Power of the Space Between Creative Bursts

creativity, creative flow, burst

Your unique creative flow is a mix of creative bursts and internal reflection, a balance between what is in form right now and what is yet to come into being. Each is an important part of the creative self-discovery process, intertwining, diverging and reconnecting so you can move forward to create in a new way that evolves as you do.


Despite understanding cycles are a natural part of all aspects of life (especially nature) people are still often drawn to fight their own creative ebb and flow. This tension is propelled by a fear rooted in expectation and the feeling you may be unable to recreate or match the clarity and intensity you feel at another time in the future. It can also push you to maintain the momentum of the creative burst for as long as possible – even if it burns you out.


Real creativity is not about repeating a process again and again, but making something new from what you know combined with trust in something you don’t know yet. What you create may have a similar essence or source connected to past work, but it’s a new expression touching on a different idea or experience. On the other hand, the methods you use to nurture yourself or expand and promote your work are repeatable processes that anchor in a platform to seed, grow and expand an idea into something bigger than just inspiration.


creative, creativity, creative burst, empty chair


The Space Between is Not Empty, Even if it Feels Like it


Humans are active; they want the satisfying feeling of forward momentum, accomplishing something tangible. Yet, so much is possible in the space between creative bursts. The self-care, healing, re-igniting, clearing – it’s what makes your creativity possible, feeds you in ways food could never fill.


Many of us push too hard and burn ourselves out by expecting too much or chasing creative bursts. So when do say enough is enough? You wouldn’t keep shoveling the sidewalk when the snow is already cleaned off, right? Then why would you continue to push a creative idea when it’s really time for reflection, allowing you to regenerate your energy and fine tune your point of view?


It’s not always easy to tell when burnout is lurking around the corner because it can feel as common as fatigue, upset digestion or a change in appetite – symptoms that can be attributed to a range of things. To move past the guessing game takes one simple active choice – to rest, detatch and take the time you need, without feeling guilty about it. I personally understand this choice isn’t always easy.


I’ve been extremely busy the last few weeks and challenged with balancing creative bursts of activity and the very limited space in between. I’ve had to rework how to stay energized, focused and connected in order to write and guide my clients and myself. And in this challenge, I’m reminded that losing myself in tasks does not help my creative connection. Finding ways to make sure I’m connected to my true inner voice as much as possible (not the bossy voice) when I feel my mind spinning and pushing too hard is what helps pull me back to center.


To honor my own creative process I keep coming back to the idea of space. Is it an action or inaction? A fullness or an absence? Just the act of be-ing? Is it everything? There is no right answer – just what makes sense for you. Today my pause was watching a pair of doves outside my window preen their feathers as they swayed with the bounce of evergreen tree branches in the wind.  I topped it off by laying with my cats in a sun patch on the living room floor, looking at life from a different point of view. Who knows where my pause will draw me tomorrow.


focus, space, creativity, magnifying glass


Stepping Off Focus Makes Room for Clarity, Grace and Fresh Energy for New Creative Bursts


Focus is essential because it acts as your beacon. It also leaves you with a point of reference to return to when you are refreshed and ready for your next creative burst. The times when you feel more internal and quiet are just a different kind of progress, a different kind of energy that can keep you, and your creative idea, from flaming out before it’s time.


The more you honor the space between creative bursts, the stronger, more confident and connected you will feel to possibilities, to what needs your attention in the moment. This is the real fuel that moves you to a new level of self-growth and the next fiery, fabulous creative burst.


Is it challenging for you to decide when to hit the gas pedal and move forward with an idea or let it coast for a while? Do you want more specific tools to connect with your own creative self-discovery process? Contact me or check out some of my support services.


If you are feeling a little stuck in creative doubt, check out a few of my older posts: Creativity Kick-Start about Busting Through Creative Doubt, Creative Listening Calls for Head and Heart to Collaborate or How your Values Impact your Creative Drive.

Photo credit: Shawn Harquail, le luxographe, premasagar