Where does it come from, and how do we call upon it, nurture it and sustain it?
Having taught art and writing for many years, I've come to the conclusion that once we call it forth, it feeds on itself, like a hurricane over open water.
The trick is coaxing it our of hiding in the first place, and once you do, then the nurturing part is up to you.
Children are creative all the time. Just listen in to the constant flow of a child's play conversation (either with another or alone). Adults often dismiss this as idle chatter, but it has meaning and direction to the child, who has no problem at all constructing whole imaginary worlds in which to live for awhile.
For me, it also requires that kind of focus, of play, of throwing my critical self off my shoulder and free-writing for awhile without epectation, or distracting him/her with a new toy such as meditation or movement (preferably yoga, which concentrates the mind through awareness of the body). Sketching has much the same effect for me. As an art teacher of mine used to say, "It's not the product that's important; it's the process." The journey, not the destination. Or as the Buddhists would say, the journey is the destination.
I've oversimplified an extremely complex subject, in the interest of learning about the creative processes of others. Care to contribute?
Meanwhile, here is a photo from the Taos Writers' Spa of some creative people being creative.
About Mary Lynn
Causes Mary Lynn Archibald Supports
Battered Women's Shelter, SPCA, Healdsburg Animal Shelter, Nature Conservancy