Planning And Creativity…

March 12, 2014

PlannerNow that I set my own schedule I have found that sometimes not setting a schedule is the best option. Up until my retirement I was the epitome of a planner. When I started my professional work life in 1970 I used to fill out a weekly 3 x 5 card with everything I needed to accomplish that week. When desktop computers came in the 1980s I switched to it for my weekly schedule.  I put my six-inch pile of cards in a drawer and proudly kept them for twenty years. I was a planner and proud of it.

When I retired in 2000 that habit carried over into my private life.  Part of the reason for that is all those retirement gurus out there that said if you don’t plan you will likely not do much of anything but be a couch potato. I took them to heart. But slowly over the intervening years I weaned myself off the need to schedule ahead of time what I would be doing. It has only been the last three years or so that I grudgingly gave up the weekly list. I am still a planner but not anything to the degree I was in my younger years.

One area were I have found planning just didn’t work is in my creativity. It just seems that I can’t say ahead of time that I will create this or that at this or that time.  My creativity comes in flashes instead of schedule minutes.  I seem to always get my creative work done before noon. I’m sure this has been mostly true throughout my life but I simply refused to accept that fact. Much of my creativity is now spent on producing about a thousand posts a year on my  blogs.  Sometimes I can sit and write a dozen posts in a morning. But some times nothing comes to mind. It seems I simply can’t schedule when I will be creative in this arena.

From my studies in this area I have seen this to be true for others besides me. I know there are famous writers who say they must sit and write for “x” number of hours each day.  But I kind of imagine that the most productive hours come and go without plans. What makes one person more creative than the next and what makes one period of time more creative than the next?  What makes one person an accomplished artist and another not even able to draw a stick figure? What makes one person good with words and another unable to even write an understandable note? I don’t know…

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