How many of you have a dedicated space to create?
I know, that doesn’t sound like a reasonable question, right? Not only writers follow this blog, but also artists, hobbyists, and folks who find pleasure in making beautiful things. Nine out of ten times, they look incredulous when I ask them about their creative space. And they always give an excuse that denies them the freedom and bandwidth to create.
What? How can anybody have a dedicated creative space in this concrete jungle? They live in a rat hole. Their home has no space for their silly hobbies. Their spouse/children/maid would never leave them to have a private space. And who really can afford to have one, anyway?
Here’s the truth. Your creative space does not have to be large or expensive. It does not need to be a separate room adorned with skylights and furnished in mahogany wood.
It can be as small as the corner of your living room, with a makeshift desk. It can be that wall on your balcony, on which you like to support your spine and type on your laptop. All you need, to possess a space to create, is to consider a piece of square feet as your creative space, designate it as your private space (hopefully with some visual barrier like a screen or a door) and guard it with your life, and not let the daily grind to stop you from creating.
See, I firmly believe everybody is creative. Unfortunately, not everybody gives it the nurturing it deserves. Often, we forget that creativity is like a plant. You need to water it regularly. Otherwise one day, it will wither and die.
Isaac Asimov assigned a separate typewriter for each book he wrote and arranged them along the perimeter of his room. Then he went around, working through each project, and wrote over 500 books in his career.
Every time she wrote a new book, Alice Hoffman coloured her walls in a different colour, transferring the hue of her story onto the walls and decorating the room with stuff that resonates with that particular tale.
Think they were nuts? Remember what they wrote. They created masterpieces, which in turn made them immortal. So perhaps, these idiosyncrasies, these personal rituals, this reverence they gave for their private space – it all made sense for them and they didn’t hesitate to do it, even at the risk of sounding crazy.
It’s surprising that most creators do not realise this: it’s not enough to have desire alone to be special and creative…. You should do what’s necessary to make the dream a reality. If you want to write a book or make art or do anything that’s out of ordinary, first assign a physical space in your life for it to be created. A space just for you and your muse to collaborate, co-exist and create.
Do it for one week. Assign a space in your home, and make it yours. Decorate it in any manner you like (strictly optional). Show up at the same time every day, at least half an hour’s time, where you ban the internet, the phone, the humans in life, everything (bar an emergency). Now, say a brief thank you to that mysterious force which blessed you with magic in your soul, the same magic that enables you to create something out of nothing, and start doing it – a poem, a painting, a scene, a handmade card, or even a matchstick structure you used to make as a child.
I look forward to hearing from you.