Monday, February 23, 2009

Love-Hate Relationships: The Creative Process

As I think I mentioned earlier, a couple weeks ago I had a breakthrough on how my dissertation ideas might be introduced and how they may well fit together in a coherent whole, and ever since then I've been quite happily devouring my readings for this semester and writing in my journal about new dissertation-thought nuances when they emerge from said readings, often just before I go to bed.

So this morning after the alarm went off at 7:30 I spent an incredibly productive hour and a half lying in bed in that state between sleeping and waking letting my dissertation ideas churn in my head for awhile before I got up to get back to the reading.

All this is a strong counterpoint to my life with my readings before said breakthrough.

The point of all of this is that I've been realizing lately how much I both love and hate the creative process. I sometimes think if it and I were ever thrown on the Jerry Springer show together, it would make for some dramatic television.

I hate:
  • How much my emotions are affected during that time before breakthroughs when I believe it will never come together again
  • How little control I have about when those breakthroughs come, even if one subscribes to the "keep working at it until the inspiration shows up" philosophy
I love:
  • The part after the breakthroughs come and everything starts to come together
  • How mysterious the process is and that feeling that the creative breakthroughs are a gift, even if I'm involved in them
I'd like to:
  • Be more confident during the pre-breakthrough times of chaos and self-doubt
  • Learn to balance the "keep working at it until the inspiration shows up" philosophy with appreciating the mystery and learning when to let a project rest for a time
Anyone have any good stories or comments about their experiences with the creative process?


Robert K. Blechman said...

Welcome, fellow media ecologist!
I was a student in Neil Postman's NYU doctoral program in Media Ecology. You might find some of my research on television advertising useful in your studies of storytelling. My own blog, "A Model Media Ecologist" can be found at An example of my doctoral research can be found at With your permission, I'd like to add your blog to my "Media Ecology Links."


Deborah Leiter said...

Hi Robert,

Welcome to the blog! Feel free to add my blog to your list of links, though the focus of the blog is less media ecology, more on the writing life. But thanks.