Of Dead-Ends, Smirking Tabs and Twyla Tharp

by Jan Geronimo on December 17, 2008

Four awful hours and counting – I am still sitting here in front of Google Docs, waiting for creative inspiration. I have hit the wall, a dead-end of sorts. And my screen monitor staring back at me impassively.

So please cut me some slack while I meander from point A to point B.

Why Google Docs and not Word? Nothing. I like it though. Google Docs is great for online collaborative writing. You can be from anywhere in the western hemisphere and still work with me here in the Philippines, that’s not a problem. It’s not you, however, I’m dying to collaborate with – although this can be arranged. Hahaha. I am waiting, pleading, hankering, fidgeting, lusting after my muse. Is all.

Temptations are everywhere. My Firefox browser’s tabs are open and taunting me, perhaps whispering among themselves and secretly wagering how much longer I can presume to turn in a post with my current state of mind. Just for the record the kibitzers are:

* Gmail – because I emailed the amiable Jehzeel
* iGoogle – which contains my google reader, quotations, to-do lists, news feeds
* Google Adsense – because it’s where I watch my grass grow.
* Bloglines – because I don’t want all my eggs in one basket.
* Batang Yagit’s blog – mustered enough courage to drop a comment there.
* ChrisG.com – I was searching for wishful thinking blog, ended up in Chris’
* Google Doc – yet untitled.

These smirking tabs… Little did they know that I have read an insightful piece about creativity, and this is what’s keeping me doggedly at this task. It’s an excerpt from The Creative Habit, a book by Twyla Tharp -

I will keep stressing the point about creativity being augmented by routine and habit. Get used to it. In these pages a philosophical tug of war will periodically rear its head. It is the perennial debate, born in the Romantic era, between the beliefs that all creative acts are born of (a) some transcendent, inexplicable Dionysian act of inspiration, a kiss from God on your brow that allows you to give the world The Magic Flute, or (b) hard work.

If it isn’t obvious already, I come down on the side of hard work. That’s why this book is called The Creative Habit. Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits. That’s it in a nutshell.

So here’s my post then. O, ano. :) I’ve not exactly reinvented the wheel here, the earth still revolves around the sun, but hey, I did not fail to turn in my daily post, that’s the main thing. So nobody can accuse me of failing to inflict myself on the elite few who read my pages. Nyahahaha.

So my dear reader(s), and those who arrive at my blog clueless (Who pushed you? Should I know?), how do you grapple with moments like this when your creative juice seems to have dried up? How do you deal with it?

A free excerpt of the The Creative Habit can be found here. And here’s a link to a video of Twyla Tharp on creativity and motivation. If you thought this is cool, thank Merlin Mann because I found this gem on his 43 Folders.

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  • Jehzeel Laurente
    ohhh! na rinig ko ang pangala ko sabi ni Google an2 daw...


    ayun...! amiable jehzeel.. heheeh thanks :D
  • Jan
    Waaaah. Ang talas ng pakiramdam. Talo pa ang spiders ng yahoo, which got wind of me (sino ba naman ireng dyaske na to) only a couple of days ago..If there's a plot to unseat you from the top of the blogosphere, tiyak mahihirapan. You have ears to the ground. hahaha.
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