A few weeks ago, I spoke at the Belgrade MT PEO chapter’s annual “Books and Bites” fundraiser, helping raise money for scholarships for women, a cause I believe in deeply. The event features a Montana author or two, great food, and nearly 150 fabulous readers and supporters. I opened with a talk on my writing journey and my books, and in my second session, focused on creativity. I’m a big believer in intentional creativity – that is, setting the stage and deciding to create something, without waiting for inspiration to strike.
As Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” After decades working in law firms, I’m partial to the way Somerset Maugham put it: “I only write when I am inspired. I see to it that I am inspired every morning at 9:00.”
So I loved the story about the always-amazing Dolly Parton. She didn’t feel like she’d earned her seat in the Rock Hall of Fame, so she went out and created a rock album.
Talk about a rock star.
The 77-year-old’s new album, called Rockstar, is a collection of new songs she wrote, covers, and collaborations with bona fide rock stars like Ann Wilson, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. Collaboration is another great example of intentional creativity. Did you see Get Back, Peter Jackson’s series on the making of the Beatles’ album? Collaboration and intentional creativity in action.
But you don’t need a band to get intentional. Me, I sat down on a Monday morning to write a short story, knowing nothing but the theme of the anthology, the word count, and that I wanted to set it in my Spice Shop world. Finished by Saturday. And did it again the next week.
Reaching and stretching isn’t just good for the physical muscles. It’s good for the creative muscles, too. So go do something on purpose. Something you didn’t think you could do. Be a rock star.