Creative.. Curious.. or Both?

credit: Brian Trendler

It’s Friday. Day 5 of #My500Words challenge — it’s also “Creative Friday,” so dubbed by my friend Michele Alise, as the official day to take what Julia Cameron calls “The Artist’s Date.”

We may have an infinite source of creativity once we tap into that part of us where ideas just flow. But we’re not just a “brain on a stick” walking around supporting our fleshy biological computers.

I’ve talked about some morning rituals I’ve developed. Beyond that and the need to eat well and exercise is the greater need for creativity to nurture our Muse. One of the best TED talks on this is by Elizabeth Gilbert, who recently goes into great lengths to explore creativity in her latest book Big Magic.

Gilbert talks about how the ancients believed in spirits called damons that were responsible for our creativity and wondered whether these folks got it right. I know for myself that I have felt more inspired when I give myself the time and space to wander.. to explore.. to be curious.

So, I’ve started to wonder if instead of Creative Friday, maybe we should dub this as Curious Friday. I did a recent interview with Kyle MacDonald, an #indiecreative entrepreneur that followed his curiosity by trading one red paperclip until ending up with his dream house.

We talked about how Kyle allows himself to check out what seems to be the mundane to the average person, instead of the places people typically associate with being sources of creativity like museums or art galleries.

This reminded me of the weekend trips my buddy Andy and I used to take out into the suburbs known as Chicagoland. Sounds like an amusement doesn’t it?

And for two young engineering students struggling to keep their ROTC scholarships under demanding schedules, it was a wonderland of ordinary experiences and yet extraordinary discoveries.

Now you might not see the need or connection of creativity to engineers. I didn’t. But it was only when I walked into my first core requirement course that it was clear how it takes more than technical understanding to solve problems.

Often being able to calculate things like the velocity of an unladened African swallow in order to carry a coconut takes a bit of imagination and ability to visualize the situation. Well, in any case I remember many a night where I felt my brain literally stretching to create another fold to tuck in the expanding gray matter that started to ooze out of my ears!

So, let’s just say that these day trips were amazing ways to get away from the South Side campus and just breathe.. just breathe!

As I dedicated myself to writing more this year and cranking out more content for other Indie Creatives, it taxes my Muse. She’s patient and gently taps my shoulder to ask when we can dance again.

Doing interviews and editing podcasts provide a source of inspiring content, but it’s still tedious. The excuse of “not tonight, I’m tired” only goes so far, before after a while your love starts to look for a bed that’s warmer and more inviting.

So, off I go — packing my iPad with a downloaded audio book and some snacks, ready to see where my curiosity takes me. Cheers!

For more on Curious Fridays check out more Butterfly Formula or to connect with other Indie Creatives visit us on Blab. If you’d like to follow me on my digital nomad journey and food travel adventures visit Tango Vagabond.