The Zone Series : The Creative Zone
The Creative Zone
By Tom Evans
While the live performer has the advantage of that adrenalin rush to push them to new heights, for the most part, the creative performer works off line on their art, their music or their words.
The motivation for writing that book or composing that new song can prove elusive. Artists all too often find their creative juices run dry. An external deadline, or perhaps an author’s advance, can provide an incentive but it can also be a curse.
When we are in flow however, it’s almost like we have been taken over by an external force and we are just an agent and co-collaborator in the creative process. Time takes on an ethereal quality and whatever we produce can be near perfect first time around.
It may becoming clear that the boundaries between the zones is not hard or even fixed. Creatives need to be masters of the Time Zones. Any artist should be superbly creative about hopping around the zones, including some Danger Zones. Entrepreneurs and performers need to be comfortable in the Creative Zone. All of them will want to get their audience and customers into the Happy Zone — and to keep them there. As a self-serving example, the very writing of this book requires me to enter the mind set of people in each of these zones.
The key to managing creative process is to recognise that there is not one zone but several. Anyone involved with a creative task has to work through a number of steps to ensure their work gets finished. If they are in the wrong mode at the wrong time, their work can end up on a slush pile of their own making. Any half-written manuscript or part completed canvas is a sign that the creative process has hit a road block. Indeed before even embarking on a piece of work, we need to have the entrepreneurial vision to be able to see it through and the persistence of a live performer to make it happen. Again this indicates how zones cross-fertilise each other.
Creativity is something that tends to ooze from the pores of an artist when in the zone. The creative process doesn’t stop with the production of the work but also in its promotion.
What is well known is that, like any muscle, if we don’t use an aspect of our neurology, it atrophies. I know from experience that the best way for an author to promote their first book is to write book two. The best way to promote book two is to write book three … and so on. At the same time you grow your portfolio, you also grow in experience.
There is another benefit from living and breathing in the Creative Zone. You tend to meet, and hang out with, others of a similarly creative persuasion. This has the great benefit of making it not so much of a lonely and solitary place to be. •
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Renaissance Man and Imagineer Tom Evans is the author of four books and counting about creativity. More »