I read this thing a while ago… I can’t find it now, of course, but it talked about the creative process as a series of ebbs and flows. About the importance of shutting up, sometimes. Of sitting quietly and listening, and letting your mind drift where it will. The analogy, I think, was a forest in winter — the quiet, bare period that does the groundwork for the colour and chaos of summer.
I wrote this in February and never posted it:
I’m in one of those phases where everything is happening at once. The last big sea-change in my life was June 2010. There’s a very clear divide between before and after, and I feel like something similar is rapidly bearing down, like I’m approaching a critical mass, and right now is the bit where I dig in and just try to stay afloat until the wave passes. And then I see where I end up, and with any luck there’s still solid ground under my feet.
The thing I like about times like this is how the big stuff — the stuff that changes your life, the stuff that changes you — always sneaks in. You can never prepare for it, and it never goes the way you’d expect. Most of the time, it comes on that wave, and all you ever get to do is hold your breath and let it take you.
I watched this great TED talk in the weekend, about how we work so hard to provide for a future version of ourselves — for a person who’ll probably never exist, because we all underestimate how much we’re going to change. His point, I think, was that Future You may as well be a stranger, and isn’t necessarily worth the sacrifices Present You is making for them.