How to Deal With Creative Energy

I hear a song, I watch a video, I see a piece of art, I read, I am inspired...yet I don't know how to deal with it.

I want to explore all areas of artistic creativity. I want to shine through my creativity yet there is something blocking me from actually putting this creative energy to use.

What do you do with your creative energy? Where does inspiration take you? What inspires you?

I am currently drinking an amazing iced latte. In Bali. This is inspirational to me. I am on a beautiful island in the culturally rich city of Ubud drinking a drink that I didn't know could be so delicious. With my creative energy right now, I chose to write this post in hopes that it would (or rather will) lead to further accounts of using my creative energy.

Its sort of like a puppy who has way too much pent-up energy with no outlet, no means of releasing it. So the puppy takes chews up your favorite pair of shoes, maybe your vintage leather couch, or your $200 purse. But if you take that puppy out, run around with him, play with him, he will release that energy in a constructive manner with no harm done.

This is what I feel my energy is. It needs to be released in some constructive manner. My fault arises when I find myself constantly seeking that 'constructive outlet'...

Sometimes I write, sometimes I draw, sometimes I exercise. But I find myself trying to do these things perfectly (as if there is a perfect) rather than simply doing them to the best of my abilities. For instance, I picture in my mind a beautiful drawing, but the moment my pencil touches the paper, I become disappointed because my fingers cannot draw what my mind imagines. I feel disappointed in myself for not being able to keep my artistic skill up to par with my minds eye.

Every so often I envision a really nice piece of jewelry and I open up my kit, put on some music and get to making it. I spend hours trying to make the physical rendition of my minds creation. Sometimes it ends up being pretty great, however about 70% of the time, I get angry and impatient with the results and just feel like my time was wasted with no end result.

Do you experience anything like this? What do you do about it? How do you use your time and creative energy efficiently?


  1. It is one of the travesties of the modern era, that we are told creativity is limited to music, writing, and painting.

    In China, there were four arts. I have already named three.

    The fourth is the game of Go. This is a strange idea for a modern audience, but throughout history games have been appreciated as an activity for the scholar gentleman. Great minds have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of the esoteric knowledge of a game, and Kings have invited them to their courts to learn under them.

    What is the appeal? Games provide us with obstacles, the way that we choose to overcome them forges a narrative. It is the story of our choices in the world of the game. The stronger we become, the more nuance and fascination there is to be had in a match.

    What we gain from games is much more than just critical thinking and problem solving skills. We learn about ourselves in subtle and completely novel ways. We gain insight about our teammates and opponents that can't be had any other way. And we involve ourselves in a dialogue with a growing community.

    So next time you are overflowing with potential, seek out a really great game. Seek out something that will relentlessly challenge you, seek our something you can make your own. Pick up Go, pick up Chess, pick up DotA. They are all free. Load up the Sims, load up Civilization, just don't let that energy go to waste. Don't leave your stories untold.

    1. My only concern pertains to something like Sims, which for me isn't a productive way of using my energy. I will totally look into Go though!

      Currently Nash has me hooked on Harvest Moon, but that is rather something I find myself playing when I need a mindless fun activity. But when I have a lot of energy that I feel can be used efficiently and I try to use that energy, I feel like I fail at using it, :P which isn't likely because there isn't a specific way of perfecting said activity/project.

      I think thats what I love about table top games though, the fact that I feel like it IS constructive because they can require a lot of strategy and thought AND you interact with people which is always a constructive activity (as long as you enjoy their company of course).

      What is your recommendation for when I actually want to create something, make something tangible? I know you used to paint those little figures and whatnot, so you have experience with making stuff!

    2. There is definitely a difference between the sort of game that is focused on learning, and the type that is focused on mindless relaxation. Some of the second type seem cool but I never find time for them.

      Interacting with people is definitely a big deal. Sometimes you are just interacting with the author of the work, but usually it is more interesting to interact with another player.

      I find that learning is the most tangible thing around. But if you want to produce something that you can put in someone's hands, consider Little Big Planet 2, or Starcraft 2. They have powerful creative tools.

      If you want to take it to the next level, you can explore Computer Science. There are tons of resources now, like Khan Academy or Code Academy, that just run in the browser. The constant progress is what separates it from other creative ventures, every time you sit down to study or craft your code, you will have something to show for it.