Everything is new again


It’s almost here; New Year’s! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful break. We are enjoying working together on the renovation of my studio. It’s more of a comedy theater, but the laughter keeps us going. I had the list of the things we still needed. As I looked at what I had written, I realized some of it would be on my New Year’s resolution list. I dread that list. There is some kind of insanity in creating a new list of “Resolutions” every year that starts with last year’s resolutions.

If you look up the word “Resolution,” it means finding a solution. In the Middle Ages, the word meant to dissolve or disintegrate. Wouldn’t it be great if everything that you didn’t do last year would just dissolve, disappear, as if it weren’t on the list at all. My list always starts with projects that I want to make for others. The thought gives me a headache and then I’m struck with a wave of guilt.

It isn’t that I don’t love the people on my list, but most of my projects don’t seem very exciting anymore. It was the greatest idea in the beginning then something just soured me on it. My husband likes to say that I get distracted by newer projects. He just doesn’t understand. And unless you are a Maker or Creative, most people don’t understand. Usually, they think we just need help organizing because they see the mess on our desk or things pinned to the wall.

But, according to Darya Zabelina of Northwestern University, the reason that we don’t finish all our projects is that creatives have “Leaky sensory gating and can’t filter out surrounding sensory information, this happens involuntarily and helps people integrate ideas that are outside of the focus of attention, leading to creativity in the real world.”

Well, there you have it, creative people leak! What she means is that we take in ideas and inspiration from all around us. When we start making, we may not like the direction our project is going so we set it aside and percolate on it. Sometimes it’s right there but we just can’t put a finger on it. And, after a few sleepless nights we walk away. It’s true, we may put away the project for years. But when we get passed our creative block, it’s as if we become possessed. We fly into our studios as the idea takes shape and get to work.

What if I didn’t make a list this year? What if I looked at my WIP’s (Works in Progress), and decided whether they would bring me joy, even if I made changes? If, “NO”, then I can repurpose it without feeling guilty.

We are makers because we love creating. It’s in our DNA, it isn’t a hobby, it’s who we are. The joy comes from a well we refill as we create. If we force it, we risk closing ourselves off from that well and we stunt our creativity.

We don’t need a list of resolutions; we are Makers our creativity feeds itself, growing our abilities. If we don’t create to refill the well, we rob ourselves of our future creative potential.

I challenge you to join me in dissolving that tired tradition and instead make a list in 2023 about how you nurture your creativity. Nothing will ever make you happier than pouring yourself into a project while collecting new ideas. You will see how your future projects grow beyond your own understanding.


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