Monday, July 14

The Creative Process

Late last night, after hanging out with my in-laws and a few of my friends, I was completely drained and exhausted, ready to hit the sack. Then my two-and-a-half-year-old son started to act up and demand that I read him a book. In time, one book turned to ten and more. So after flipping through pages after pages of colorful cartoons of dinosaurs and talking animals, I finally gave up and told Hayden to go to bed. Of course, this did not get settled without a commotion--picture this: I said, "Hayden, it's time to go to bed. It's almost midnight."

"No, Daddy," he countered.

"Well, it's late and Daddy is tired and you need to sleep too."

"No, I want read."

"No more reading." At this time, my eyes were struggling to open and my son was starting to shove books at my face. Annoyed, I snapped them close, slammed them into the toy box and said, "GO TO BED!" As you can now imagine, steam was shooting out from my ears.
But Hayden, in his sweet little inocent-as-an-imp face, looked at me and basically smiled, undeterred. "Daddy, I want read." Needless to say, I had to lift him up and dump him into his own bed, tucking him tightly under his sheets, and with a finger directed at him, I said, "Good night, no more negotiations, whining, and asking for more reading. We are done for the night. I love you."

I straightaway went to bed like I had not slept for ages. When I woke up, it was only barely three, my wife was snoring next to me and the house was as quiet as a sleeping baby. But I could not sleep. Something was stomping in my mind, trying to get out. Without wasting time, I went to my desk, pulled out a notebook and started to write down everything that was swimming upstairs, and when I was done, it was already four and my eyes were starting to droop again. When I finally snugged back into bed, cuddled warmly beside my wife, I realized that I had rewritten an entire chapter of my book in the dark.

The creative process is such that no one can comprehend or predict. Sometimes it comes when you anticipate it, however, at other times, it only shows up when least expected, when you are at the brink of fatigue and complete shut down. But no matter when it decides to show up, you'll have to take advantage of it, even if you have to write in the dark and utterly disfunctional. The result is highly rewarding.

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