I have finally completed a book called Beneath – Exploring the unconscious in individuals that I have been working on for five years. It has gone to the printers and will be back in 4 weeks time, ready to be sold. For five years I thought about the book, spent hours and hours working on it, researching the subject matter, writing and rewriting words and sentences. During the process, I often imagined the joy I would feel when I finally finished. I was impatient to see the complete work and anticipated a feeling of great satisfaction. The anticipation kept me going when the work was tedious, which was thankfully not often. Most of the time, I was extremely motivated. I felt that I had something to say and that it was worth saying. I worked with an extremely talented designer, Pluto Panoussis, who ensured that the book was beautiful to look at and I was delighted as I watched the final product unfold. And then we sent it to the printers.
It has been very strange since then. I unexpectedly felt completely empty. I needed to start thinking about marketing the book and telling people about it, but the more I imagined what I would say, the less I could think of anything to say. I felt as if I have nothing more to offer. That is fortunately no longer the case, I am starting to reconnect with the wellspring of ideas inside me. But, the expected euphoria of completing a creative process did not manifest as I imagined. It was more as if I was compelled to allow the flow of the work through me, and then was exhausted and depleted by the process. To me it seems as if creativity is bigger than the human being who delivers it to the world, and that in the end we are merely vehicles for the life force. In retrospect, the biggest joy was the sense of being meaningfully occupied in the creative process itself, the joy of being an instrument that is being played.
2 thoughts on “The process of creative work”
Perhaps creativity is about the ‘journey’ more than the ‘destination’?
Nice post, the book sounds really interesting.
Thanks for the feedback. It is good to know that there is someone out there in cyberspace who is listening and taking note of my thoughts.