Celebrate spontaneous creativity.

thumbs up surrounded by words courage motivation success creativity intelligence confidence

Those can be magical moments.

For me, it happens most often in the kitchen.

Why? Consider all the available tools and ingredients.

And then there’s the love of food.

And spontaneity can also be fed by the time of day or the day of the week.

Sunday afternoons are a time for baking. Sure it’s fun to thumb through a cookbook or launch a Google search for quick and easy coffee cake [a more-than-occasional venture at our house], but it’s just as fun to use the recipe as a foundation for experimentation.

Case in point: Last Saturday morning.

I was all set for our traditional jaunt to the local farmer’s market. But there was L on the  and I didn’t feel like waiting for breakfast.

Someone once proposed that hunger was the mother of invention. I think it was me.

The next thing I knew, amidst a cloud of two kinds of flour, a little corn meal mush, separated eggs, and the other expected ingredients, I had set up a waffle station. Soon after came the colby cheese for one batch, the almonds and dried cranberries for another. [The true miracle, however, was forgetting to add chocolate chips for ‘she who must have chocolate’.]

Soapbox time: We retirees should revel in times like this. Remember…’try new’.

I looked up ‘spontaneous creativity’ and there is a book with that title, but I was drawn instead to this 2013 post from Scott Myers:

That is where relying on our creativity is most important. This implies a kind of trust in our creative instincts and that implies having worked with our creativity enough to learn to trust it.

But in truth if we trust in our creativity, we can surprise ourselves with moments of deep insight to help us perform to our best ability.

Okay, waffles aren’t exactly a deep insight, nor was my dinner tonight, which was supposed to be bangers and mash, but ended up as mustard greens/caramelized onion/sausage/sun dried tomatoes swimming in a chicken broth base, topped with a splash of balsamic vinegar, served over a bed of cavatelli.

But while not profound or life-changing, the spontaneous creativity can’t be denied.

Retirees’ Creative Reinvention Day 18: Seize the moment…

girl reaching

So it’s like this.

My friend from NY sent me a quick email telling me a classmate of ours from junior high had passed away…a year ago.

M was always a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and he was the same way as we went facemark-to-facemask in a junior college football game in 1972. And the same way as he served customers at his dad’s fish market and at the restaurant he started in the 80’s.

While I hadn’t seen him for decades, his passing hit me a little harder.

Maybe each succeeding loss of a contemporary does that now…but it was yet another reminder, a tug at my insides, with the familiar message…”What in God’s name are you waiting for? Get out there and make stuff!”

Yeah…it doesn’t have to be good—especially at first. It has to be done, so you have something to build on, a reference point.

And let’s all assume we’re not going to live forever, so it’s time to build some creative momentum.

It doesn’t have to be a leap. Even a step will do. But let’s aim together to be in a different place than we were the day before.

no-yes.png

This post begs for a repeat of the previous link…

How to Never Miss a Day of Creative Work
Highlights:
  1. “Take the minimal viable action of sitting down at your desk…”
  2. “Reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule.”
  3. “It’s better to lower your standards and actually follow through…”

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Thanks for reading and stay vigilant for opportunities
to stretch and flex those creative muscles.

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Retirees’ Creative Reinvention Day 17: Stay on task…

Multiple cogs with icons signifying tasks
Overestimating my ability to handle multiple projects…a major fault
Srini Rao has long been a go-to resource for advice and inspiration. This is one of my favorite posts from unmistakeablecreative.com.
Man intently working at a laptop
Love the wrinkled undershirt look…but hey! He’s sticking with his schedule!
How to Never Miss a Day of Creative Work
Highlights:
  1. “Take the minimal viable action of sitting down at your desk…”
  2. “Reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule.”
  3. “It’s better to lower your standards and actually follow through…”

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Thanks for reading and stay vigilant for opportunities
to stretch and flex those creative muscles.

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Retirees’ Creative Reinvention Day 16: As you’re learning, you’re teaching.

Austin Amateurs teach

More from Show Your Work **by Austin Kleon.

Fellow Retirees: Reframe your standing as a ‘creative’. We are a few among the many, all at different stages.

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Thanks for reading and stay vigilant for opportunities
to stretch and flex those creative muscles.

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** I’m mixing in different links to Austin K so they don’t all lead to a ‘buy’ page. Note: I just value the guy’s work. Not making a dime off the links.

Retirees’ Creative Reinvention Day 15: We’re not alone.

Austin rapid change equals amateurs

More from Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.

Fellow Retirees: Reframe your standing as a ‘creative’. We are a few among the many, all at different stages.

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Thanks for reading and stay vigilant for opportunities
to stretch and flex those creative muscles.

 

Retirees’ Creative Reinvention Day 14: Embrace your amateurism…

Austin willing to try 2

Still with the ‘you’ve made a decision to create‘ thread, through the week, I’ll be sharing quotes from Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.

Fellow Retirees: What do we have to lose?

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Thanks for reading and stay vigilant for opportunities
to stretch and flex those creative muscles.

 

Retirees’ Creative Reinvention Day 13: And once you’ve made that decision…

finger pointing to the viewer's right

In my last post, I explored, with the help of Jon Acuff, the decision creators must make every day.

Now that you’ve made a decision to create [and possibly to share some of your work], you might saunter further into some unexplored, or at least dormant, traits.

Dani Shapiro, author of Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life,  says: [Note: For every mention of writing, plug in your own creative endeavor.]

“The writing life requires courage, patience, persistence, empathy, openness, and the ability to deal with rejection. It requires the willingness to be alone with oneself. To be gentle with oneself. To look at the world without blinders on. To observe and withstand what one sees. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks. To be willing to fail — not just once, but again and again, over the course of a lifetime. “Ever tried, ever failed,” Samuel Beckett once wrote. “No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” It requires what the great editor Ted Solotoroff once called endurability.”

For a more complete discussion, click on over to Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings.

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Thanks for reading and stay vigilant for opportunities to stretch your and flex those creative muscles.