The Creative Epiphany – The Zone

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You creative geniuses out there know that there is a phenomenon that only occasionally shows up in the creative process, where you find yourself in a rare and scintillating zone of “I can do no wrong!”. You are on fire with the flames of creativity and you are unstoppable. You are vibrating with new ideas that flow from some unconscious place within you and manifest their brilliance in whatever you touch.

Maybe you are writing, painting, photographing, designing, inventing a new dish, building a thingamajig, composing a song or even just looking for a solution to a creative dilemma – and then things begin to flow in such a smooth and effortless stream of one great action after another that you are not sure where the genius is coming from. Certainly not from you, you say to yourself. You know it is your hand, your arm, your mind, but still it seems that you are channeling this golden path of creativity that is leading you and perfectly  answering your unuttered questions about what to do next.  Every decision you make is the right one, you are tingling with adrenaline and you can’t seem to work fast enough. In a  relatively brief moment in time – far less time than it usually takes – the “on fire” you completes the task at hand with effortless inspiration.

I remember one of the times it happened to me. Colorado. Summer day, windows open. Barefoot and painting in my upstairs studio. I had been able to sleep – sleep really well – the night before. I was alone. There was not a sound except the slight rustling of leaves outside. Then it happened like a breezy gust that suddenly kicks up for no apparent reason – but it was not wind. It was a kind of energy that visited me. The frenzy lasted a couple hours. When it stopped and my painting was complete I knew that I had been under some kind of creative spell – some un-nameable thing had visited me. The painting was one of my best ever.  I wish I had it to show you but it is long gone.

Through the years this unusual energy has taken hold of me a handful of times. I cannot summon it. It arrives unpredictably of its own power. I welcome it – I smile at its arrival – and I wring out every last drop of it while I can. Once in a while it lasts a day or more. I don’t require its arrival to do a good painting, but on the occasions when it arrives I do a spectacular painting. I still wonder “What just happened?” as I look at my creation. Who did that?

I believe you must know what I am talking about – because this energy, this zone, this goddess of  creativity is remarkably well traveled, and she is always scouting around for busy, preoccupied people to visit. She will arrive when you least expect her, obtain your undivided attention, leave her mark with you and then she’ll be gone as if nothing happened – but everything happened. I guarantee you will have profound evidence of her visit.

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3 responses to “The Creative Epiphany – The Zone

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