Greek American author and poet, Patty Apostolides has published a poetry book and four romance novels: HELENA'S CHOICE, THE GREEK MAIDEN AND THE ENGLISH LORD, THE LION AND THE NURSE, and LIPSI'S DAUGHTER. She is also converting her novella IT'S A DATE, into a novel. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from National Univ. and directs the Hellenic Writers' Group of Washington DC. Visit her at: www.pattyapostolides.com
When does your creative moment happen? Is it while you're working, playing, in the shower, or walking? Is it in the mornings, in the evenings, with family, or alone? My time is usually in the late mornings or late evenings. By knowing when your creativity is at its peak, you can optimize those moments and be at your best in creating.
During my creative moments, I feel as if my universe is expanding and I am in the "flow" of things. Time stands still and I get absorbed in what I am doing. I lose myself in my creativity. I read about this state of being from the book FLOW by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and recommend this book highly. There are some similarities to this state of being as in Maslow's self-actualization. Both experiences are peak experiences.
AVOID NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
When negative thoughts, however, take over, then it becomes difficult to create. This happened to me recently. The negative thoughts came after I went to a talk given by an author who had sold over a million copies in the past nine years. I admired him for his success, but at the same time, I felt that I could never gain that kind of recognition. The reason? I don't write in that genre (Sci-Fi) and I don't write sex or violence. So I shut down. I didn't want to write.
It took me time to figure out why I was feeling bad after I left that talk. I have been writing for fourteen years and know quite a bit about writing. However, I have wanted to expand my readership and it wasn't happening. In an effort to understand the reason why, I asked myself the following questions: "What garners attention by readers? What excites them? How can I reach them? Do I have to put aside my interests to please my readers? How much of my own interests do I want to sacrifice to do that?" I noticed that my thoughts were going off on tangents. This was a waste of valuable time for me, the creator. If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, don't do it! If you catch yourself playing these mind traps over and over again, stop! They will keep you from creating your masterpiece. You can't create when you are in that negative mode. It's impossible. Trust me, I've been through that route.
Remember, most of the successful creative people failed at one point. Yet that did not stop them from continuing doing what they did. They kept at it. They had perseverance, and that's what separated them from the wannabes. In Angela Duckworth's book GRIT, she describes how grit, or perseverance, makes people successful. People who persist, even in the face of rejection and failure, ultimately succeed.
The students that succeeded in school and the employed people that rose to the top did it because of grit, and not because of IQ or wealth. They simply worked hard at what they did. So along with creativity, one must have a heavy dose of perseverance and persistence, and self-confidence. You will have to also love what you are doing because you will be spending much time with yourself and your creative endeavor.