Not so many years ago, if life was treating me bad, the best cure for unhappiness was my job. I was very fortunate to get paid for what I loved to do–play records for the public. As soon as I slipped in front of the mixing console and adjusted the microphone’s position, life became excellent. Presenting a show to an audience who wants to hear their favorite music is an act of purely creative happiness.
As the creative product of singers and musicians played on the control room monitors, ad-lib comments just popped into into my head. More structured creativity was required when transitioning from records to commercial breaks and newscasts. Every day presented new current events as food for ad-libs. Each hour had different constraints due to last minute content additions or deletions. “Thrive” is the word that sums up the experience.
As automation intruded more and more into the daily routine, public affairs interviews became my professional responsibility. I had to tap into creativity in different ways.
In order for each interview to succeed, I had to research the interviewee’s background ahead of time. This enabled a smoother on-air conversation. The conversational creativity was especially helpful when the person being interviewed was mic-shy. Not only did I have to acquaint myself with new interview subjects each day, I needed to adapt myself in ways to put them at ease. Creativity was required by both parties in order to construct a seamless, successful show. Plus, if the interviewee failed to show up, I needed to quickly come up with some sort of filler material to fill out the time on my own.
The unpredictability of daily life in our unstable world requires the imperative ability to adapt and change. This means that creativity is an important asset to cultivate if one is to not only cope, but to thrive. One of the best attributes for creativity is to be as open-minded as is possible. Perhaps one could risk being so open-minded as to risk having ones brain pop out–figuratively speaking. The comfort zone is not the place to stay. Being open to different ways of thinking and acting are instrumental to conquering fears and fostering creativity.
It takes time and mental silence for gestation and hatching of a good, new idea. It’s something that defies rational explanation. Solitude and thoughtfulness simply enables the mind to connect thoughts and past experiences so that new things seem to happen out of nowhere.
It’s no accident that many so-called “creative” people are introverts. A fair amount of alone time is important for thinking and experimentation. My ex bf is a stage magician. He spends countless hours dreaming up new illusions and rehearsing them. Over the years, he has fine-tuned the balance between solitude and public performing. Both the invention of and the performing of his stage appearances combine with a fair amount of cultivated charisma to create an entertaining presentation.
One of the beautiful parts of creativity is its Zen-like nature. When you’re fully involved in the process, the concept of self drops away and you become one with everything. You are not only able to extend your boundaries, your mind annihilates them. There is a certain sensation of lightness, freedom, and joy.
My life after downsizing felt untethered and disorienting for awhile. Fortunately inborn curiosity and the urge towards creativity led to the desire to try out blogging. Writing is the first thing I do each day–even before breakfast. Like my old interview shows, bluejayblog can be about nearly anything at all. If I have one reader or a multitude is not the point. It’s the creativity that keeps me feeling fresh each and every day.