Creative freedom craves boundaries

Images: Matthew Smith

The hard part (well, ONE of the hard parts, I suppose) about blogging or creating in your very own online space is the ever-present question — what to make next?

I’ve been writing every day for almost a year now here in Higher Thoughts. The reason I started doing it was to gain a greater sense of creative clarity. I was at a bit of a dead-end with my work, so I gave myself a task: to write something and share it with the world. Anything. Daily.

It’s been, probably THE best move I’ve ever made in my creative life. As constricting as it seems, having tasks is like rocket fuel for our minds — as long as it’s consciously done.

Like most posts I write these days, my daughter, Rory, got me thinking about this...

She’s two. And she’s desperate for boundaries. She toes every line she can. And when she doesn’t get pushback, she’s uneasy. She tests and tests and tests until we push back, and then she chills out (after throwing a huge fit, of course). From that point on (or, sometimes after a couple of run-ins with the law), she knows not to go past that point. These boundaries clearly define for her where NOT to go so she can put that direction completely out of her mind and focus on the stuff that’s okay to do.

Well, we grown-ups aren’t much more advanced than this. Setting a firm boundary for myself gave me the strange sensation of ultimate freedom.

I told myself what to do. I publicly declared it. From then on, every day, there’s been no decision-making for my wandering monkey mind to wander off into. I just sit down. And do it.

But now, honestly, I’m craving more boundaries...

I’ve given myself a lot of leeway as for what to write about. Basically, my MO has been higher thoughts about… just about anything. Some posts are about mindfulness and practical spirituality. Others are about creativity and writing (like this one). And some are random.

I kinda want to create some boundaries around this. I want to take a strong look at what I enjoy writing as well as what you enjoy reading and narrow it down a little. I want to go deeper into something more specific.

We’ll see where this takes me. I just know that consciously putting into place more boundaries will only give my creativity a more deliberate path to follow. And this gets me really excited.


More bits and bops from Jonas Ellison