I have been thoroughly enjoying Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. In one chapter she talks about the creative genius. It was once believed that we, ourselves were not the creative genius but rather we had genius. This is an important distinction. A creative genius is a companion, a source of enlightenment and creative power. It is not us alone committing to creative work. In a talk she gave, she also referred to the “elusive creative genius”. The having of a creative genius is surprisingly freeing. It means that when we do great work, we also thank the genius for showing up and helping us with the inspiration. It keeps our egos in check because we know we are not solely responsible for the work on our own. And when our creative efforts fail, we can proclaim that our genius did not show up all the way for us. It gives us an out.
But if we think of creative genius in this way, shouldn’t we get to know our genius? Shouldn’t we develop a working relationship with them beyond showing up to our art every day? That’s the thing with the genius, You MUST show up, or they will wonder off looking for someone else who is ready to get on about their business.
Today, for your ten minutes, communicate with your creative genius. Draw, color, paint, sketch, write a letter about it. BUT get to know it. Understand how they work. Will they show up more readily if you have a little piece of chocolate bar waiting or a cup of coffee, or perhaps they prefer tea. Our creativity, “Big Magic”, as Elizabeth Gilbert words it, comes from this creative genius. It would be in our best interest to understand and know how they work with us. In doing so, who knows what amazing creative magic will be born from the cooperative effort. So, my friends, Go Forth and introduce your genius to yourself.