Ideas through fear – a #letsblogoff thingie

I’d like to wax romantically about how I get my ideas strolling along on dog walks, but that would be a lie. I spend most of my time watching out for speeding cars, white reverse lights and kids on bicycles who think dogs know to move over to the right.. or left.. as they weave in and out along the sidewalk. Walks are for the vigilant. I spend most of my brain power strategizing on how to carry 200 pounds of dog should anything unfortunate happen.

So, dog walks are not really fertile idea grounds. Neither is the time spent mowing the lawn, shopping for groceries, strolling the mall, walking in the park, standing in the shower — all of those stereotypical settings people go on about. Sure, I get ideas in those places from time to time, but mostly not.


13 Replies to “Ideas through fear – a #letsblogoff thingie”

  1. man oh man! wait. fear can be a big motivator and thanks for giving us something other than a walk in the park…. but at some point don’t you just trust your creative ability? don’t you? I mean — don’t get me wrong, still waiting for that day to come. and if anything — I know one thing: this is a really good blogoff topic. thanks for sharing and thanks for the . . . ideas. ~jb

  2. Fear means you still care and that’s never a bad thing. I’d be more worried if it all started coming too easy! An artist’s suffering and all… ; )

    But on the fear spectrum I guess it’s a pretty cushy one to have!

  3. I’d be lying if I said I did, but truth is the next project is always a bit tougher than the last or requires I learn something new or something… nobody, including me.. probably especially me .. gives me a free pass to rest on any laurels. Maybe it’s just all in my head, but the easy stuff bores me easily, even though sometimes I find myself surprised at how hard it might be for someone else… that make any sense??

  4. absolutely get “the easy bores me easily” and I think I get the last bit . . .in so far as — there is *some* stored cache (some go to moves) even though you are not resting on your laurels… still not really sure of what you do, but I *can* respect the volatility of it and hence the fear. . . don’t necessarily know if I know that fear myself (because I sit in a mostly “cush gig” . . . with a decent fallback plan). it’s just good you can do whatca you do. maybe hire someone to come at you with a knife around 3:45 every day and then you’ll really be knocking it out. << I know a bad joke, but cheers! ~jb

  5. Fear is most definitely a good generator for ideas – in my case, mostly exit strategies and how do I locate a fresh pair of pants and change and discard the soiled ones all in one swift move without anyone noticing. As far as working fear into my own little nodes of creativity – various forms of prose and poetry – I try to take all aspects of said fear into account: the cause of it, the immediate reaction to it, the potential outcomes, etc. It’s all quite interesting to work through.

  6. I’ve struggled with this type of fear for years. I find the only thing that takes the fear out of a project of import is for something even more important to come along. Suddenly, I can easily tackle the initial project while my fuming about the new one begins. I have what is called the “hinkey” writing phase when I’m processing something that’s not ready to come out. I absolutely hate it because it’s such an uncomfortable place to sit. I will find myself cleaning out the refrigerator (for the third time) scrubbing the caulking in the bathtub or polishing a piece of silver I’ll never use to keep from sitting down at the keyboard. It took me years to realize that this is part of my process and it’s what soothes the fear so I can ease into the writing when it is finally, please god, ready to spit itself out!!!! Great post, Rufus, as always!

  7. I had not thought of fear as a source of ideas.

    It is true last minute (omg its 6:30, my husband is almost home, I’m starving and there’s no food in the house!) dinners are more fun to be creative with. I call it “McGuyvering.”

  8. It is hard to figure out was is “part of the process” and good ol’ fashion “resistance” War of Art, book recommendation.. quick read.

    Hinkey.. now don’t be using words around me I don’t understand πŸ™‚ That is so funny on all sorts of levels.. ok, maybe only my editor thinks so.. ok, maybe not so much…

  9. Fear drives a lot of things. I don’t think the creative process will ever get less painful. We all kinda hope it will and think craftsmanship will help it be, but I think as stuff gets easier, the real artists reach for harder things.

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