I like how Elizabeth Gilbert described the creative process of some writers / artists who viewed themselves as vessels or in her case, she called herself a mule. Like a deity deigning you worthy enough to impose their inspiration, must drop everything and chase it, capture it, while you can, lest it vanish and dissipate into thin air. And just like so many contemporary artists, I find myself in this conundrum of having inspiration come to me in the weirdest, unlikeliest places and times, so much so that my chase of it has caused some let’s just say unpleasant encounters and strained relationships.
Nevertheless, I try to find comfort in what she said when she tried to change this process. To reign in that fleeting, fickle, elusive muse when she’s good and ready.
She says: Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Olé!” And if not, do your dance anyhow. And “Olé!” to you, nonetheless.
However this may be, I still find myself chasing, pursuing this illusory, evanescent and baffling inspiration that seems to take various shapes and forms over the course of days. There was one time that I vowed to update the powerpoint decks to my training courses. But since I recently installed the latest version of Windows, I had yet to familiarize my way around it. I was baffled at how different things were and how everything seemed so updated and complex. I started with choosing a new design template for my deck. Upon choosing one design, it told me that I needed to have Office Mix installed for it to work. So I thought it was just a quick click of the download button but I was mistaken. It involved learning to manipulate things on a new platform, now merging once separate applications into one presentation, etc. Long story short, I needed to learn it again. So even if my muse was there, I had to let it wait while I struggled to study it. Until I felt it fled, somewhat miffed that I had the audacity to keep it waiting.
Then came vlogging. I’ve been watching a couple of youtube videos, and have even been offered one, albeit in passing, to collaborate on a video with a friend, who was a budding youtuber. Also, Teki’s niece started to do youtube videos as well. To support her and keep her motivated, we thought of doing videos ourselves. I’ve read somewhere that anyone with a camera can be a star on Youtube. That Youtube is the future of TV/movies. It’s funny how the mundane and the trivial, once given the right animation and other swooshes and “ja-raan!”, would make it ever oh so interesting and fresh to the eye. I’ve spent countless hours on youtube, riveted at the banal on-goings in random people’s lives. So I said, “Hey, I can do that! I can walk anyone through my life. I can recount the tedious details of my day with a much better vocabulary than stating the obvious. (More than “See this meal? It looks so nice. It tastes so bongga!”) I thought, this would be a walk in the park. Ok. So recording oneself is easy. But editing it is another ballgame. A plain “talking” video can be a bore to watch. It’s like being chained to watch a ruthlessly boring show without the mercy of commercials to ease the misery. Not only is it time-consuming, it still also entails learning to navigate one’s way around the controls. Learning new terms like “timelines”, “splices”, “transitions” and “time-warp”. As I watched more and more tutorials, it started to feel like I was on a Start Trek odyssey. So again, my muse left in a huff. Leaving me with nothing to show for but hours of unedited, unabashed self-promoting videos.
And so I find my way back to an old love, blogging. I was looking through old posts and I decided to write down my “creative journey” so far. By the way, the reason why I had to put blogging aside was due to a heavy work schedule and the general feeling of ennui that comes from being held hostage by the company of unsavory characters. Plus, my old laptop finally bid adieu and had breathe it’s last. I was recently blessed to get a replacement from my one true love. And hence, here I am, tapping away again.
So what’s my point? I guess, I’m heeding Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice. So. I’m here. I’m gonna keep at it, even if obstacles (real or self-imposed) keep cropping up. I’m gonna do my part. I’m gonna show up. So that creative afflatus better start flowing. I guess it’s a process. I just have to trust it more.
In three… two… one…