DRAWING A BLANK

There are two kinds of creativity.

save-the-neck-for-me-clark-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk

The kind that comes with boundaries.

And the kind that
doesn’t.

I make my living inside the boundaries.
Someone has something to say;
they hire me to help them say it
well.

This arrangement involves goals,
direction,
limits,
timelines,
budgets,
teams,
feedback,
and feedback.

Sometimes I rue
these boundaries.

Often they
completely derail all the amazing and groundbreaking work I want to do
get in the way.

But always
they get me to an end
result.

Actually,
usually a pretty good one. Because,
of course:

Limits
breed
creativity.

So.
What happens when someone wraps up
a blank slate
and gives it to you for Christmas?

blank-slate-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk

What do you do
when endless possibility is
sitting
there
on the shelf
staring
at
you?

Isn’t this the
stuff
of dreams?

Wouldn’t you sacrifice
a month’s worth of La Croix for
this when you’re right
in the middle of:
“We need this (32nd) round of revisions
by tomorrow

so we can run your copy past
three more committees

who will systematically
remove
every
last tidbit of
cleverness
and sense
?”

Yes. Yes, it is.

But, hark.
What’s this?

Now that you have a blank slate
all to yourself,
your creative thoughts have

…fled?

Words fail you now?

Looks like all you’ve got left
are some nasty voices
muttering:
This better be good.
You need to fill that space
with something
that makes everyone
laugh,
cry,
be inspired,
and wish they’d thought of it
themselves.

Might as well give up now.

(The perfectionist brain >>> the original bully. !!)

Alright, people.
Looks like it’s time to do
what I tell my children
and myself
to do
when overwhelm sets in.

start-somewhere-shorts-and-longs-julie-rybarczyk

Sounds about right.

For my new sign,
and pretty much everything else.

__
Here’s to starting somewhere, friends.

xxoo

__

P.S. Thanks to R-girl for quite possibly the best Christmas present ever (which she customized perfectly with a Christmas Vacation quote).

P.P.S. Speaking of words, I’ve finally joined the ranks of several good friends, my daughter, and apparently the rest of the blogging world by choosing my word for 2017. No resolutions for me, but I do have my word. If you ask me in person, I’ll gladly share—but, otherwise, I’m holding it close and looking forward to seeing how it takes shape this year.

xo

 

6 Comments

  • Julie

    Thank you, Micaela!xo

     
  • mindfulmicaela

    Love your perspective on creativity with and without direction and boundaries – so insightful!

     
  • Julie

    Yep. You nailed it. Thanks, Michelle! 🙂

     
  • Michelle

    Oh yes. I too am sometimes paid to write inside the confines of boundaries, which is frustrating. The deadlines can be pressure cookers, but they force me to produce. As I do that I long for free time to write whatever I choose and then sometimes when that happens, it feels like there is nothing to say. Loved this!

     
  • Julie

    Thank you, Amber! Here’s to starting!! 🙂

     
  • Amber

    LOOOVE this post. Totally resonates with me (recovering perfectionist). I’ve always said it as “Just begin.” Same idea. Thanks for a great read!

     

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