My Creative Agreement With The Great Creator
When I write, I write in partnership with the universe.
Every morning, when I sit here to write, I see that sign on the wall. I keep the lighting low, but I have a light pointed at that sign on the wall. I have posted that sign on my wall to remind me that creativity in the arts is a partnership between the universe and me:
I will take care of the quantity.
You will take care of the quality.
I got this idea from the book, The Artist’s Way, many years ago. I don’t know exactly how I got the idea to print it and tape it to my wall, but there it is. I have had that sign on my wall for years now, wherever I sit to write, and I feel that partnership at work every time I look at it.
The Great Creator, whomever he or she, or it might be, gave me everything I need to be here to write, to create. That agreement is part of the inspiration I have for writing every day when I write. Now I know what they say, “Don’t do stream of consciousness writing.” But that is exactly what I try to do every morning. I try to start with an empty mind to honor The Great Creator.
My agreement with The Great Creator encourages me to start with an empty mind (or as close as I can get to it) and to write without regard to the censor. I write without regard to what other people might think. I write without regard to whether or not I know exactly what I will write. I just get started with the quantity, and leave the quality to The Great Creator.
I take care of the quantity. I really do. I just keep writing, watching the words come out. Somedays I’m inspired and other days, I know that there is something there just waiting to come out. I sometimes think that I might be the 100th monkey and that if I keep writing, whatever I’m writing will make sense because I’m in an agreement with the Great Creator. But I don’t start an article cold in the morning.
Before I even write an article for publication, I start my day by reading that agreement, first thing in the morning. Then I write a gratitude list. In this exercise, I just write the date and day of the week, and below that, a list of 10 things that I’m grateful for. That’s easy to do because I have a lot of things to be grateful for. I have also found through this exercise that objects of inspiration for gratitude are like buses. There is always another one coming. So I write that list everyday to acknowledge the gifts I’ve received.
I look again at that agreement and start the next exercise, The Morning Page. This is another idea I got from The Artist’s Way. I write a morning page every morning, whether or not I plan to write an article. I write that morning page to keep myself fresh, to organize my thoughts, to make plans and to consider the previous day’s events with fresh eyes.
There are a few other reasons why I write The Morning Page. First, I write a morning page to clear my mind of anything that might interfere with the main event, writing an article for the day. I also assume that what I want to talk about is boring or not very interesting to other people. So I get the boring bits, that stuff that bores other people to tears, out of the way first. If I have something important to say, I get that off of my chest, too. Then I’m ready to write an article.
There is another reason I write The Morning Page: after I’ve written about the stuff that concerns me the most, I’m available for other people. By then, I’ve already said everything that I’ve wanted to say at the start of the morning. Once my head is clear, I can avail myself to listen to other people. I can be there for them instead of trying to figure out how to deftly and inconspicuously insert the objects of my burning desires into the conversation. After my morning page is done, I am here to serve.
All of that, I do without reading other stuff. Without so much as a flash of Twitter, Facebook or the news. I might check my email for urgent business but that’s it. I will attend to it later if I can, so that I can keep my mind clean and clear. I try to write my morning page without any new information so that I can test my agreement with The Great Creator to see if it works for me.
In my morning pages, ideas for articles have popped out and ideas that make my life better have miraculously appeared. I also try to avoid writing drafts of articles in my morning pages, but sometimes that does happen. A paragraph may turn out to be the bud of a new article, and I might paste it verbatim into a new draft. But generally, I try to start fresh when I write.
After I’ve completed my gratitude list and my morning page, I’m warmed up and ready to go. I might choose from an assortment of unfinished drafts as the start of an article, or I might create a new one from a clean slate. Whatever I choose to do, I am mindful of my agreement with The Great Creator. I am mindful of my part in the act of creation.
I sometimes set a timer and just write on a subject for say, 30 minutes, and see what I have. I might add a bit here and there, or find that a new branch of thought would fit well between two paragraphs for a better segue. Or I just edit and see if I can make the article tighter. Even then, I’m still mindful of my agreement with The Great Creator. I’m more concerned with the quantity than the quality until it’s time to edit and format it.
During editing, new ideas may come about. Or I might be inspired for a turn of phrase. I might change the wording just a bit for greater precision, clarity or tone. And when I’m editing, I’m thinking again, of that agreement. I try to keep my mind open so that The Great Creator can work through me.
And when it’s all done, when I click the Publish button, I usually experience a mild sense of elation. I get a bit of a hit when I publish an article and promote it. Even as I write my article, I feel good, I enjoy myself. When I click the Publish button, I do so with the intention of fulfilling my end of my agreement with The Great Creator.