Revisiting spontaneous creativity…

cookies with a smiley face
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Fellow reinventors, a long while back I wrote about baking as a form of spontaneous creativity.

Well, sweet Georgia Brown if I didn’t find more justification for the art of mixing flour, sugar, eggs, [yeast, if you’re leaning toward bread], and heat.

The Rise of Anxiety Baking

Thank you, The Atlantic and writer Amanda Mull.

A few favorite quotes:

  • “It’s nice to be able to bake and know that I’m creating something that has a beginning and an end and people can enjoy it,” she [Folu Akinkuotu] says. “A lot of people have jobs that traffic in ideas or theoretical things, so it’s nice to make physical things.”
  • “…baking does indeed force you to put down your phone, get your hands dirty, and pay close attention to what you’re doing.”
  • “Most baked goods still taste good even if they’re not perfectly executed…”

Need a little nudge into the kitchen and engage in a little culinary reinvention?

Easy cookie recipes from Bon Appetit

MarthaStewart.com’s Easiest Cookie Recipes


Here is the repeat of my post entitled, Celebrate spontaneous creativity.

thumbs up surrounded by words courage motivation success creativity intelligence confidenceThose 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 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.

Revisiting [sticking to] ‘try new’

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Last fall, I subscribed to the Washington Post’s Bold School email newsletter, aimed toward an audience ‘beyond 50’. Thank you to the Post’s Vicky Fogg for this valuable weekly delivery.

Here is an excerpt from today’s newsletter:

***
“Familiar music can comfort us, while listening or playing unfamiliar music challenges us by forcing our brains to work to make sense of the new sound.”
***

As I write this, I’m listening to a Peter, Paul, and Mary song [Ballad of Spring Hill] I’d never before heard, thanks to a Spotify playlist shared by Vicky. And now, Mama Tried by Merle Haggard and the Strangers…and now, the instrumental On Interstate 15 by Wall of Voodoo. [Had never heard of this group before. I like the sound.]

Interesting stuff.

Keep thinking ‘try new’.

No matter how seemingly insignificant, ‘new’ injects a bit of interest into your day, your way of thinking, your creative process.

A recent example:

taralli Italian biscuit or pretzelTaralli

Book Recommendation: Creative Confidence

word cloud creative confidenceI’ve listened to and read this book since 2015 when I took on a technology learning plan for a school district. Clearly, I didn’t take the advice below as wholeheartedly as I should have.
But this book’s many insights and real-life examples should provide the requisite *kick in the seat of the pants* [the title of another favorite book by Roger von Oech] for those of us in that ‘desire to act vs. moving forward’ fog.

Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All
by David Kelley and Tom Kelley

“Many of us get stuck between wanting to act and taking action. The uncertainty of the uncharted path ahead can be daunting. Sometimes it feels as if circumstances are conspiring against us, and we find ourselves riveted in place. In corporate cultures, that hesitation can translate into what professors Bob Sutton and Jeffrey Pfeffer call the “knowing-doing gap”


Kick in the Seat of the Pants by Roger von Oech

Book Recommendation: Creative Pep Talk

by Andy J. Miller

Subtitled: Inspiration from 50 Artists

Colorful, inspirational, and thought-provoking.

Here is the Goodreads review page.

Some favorites:

You’ll never be ready, so you might as well put yourself out there.
–Daniel Fishel

You cannot live your whole life in comfort zones
–Meg Hunt

Roll with it & gain momentum.
— Mary Kate McDevitt

Showing up…that first 100 words

100 words in calligraphy

Handwritten, not typed.

It’s a variation of Julia Cameron’s morning pages, but I found that setting that simple goal made it easy to squeeze them in before the dog insisted on his morning walk.

Benefits:

I always went well past the prescribed 100 and that last 50 words always seemed to set my mind in the right direction.

It felt good to start shaping my own productive habits. At times, I even forced myself to write that first 100 while my coffee and breakfast sat within easy reach. [Now that’s serious!]

It reminded me I had already created this template that I used successfully…but evidently not so successfully that I forgot about it. [Go figure.]

Next Post: More gold star moments…