Creativity can be a daring adventure. Have you experienced falling into a creative project, getting lost in its details, being transported beyond time and place? This lesson focuses on inquiry and the creative process.
Sometimes creativity can be surprising, leading us places (both in the world and in ourselves) we could have never imagined.
A simple way to open your creative process to adventure is via curiosity. We can live our questions and it can feel like a grand adventure. It’s a way of staying present in work that is meaningful for you.
There is a lot of buzz in education about inquiry. It’s a research based way to learn. To become a better creator, we need to become better learners. A regular practice of inquiry, curiosity, and living your questions can help.
Use these some of these questions as entry points. You may even wish to create an Inquiry Jar to allow you to focus on one of these questions each day instead of all the questions at once.
What is your first step when you have creative blocks? Do you resist? Do you get mad? Do you dive in and play? Maybe you’ve never had a creative block. This is possible too.
Creativity is always present, like the moon, even when we can’t see it. Sometimes we need a little help to remember it’s there. During these times, go gently. Engaging in creativity is a relationship. There will be ebbs and flows. When we change our perspective we can change the relationship. How can you see your project from the perspective of a mouse? Or the perspective of an eagle? How does this change you and the work?
How can you add more play to your relationship with creativity? What would this look like for you? In the second half of the video I explore some possibilities!
It began as a weekly Poetry Present delivered to your inbox. We continue to connect as a community in that way. Poets who share a connection to Cobourg and the surrounding area submit poems.
After nearly two years of this project, it was time to expand. Poetry Invites was introduced in January 2021. This invites all poets from anywhere to be inspired by our town and the things we value here. Each month a new prompt is emailed to our Poetry Present list.
Cobourg Present launched on February 1, 2021 and is the product of the monthly prompts. It will continue to grow throughout the year so be sure to check this link each month.
Inspired by Local History or a Childhood Memory
I’m always fascinated by the stories of a place and how a town has changed over time. We are lucky to have a rich history in Cobourg. In my own family history research, I have found connections to a Métis ancestor who travelled to Cobourg on the waterways as a guide for Anna Bronwell Jameson (documented in her book Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada). She writes about her interpreter old Solomon and her travels along the waterways, including a trip to Cobourg. I also read that Solomon attended school in Cobourg in the mid-1800s even though his family lived in Penetanguishene at the time. How does your family history connect with Cobourg?
In more recent history, my dad likes to tell me about the time his family went camping at the trailer park by the Cobourg Beach when he was a child. What would your parents tell you about what Cobourg was like when they were kids? Or when you were a child?
How is your time aligned with your goals? How do you balance writing and life to optimize creativity?
A creative life is dynamic, purposeful, energized, connected, expressive, and open. It is about a deep sense of self and an understanding of purpose.
I am learning how to make space in my life for creativity to bloom at its pace—not mine. Looking for a balance between setting goals and going with the flow allows for space for a surprise. Lately, my approach has been to make a commitment to show up to create every day. Some days I create a lot. Some days I create very little. It isn’t about output anymore. Now, it feels more like an ongoing imperfect relationship.
What if diligence and perseverance felt like freedom?
It can be helpful to reflect on what you want. This is a template I find helpful:
What does kindness look like during a pandemic? When I go for walks, neighbours smile, wave, or say hello. At the grocery store, every exchange with a person seems more meaningful than the time before the pandemic. We look each other in the eyes as though to say, I see you, do you see me. Have you noticed the kindness and warmth in your community too?
This morning I finished reading the last 10 pages of Birds, Art, Life by Kyo Maclear. For the last few days, I’ve held onto these pages so the book wouldn’t come to the end. Do you have books that you savour?
Birds and books always catch my attention.
Yesterday I watched two female cardinals and a male cardinal in the apple blossom tree out my front window. Some days it’s crows, cawing first to say hello, I’m here and then performing air acrobats above the tree line. Lately, chickadees peek in the windows, likely wondering why I’m still in the house.