Are you looking for a way to rekindle the passion in your art?
Stephen Nachmanovitch, author of “Freeplay”, points out in an Accidental Creative podcast that the sequel to a blockbuster movie is often not as fun as the original. There are different energies going into it. This can be true, when commercial potential comes before love. You have to find a way to balance making money with loving what you do.
However, this does not necessarily mean constantly seeking out the ‘next best thing’. We must be careful not to be obsessed with only the new. Newness has an appeal, but this is novelty, and soon wears off. We must learn to look deeper into the familiar, into the very essence of things.
Most of us keep a wishlist, in which we write what we would like to buy. Do any of us keep an ‘I already have list’, a list of things we we already own, and are grateful for? Try doing this as an exercise. I guarantee you’ll will remember fondly the prior love you felt for a object or undertaking.
Sometimes, we need to take time out to rediscover our inspiration. Sometimes this means approaching your work from a different angle. Sometimes this means incorporating a new element.
After feeling stuck with theatre after ten years, I finally read a book I had put off reading for years: “Impro” by Keith Johnstone. In this book, I fell in love with theatre again. I remembered the fun I used to have in youth theatre, playing improvisational games. I hadn’t played these games for years, yet they were the main reason I loved acting. I checked Keith Johnstone out online and was thrilled to see he still ran workshops. I went along in 1997 as a participant and haven’t looked back since. Improvisation is now a major part of my life and, for me, has put the playfulness back into work.
Just like a relationship, we must continually rekindle an old love in order to have a long, happy life together.