In The Zone (Day #5)

Posted in: Writing

Lil Mil and I have settled into a routine.  Every day around lunch time, I put her in her stroller and we stroll.  The idea is to be aimless, to just cruise, but inevitably we end up at Starbucks.  Totally her fault.

Usually I hover near the barista as I wait for my drink, trying not to salivate as I watch the espresso brew.   But Starbucks was crowded today, so I stood near the communal message board instead.  As I waited, I glanced up at the array of flyers.  An open letter from a candidate for City Council.  An advertisement for an upcoming play.  Flyers for nannies, handymen and French tutors.

My eyes skimmed over these, quickly dismissing them.  Not interested.

And then five words caught my eye.  Big.  Bold.  Red.   GET INTO YOUR CREATIVE ZONE!

This ad was shiner, more professional-looking than the rest.  “Recover your creativity from procrastination, self-criticism, jealousy, perfectionism and other limiting factors!” it proclaimed.

I pictured my creativity, bound and gagged, held hostage by a gang of Limiting Factors.  Poor Creativity.  He never saw it coming.

Yes, my instinct was to mock this flyer, to make fun of its pronouncements and its promises (Just take our workshop!  For only $385, we’ll free your creativity from its bondage!) But maybe – just maybe - these liberators of creativity are onto something.  Maybe there’s something to be said about the act of “freeing” our creativity.  Maybe its more than just a gimmick.

One thing is for sure:  if I want to accomplish this goal of mine, I need to get into my Creative Zone and stay there.  Put in some plumbing, paint the walls.  Make it my home.

So what’s holding me back?   Why is it so hard to stay in that sweet spot?   Have I burdened my creativity with self-criticism?  Hindered it with perfectionism?  Stifled it with insecurity?

No doubt.

But that’s what’s so great and miraculous about creativity, I think.  It’s resilient.  It bounces back, even without an army of liberators.

And so, today, I declare my creativity free from its bondage.  I’m kicking those shady Limiting Factors to the curb.

I have entered the Creative Zone.

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