How to Court the Creative Spark

There you are, minding your own business, working, because you always work, even if it looks like you’re just strolling down the avenue, say—and zing!—two things come together, or something comes apart, or something drops in, lands in your very path, upsets the pushcart at the corner and now hot dogs are rolling all over the street.

The creative mind, whatever the medium, takes the unexpected, and turns it around and around. This is what the creative spark is—that disconnect, or connect, however it went for you.

How to court it?

Just do your work, and then go out. Open your eyes and ears. Be available. Notice your world.  Listen. Don’t eat hot dogs, unless they’re the really good ones. Consume art. And in this down time, which follows rigorous work time—successful or not—something shifts.

Sometimes it’s tiny, and sometimes it’s huge, but when you sit down again to do your work, it won’t look the same. And in that difference, something new has opened up that demands your attention.