What Precedes Creativity
Next, dear reader, we must take a moment for a rapid orientation: You need to know what life is, and there exists an excellent definition for it. This definition is about as practical as it gets. I use it continually so here it comes: The definition of life is following and having a purpose. Simple statement but deep. And I don't think you'll ever learn a more practical or useful maxim. You should experiment with it and discover for yourself if it is true for you. It isn’t my discovery.
Having a purpose means having something you want to do or achieve. To be a painter. To have your own company. To be a recognized dancer. To have a family. To get a new car. To live in the woods. To have a circle of great friends. To make a difference in the lives of others. To be a volunteer fireman. To visit Italy. What do you want to do now? Well, decide to something and start toward your objective and guess what: now you're living.
Following a purpose is an activity. Living is an activity. The less active you are, the less alive you are. It’s not just enough to just have a purpose, you have to follow it. Progress toward your goal produces pleasure.
When you achieve your goal you have to think up something new. Lots of people make a mistake. For example, some people have the goal to become successful. Well, when they finally become successful, they need to create a new goal. If they don’t create one, they will become unhappy or even neurotic. Have you ever noticed that some wealthy people are neurotic? Maybe this is why.
Life is having and following a purpose. You might even want to say, life is having and following a series of purposes since you’ll probably want to have several going at the same time. And before you let one finish, you need to get a new one started. You probably right this moment have several purposes you are following. When you achieve one purpose, it’s time to start on a new one.
So that is where the act of creation begins, whether it's a book, a script, a painting or piece of music. What is your purpose in creating it? What is your goal? Do you want to tell a drama, something scary, something inspiration? You have to have a goal first for what you want to do. This is nothing esoteric. Your purpose can be something lofty but it doesn’t have to be. It’s simply whatever you want to do; whatever sounds like fun to you. Now that you have a purpose for your creation, you can start on the creative process.
Next: Creative Process Made Simple, Chapter 5
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