I used to improvise and wing things a lot, in rituals, and musically. There was a time when I’d happily go out with a violin and play music I didn’t know, with strangers, and mostly get away with it. It takes a certain amount of nerve. I think you could do that from a place of arrogance or self confidence, but for me what mostly enable the winging of things, was a deep belief in the awen. I’d open my heart, and the words would come, or the notes, or whatever I needed creatively in the moment. It never failed me. Mostly I just experienced the inspiration as happening to me, a force rushing through me, and I never felt much ownership of the things I did.
Life changes and a loss of nerve have meant I’ve not been out winging it as much in the last few years. Hardly at all, in fact. I draw on inspiration to write, but that’s usually a slow and private process. If it doesn’t work, no one else will ever know. Winging it in public is totally exposed and vulnerable, any shortcomings made visible. It’s one thing to go out and feel that you’re balancing on a tightrope the awen holds steady, and quite another to feel like you can’t. Depression and anxiety are not aids to the flow of inspiration. They are serious blocks, and anxiety makes it hard to just go out there and do it and trust that you can.
I had some unexpected jamming in a pub with some guys about a month ago. That helped me feel like I could just leap in and do those improvised things again. Yesterday I really took the plunge. If you read the blog – here – about Intelligent Designing, I proposed to write limericks for anyone who shared either the blog or the link. I had quite a few link shares on facebook yesterday (thank you everyone who joined in) and was rapidly churning out silly limericks that included people’s names. Exposed enough to feel a bit edgy, hidden behind the computer enough to feel a bit safe.
So much of creativity is actually about trust. Trusting yourself that the skills are there and you can do it. Trusting the inspiration to flow. Trusting people not to bring over ripe fruit and throw it at you… It’s always a bit of a leap into the dark. It always feels a bit risky, and I realise that I’d become risk averse in a way that was restricting what I could do. I need to learn how to trust myself again, and how to trust the inspiration. Yesterday went well.
If you fancy having a play, pop the book link http://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Designing-Amateurs-Nimue-Brown/dp/1780999526/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1368694639&sr=8-1&keywords=intelligent+designing+for+amateurs on the site of your choice, and let me know – I’m on facebook, @brynneth_nimue, I’m on Google+ and linkedin and if you reblog to another wordpress one I can spot that. If in doubt poke me here or some other place…