You’ve heard it many times.. how important it is to love the process of creating. Whatever that is for you. Leave the outcome alone and just focus on the process.
Well, I like a nice outcome too if I can manage it, not that I always do. But as I spend more and more time creating, I appreciate the process more and more. It is the important part.
To me the road to appreciating the process has taken time. I always liked hopping from project to project, getting as many done as possible. I still enjoy that feeling. But I also know it’s much more than a pile of done projects.
So what does embracing the process mean?
I’ve thought of a few things that are part of embracing the process for me. They can be different for you, so think a little about your process. What does it mean for you to enjoy the process?
Not being afraid to take a step forward
Part of the process is always going forward. Even if it’s a tiny step into the unknown or uncertainty. It requires a certain amount of courage to face the fears that might pop up and block progress. These little steps forward are the process of improving, working towards true mastery.
There is often an inner resistance to moving forward that must be overcome. I feel it sometimes before I sit down and get started. It would be easier to do nothing or to rest or play around on the phone, but those acts don’t take me towards anything I want. They don’t make me more creative.
They only waste valuable time.
I handle the resistance by acknowledging it, but taking a deep breath and going forward anyway.
This is part of the little steps. We must make them, and they must be things we haven’t yet done. They are what increase us as artists and creators. It isn’t always easy to take those little risks, but that is why they must be taken anyway.
As you get used to the risks, they bother you less. In fact, it becomes a fun part of the process. You get to discover things you never knew about yourself, creativity and the art. Learning is one of the best part of the process.
I tend to view everything as an experiment, what can I say, I am a trained scientist. It does have the effect of helping you to let go of the outcome and focus on the process of the experiment itself. Failure is not really anything to worry about because all experiments are lessons in what works and what doesn’t and also how things work. It’s all just a process to be enjoyed.
I don’t feel like I was ever taught in school to ask questions. It was never encouraged, so I have learned on my own. Everything is up for questions, everything. It makes people uncomfortable sometimes, but all the better.
The process is all about these questions. They help you discover the risks and experiments you need to try. They open new possibilities all around. Asking questions as you go will sometimes make you take a new turn, a surprise, a new lesson to be learned. More ideas will burn within you as you fish up new answers.
Connecting with the inner self
The process is all about connection, especially with the inner self. The flow state is where we go when we are deep within the process and it is a total connection with the self.
Time loses meaning, the world is unnoticed, focus on the creative work is absolute. For some it’s a state of pure bliss. It makes us feel good. This is why appreciating the process is so vital. When you are rushing to an end, you are less likely to feel the flow. There is too much stress and trouble.
Expressing the inner self
Along with the connection comes the blooming of creativity. The process allows the inner self to be fully expressed. It may require a total slowdown in the work to allow the emotion and meaning to be released from inside. This is where creativity flows out in a way that is truly unique to you. And as your creative expression is unique, so will your process be.
What is your process?
How do you feel about your process? Do you do anything unique? Or maybe you have a small ritual that you do before you start your creative work? A signal that it is time to switch on the inner self and express.
I sometimes flip through some recent paintings, getting a feeling for where I am now and where I might head next. I appreciate on a more fundamental level that mastery, which is my true goal, is the longest process and all the finishes I have are just part of a that greater process.
So I celebrate the small victories of a painting or artwork completed, no matter how “good” I think it is.
They are my process of becoming, and that is a process that will never end.
I hope you are on your own journey of becoming and are appreciating the beauty of living it every day.