Creativity demands space.
A nice padding of several inches or feet of psychic breathing-room permits us someplace to set aside our mundane worries to abandon the crap that usually dominates our internal landscape's central computer (the mind), so it is free to receive sparks of divine inspiration.
Without ample space, our creative flow is too susceptible to interruptions from the inner taskmaster, who's plenty eager to remind us we haven't yet bought the groceries, paid the electric bill, made that uninviting appointment with the doctor or lawyer, or returned the dozens of emails beckoning us by name from the inbox holding-tank.
And who, at any given time, possesses the confidence in one's conjuring capabilities to tell that bossy taskmaster to shut its damn face for a few treasured hours? to place such a high value on the enigmatic process of one's creations--of birthing some wholly original idea or image or object or entity or environmentthat the daily onslaught of lists of undone duties can be successfully held at bay, under the presumption that exercising our personal creativity is just as important (if not more?!?) than the other piled-up items?
For folks like me, who pride ourselves on self-identifying as 'creative types', maintaining a regular practice can be difficult, particularly in light of everything else we have to do. Except for the privileged (and oft well-deserving) few who have managed to carve out an entire lifestyle dedicated to exploring their creative instincts (through grant applications and artists-in-residence programs and other willing embraces of the need to self-promote), we're mainly left to squeeze our creative moments into the rigid gaps between bookkeeping gigs and after-school car-pool pickups. After a full day's slate of errands and obligations, perhaps sitting beneath a tree with a sketchpad or a poet's journal could provide the perfect respite. More often than not, though, it merely feels like 'another thing to do'and the easier, less effort-requiring respite more likely involves a glass of wine and mindless reality TV.
Above all other professional labels, I cherish my role as a writer. But after spending hours at the keyboard composing horoscopes, interpreting astro-charts, answering emails and other social-media demands, entering numbers into Excel spreadsheets, crafting promotional copy, and digesting gobs of news and hardly-news well, the last thing I typically want to do is stay at the computer and write more. One obvious antidote is to grab the trusty spiral notebook and a good old-fashioned pen (just like they made 'em back in the 20th century) and go elsewhere. The change in context and scenery always helps stimulate the creative mind. Still, as long as the clock is ticking and I only have two hours to, hurry! quick! write something from the heart that other people might find insightful or moving, there's already a performance pressure building up before I've finished the first sentence.
Regardless of the challenges, however, I am committed to writing. Over the years of astrobarry.com, I've continually sought to expand the breadth of my articles beyond mere astrology, in order to offer myself the room to share more of my creative self with you, dear readers. While I've earned a nice name for myself as a professional astrologer, I also want to be publicly perceived as more than that. Yet, as my astrology practice and my responsibilities as a metaphysical business-owner (see: The Sacred Well) both grow, my space for 'pure creativity' shrinks.
That's not to discount the wonderful opportunities I have to inject my creative juices into all that I do professionally. I am endlessly grateful. Yet, at the same time, focusing my creative output in so targeted a manner toward business-related ambitions (no matter how unconventional or 'woo-woo' my businesses are) is not exactly identical to wandering rolling meadows or crashing coastlines, urban avenues or suburban dead-zones, gathering my observations by notebook-jot or camera-snap, free-spirit-style.
To create something new, imaginative and original requires the creator to look out at the world through fresh eyes and then express what they see in some medium they can distribute outwardly, for others' enjoyment and/or edification. But how 'fresh' can those eyes possibly be, if they're condemned to looking at the same damn stuff, day in and day out, all the friggin' time?
The busier we become (and mostly with relatively trifling crap), the less space we have left for looking with fresh eyes, for opening all our senses to be touched by the mystical interference of inspiration (an essential ingredient for creation), and for taking the time to translate our inspired visions into beautiful testaments for our fellow beings to experience.
Without consciously making this space, alas, we are doomed to soulless repetitions of unexamined routinesproductive, perhaps, in serving out automaton-like roles as cogs in the assembly-line of global capitalism (i.e., producing goods and services for a meager monetary wage, while the fatcats at the top collect a hefty profit off our efforts), but not exactly creatively self-fulfilling. And nothing ever really changes, unless it's been decreed from on-high by corporate budget trimmers and efficiency experts, tested by focus groups and excitedly hyped by marketing teams.
We willingly swallow what they're selling until we put up our arms, block the soulless intrusion, reserve ourselves a spacious radius of room in which to be and then create something better. Art, in all its forms (or whatever you call it), really does change the world.