The Creative Juices

1 May
The Redwood Trail

The Redwood Trail

Contrary to popular belief, writing this blog isn’t always easy.  I mean…even I can’t be witty and eloquent all of the time! So when writer’s block strikes, I’m faced with a choice.  Put up a post with just a photo, or ask for help.  Lucky for me, I have a great pool of photo friends to talk shop with, and they’re an excellent source of creativity and inspiration.

When I started thinking about this week’s post…or rather, started drawing a blank about this week’s post, I sent out a text to a few of my photo-friends scattered across the country for ideas and input.  It basically said, “If you were a blog post containing a pretty photo of redwoods and a waterfall, taken at Limekiln in Big Sur, California…what would you be about?”

One of the ideas I got back, from Will of www.wheretowillie.com, was to talk about how spectacular the sights can be, even within the boundaries of our own country.  Winner, winner chicken dinner!  It’s so true.  I’ve always been one to advocate the joys of local shooting.  I saw a great quote the other day…”It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau.  It struck me as a great phrase.  My own state of Connecticut has rarely been high on a photographer’s “To Visit” list, and yet with a little exploration, I’ve found there are so many great things to discover.

So…let’s follow my line of thinking for a second, shall we?
1)      Ask friends for ideas to show my writer’s block who is boss
2)      Get a super awesome suggestion to expound upon
3)      Think more about writer’s block…!!??!!  Yeah, that’s totally what I did.

Thinking about how to build on Will’s idea reminded me of a conversation Sean, my “English Graduate” boyfriend had with his “Going Back For His Radiology Degree Friend”.  They were discussing a writing assignment in which the student was asked to analyze the evolution of their writing abilities/papers over the course of the semester.  The English Graduate brought up the point that most of the time, our education only encourages creative thinking to a certain point.  To support his theory, he talked about how most teachers give you the freedom to expound upon an idea, but the topic is of their choosing.  The initial idea – the starting point for creative thinking – was out of the student’s sphere of control.

So how does that relate to writer’s block and creativity?

Well, it occurred to me that in life, that initial moment of inspiration is often the most difficult to come by.  I thought back over my time as an artist in every medium I’ve dabbled in – photography, writing, painting, drawing – and I relished the moments of true inspiration, where an idea simply occurred to me and I went with it.  More often than not though, I suspect those moments are drawn off of the works of other creatives, whether we realize it or not.  We live in a data-soaked society, now more than ever with the internet making everything so accessible.  We are surrounded by the images, words and thoughts of all of the creatives in across the world with the ability to share them.

So I wonder…have American education systems conditioned us to that moment of writer’s block?  Because once I had a suitable topic, the words flowed.  It was that initial moment of inspiration that eluded me.  And more importantly, how do we combat such conditioning?  How do we cultivate the culture of creative thinking?

I guess blogging is a good start. 😉  Just some food for thought, friends.  Tell me what you think!

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10 Responses to “The Creative Juices”

  1. Village Photography May 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    “I’ve found there are so many great things to discover.
    So…let’s follow my line of thinking for a second, shall we?
    1… 2…3…”
    Don’t forget number 4. You get to say “Winner, winner chicken dinner!”
    I love it! I’ve never heard that one before.
    Oh and Beautiful photo too!

    • seeingspotsphoto May 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      HAHAHA yeah, I saw that phrase in a movie about Las Vegas once, and loved it ever since.

      Thank you!! 🙂

  2. David Pasillas May 1, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    We’re not conditioned to be creative. You have to unlearn everything school has taught you, namely, waiting to be assigned a topic, or, to regurgitate what the audience wants to hear.

    • seeingspotsphoto May 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      …which is sad. Think of how much more innovative we could be if creative thinking were encouraged!

  3. John Hric May 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Pick a topic any topic and write. Start a list of topics and ideas, when you need them use them. Creativity is both a process and where you are at. Distraction, inspiration, and a whole bunch of other ingrediants. Some will delay, some will stop, and some will help. You just have to keep at it and learn from each experience. And when nothing else works make something up. Or give yourself a break to re-focus. Creativity is a bit different from a recipe or a fix mechanical process. It is not even one particular state of mind, it is a spectrum that you learn to ride.
    Gee I hope I did not make too much of this up….. Look at the bright side, after a lapse in creativity sometimes we come back with a slightly different perspective. Good luck.

    • seeingspotsphoto May 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Those are really good suggestions and thoughts. 🙂 I like the idea of being a bit more proactive with a go-to list of ideas. 🙂

      • William May 10, 2013 at 5:57 am #

        Second on creating a list of topics. So frustrating to look at the screen and think you’ve written everything there is to write about…and then you look at the list and it’s like a security blanket.

        Or just look in the dictionary…lotta big words in there 🙂

      • seeingspotsphoto May 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

        hahaha That dictionary is just full of good ideas. 🙂

  4. hdrdreamcatcher May 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Epic shot, well done

    • seeingspotsphoto May 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      Thank you for the kind words! 🙂 It was a great trip, lots of fun photos…definitely can’t wait to go back to Cali. 🙂

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