it will come back to you.
If you have lost it, there is hope to get it back. It could be that sometimes we go through times in our lives where it seems like it will never return, and we will live without our creative soul forever. It is there. Take small steps towards re-discovering it. Try something new. It could be the old way of expressing yourself does not work for you anymore and the soul needs something new. Be patient. Be kind.