ON SHOWING UP

Last week Chookooloonks posted this entry about reading Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and this talk she came across from Sean Wes about growing your audience. The Sean Wes thing is what made me sit up and pay attention. He's talking about how to grow your audience in social media. I'm not all that interested in that part. I don't really need an audience, but his first piece of advice struck a chord., because it's a good piece of advice that can and should be applied to all thing.  "Show up every day for two years." This tidbit of advice was tossed my way just a few days after I'd walked through the Ferran Andria: Notes on Creativity exhibit at the Nelson. The exhibit was full of notebook paper sketches of food pairings. It really was looking at someone's creative journal and the process that goes into making food into an art. I wandered that exhibit looking at it in the veiled way you would look at a car crash. Wanting to look, but not wanting to look out of respect for that individual's privacy. When I journal (not often enough) I don't write anything more exposing than I write here, but the journal is mine and mine alone. I write with the idea that no one is going to send me a text saying "hey, you forgot to dot your i's and cross your t's." This was kind of why I took that picture up there on the Map of Creativity.

If I'd been on my own that day, I probably would have just sat down on the floor and copied this down in a notebook of my own. As it is, I've taken to blowing up sections of it at a time on my phone to study it.  Like maybe if I follow the map and decipher the notes I will find the key to creativity. I am constantly standing on that line between inherent creativity and learned creativity. My science brain is always taking apart and dissecting the very word "create-ivity" and what it means to be creative. Cre.a.tiv.ity: the use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. What is artistic work? If anything the Ferran Andria exhibit is an example of the subjectivity of art. Placing this fruit shaped into perfect circles next to that vegetable chopped into squares next to a pate mouse pipped into a rose shape is in fact a piece of art. A fleeting piece of art, but still. I struggle the most with all the things I think I am not. I am not an artist or a writer or a mom. I am not a girl;I am a woman.I am not a woman; I am a girl. Several weeks ago I went to yoga class. I had taken my everything journal with me because I had gotten there early and used it to jot down things before class. I set the journal on the counter while I signed in and the teacher noticed it and said "Oh..that's a big notebook. You must have a lot to write." I laughed and replied "or nothing at all."

So what this Map of Creativity does not tell you, is how to change your idea of what you are not. Under "Personality Requirements" it lists attitudes, abilities, feelings and capabilities, but does not elucidate on what kind of attitude or type of abilities. Because I can have an attitude. I can have feeeelings. I may or may not have abilities and or capabilities. So what happens if I'm lacking at least two things on this list?  Am I incapable of using my imagination or generating an original idea? These days, I feel that's just it. I have a lack of imagination, a lack of vision. At least I thought maybe that was it, but then I started to think maybe I lack discipline. Maybe I just need to start showing up. An hour of devotion to my yoga mat. Twenty minutes of sketching and taking notes in my journal. Maybe an hour of actual writing. 

What if I started small? What if I just started showing up for something every day?