As I write this, I’ve already written 4 other posts this afternoon. That’s the way this process works for me. I don’t know how creative I am when writing these, but the point is they happen in bursts. I’ve found it takes finding the right frame of mind, and perhaps, some quiet time, to think and reflect on the topic, and then to let some words flow. I find this happens too with my photography. It happens most clearly to me when we go on a trip, even if it is not a “photo safari” as Melissa sometimes calls the times when I’m focused on photography (pun intended) and she’s ready to move on beyond whatever we’re seeing or doing. It takes me time to shift my mind into a more creative or visual mode, and I’ve noticed when traveling how, after a day or two, my photographer mode engages. I suspect this is true in any creative endeavor. A musician warms up. An athlete stretches and warms up too. Finding that “zone” is not as easy as flipping a switch – though it may be with lots of practice and muscle memory. But, switching into a creative task is a mental task in itself. What words will flow, what notes will be played or what photographs will be made or taken, is not as easy as “point and shoot.” For me, when a creative photography burst happens – at the end of a day trip, or a longer vacation, the “spell” continues as I edit, sort, code and archive the images. That zone, or frame of mind, can be relaxing and engender further creativity. For me, the times I get to do creative things, usually with a camera in hand, is good medicine in its cleansing of many other stresses of life.
Between the two of us, David is definitely more creative than I am. As a photographer, he has an artistic side about which many of Magnus’ clients are unaware. When David is in the “zone” on one of his photo safaris, it is a good idea not to bother him. I am easily bored and, over the years I have known him, I have learned to find something else to do when he is at his creative best. (This being said, Mom and I sure had some laughs when David became angry at us for “scaring away the birds” when we had the nerve to talk while walking on a boardwalk in a nature sanctuary, but that’s a story for another day.) I really don’t have creative bursts. I just plod along, at a steady pace, as efficiently as possible, to complete my work, in silence and without interruption. When it comes to playing the piano or bass guitar, I merely play the notes as they are written on the sheet music or as I have memorized them; I rarely adopt a Beethoven or Paul McCartney creative approach to playing music. I’m glad there are creative people, such as David, who take photographs, compose music, or engage in other amazing artistic pursuits that the rest of us can enjoy! As for me, I’ll just keep plodding along.