WEEK 21 - Creation Hours and Why I Like Them
Week 21! While this has continued to affect a bulk of our everyday lives, there have been ways for us to cope and get around with our creative energies. One of which, I decided to finally host.
Week 21! The middle of the year is upon us and Summer is coming. Although in Singapore, it’s Summer almost every day and we’re still in the middle of our Heightened Alert phase. While this has continued to affect a bulk of our everyday lives, there have been ways for us to cope and get around with our creative energies. One of which, I decided to finally take action on.
IDEA JAMS / CREATION HOURS
Inspired by challenges like the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), the 24-Hour Comics Day (24HCD), and events like Barcamp, where people have the space to create and share at their own comfort levels, idea / art / writing jams have been something I wanted to either join in or host for a while. (Outside of the usual Nanowrimo November write-ins we have in the Singapore chapter) Last week, I finally hosted a small session on Discord.
And as small as the group was, I had a productive time. So this is why even as an introvert, I love my creative jams.
What activities do you include in your day-to-day to aid with your creative process? Share them in the comments =)
Presence is Commitment
Working on your own and working on your own while there are others doing their own work, but within sight bring about different energies. Personally, working on my own in my own space opens opportunities for distraction (like serials on streaming services and YouTube). Compare that to working on your own but in the presence of others who are working quietly on their own - the distraction temptation goes down. Liken this to why many of us find it more conducive to work in cafe din than in silence.
In a sense, your presence among others is a commitment to yourself - you’re in the presence of others for a reason. You feel more intentional, and your motivation to complete what you wanted to. That brings me to my next point.
Intention and Focus
Entering a session where you’re meant to just create in front of others (who are also in the midst of their own creative journeys) can sound fun to some, but to many introverts, the possibility of multiple people seeking conversation can be quite overwhelming. Therefore, one of the things I’ve learnt, especially from Nanowrimo write-ins, was to go into these sessions with an intention - even as you’re hosting.
For this session, I went in wanting to finish at least a section of the short story I was planning to include in one of my eChapBooks. Combining that with the previous point of having your presence be your commitment to yourself, there’s a drive to actually finish what you set out to do in that set period of time.
What I love about this, perhaps, is how as individual each of us are, the creative energy present in a group that have decided to hold space for each of us to take action on our own projects drives us to not only create, share, but also to get excited about what and why we’re doing what we’re doing. That said...
The Importance of Holding Space
Writing, or the beginning stages of creating something, for that matter, can be a solitary experience. And as much as I enjoy being alone in a cafe, it’s always good to be reminded that we don’t exist in a vacuum. And creation hours / idea jams allow us, as creators, to hold space for others - listening to their sharing, embracing the enthusiastic energy they harbour for their work - and gain empathy.
Empathy - an essential skill as an author - is not entirely agreeing with the other party, but truly understanding the other party’s world, including what is true to them. This was probably the clearest definition of empathy I’ve heard - from Master Negotiator Chris Voss. And in the business of writing stories, authenticity and empathy are what will sustain your stories. After all, stories are physical representations of humanity.
Holding space is just one of many ways to practice empathy - having to listen without judgement or desire to give advice (even friendly advice) does that to you, and takes the pressure off needing to appear “perfect” as well. This is especially so because all of us are creators in the same ocean - and listening without judgement provides a great platform to open ourselves to new opportunities for both growth and learning.
Thus, with creation hours or idea jams, I’m able to participate in this creative energy, where I can get excited about the world I’m creating, hold space for myself to focus on my intentions, and hold space for others as they get excited about what they’re doing as well.
And that’s it from me - see all of you next week!
Does the idea of a Creation Hour (solo, with a few people, or within a group) sound good to you? Let me know in the comments!