"Fecundity is the creative person's natural state. The more pertinent question is that of what inhibits it. Why does one get periods of broken productivity? What causes these interruptions? Productivity, it has to be said, has no reason to be broken except through adverse, exterior circumstances."
- Helene Cixous in White Ink
I was re-reading the above this morning, wondering if productivity was the subject of this morning's blog post. Creativity, the conditions which must be met so we may be creative, so we may work.
And then. Somehow magically came across this blog post, titled: "daily rituals: how artists create (and avoid creating) their art."
In my wanderings, also this quotation:
“You need three things to become a successful novelist: talent, luck and discipline. Discipline is the one element of those three things that you can control, and so that is the one that you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two.”
- Michael Chabon
So many creative people have small rituals to take them into the mental state needed to begin. There is little time to waste, and it's true as Chabon says, discipline is everything.
My biggest ritual is to begin by writing in my diary, but also with a notebook nearby, the one that contains the jottings for the thing I'm writing.
Which leads me to this quotation also by Cixous:
"It's rare for someone to manage to keep within the narrative the spontaneous, frothy quality of the notebooks and diaries."
"The most beautiful, the most free, the least cleaned-up thing we have to say will have been what came before the work. The workshop. And what was it that Joyce did if not find his way back to his own workshop in the end?"
Maybe this is why artists' studios are fascinating to me (and to many others if you can go by all the images collected on Pinterest). The 'before the work' is often still visible. I've collected images myself there, on this board.
Things are winding down quite seriously now.
Some images from a few days ago, the late autumn light, the last of the leaves.
We've not yet removed the sunflowers. Maybe they'll stay all winter....