Friday, March 07, 2014

Activate the Creative Subroutine in Your Head

Every creator needs an on ramp.

A ritual that prompts a work mindset, a moment that merges you into the creative process, an environment that sets a tone that says work happens here, a practice that ensures cadence and rhythm, and a routine that gets you in the mood, in the flow and in the zone, so that by the time you actually hit the highway of life, you’re traveling at the same speed as traffic, and you can navigate the road effectively.

It’s actually quite scientific.

The brain takes cues from the body.

Whatever on ramp behavior we practice, it activates the creative subroutine in our head, brings up our energy and snaps us into the appropriate state of mind to do our work.

That’s why so many artists start every day of their lives in exactly same way.

Because they don’t want to have to wake up and look for options of what to do first. That’s a decision-making process that’s exhaustive and stressful and wastes valuable energy they should be dedicating to making things.

That’s why I spend the first half hour of every day inhaling. Promiscuously.

I read and browse and learn from a diverse range of websites, blogs, pictures, comic strips, trending memes, online publications, interviews, research studies, books, articles, songs, street art, store signs, podcasts, eavesdroppings, conversations and other sources of inspiration.

Plus, I take notes. Lots of notes.

And by the time I’m done making my rounds, my desktop is littered with new documents and ideas and perspective and insight. I feel engaged with what’s going on in the world. I view the news as a source of energy, not just a source of information.

And now I’m ready to go to work.

This morning practice, this creative subroutine, ensures that the first part of my day has a cadence and rhythm that includes movement. And by giving my ritual of thinking the primacy it deserves, never forcing it to compete for my attention with anything else, I find that I’m able to stay prolific.

What’s your on ramp?