Sunday, November 27, 2011

Demonic Creativity

As I battle my way towards the 50K word goal of NaNoWriMo, I have been reminded of a tweet.
A little while back, I saw a tweet from someone about a "course in demonic creativity."  Being unbearably busy at the time, I didn't look into it but I promised myself that I would revisit the link at a later date.  Today I took a look at it.

A Course In Demonic Creativity is a PDF book by Matt Cardin.  Cardin is a blogger, horror writer, teacher, and musician.  All of those ventures are acts of creativity in and of themselves, so I believe that qualifies him to write on the subject.  In his own words from the website linked above, here is how Cardin describes the book/course:

 "Where does creativity come from? Why do ideas and inspiration feel as if they come from “outside,” from an external source that’s separate from us but able to whisper directly into the mind? Why have so many writers throughout history — and also composers, painters, philosophers, mystics, and scientists — spoken of being guided, accompanied, and even haunted by a force or presence that not only serves as the deep source of their creative work, but exerts a kind of profound and inexorable gravitational pull on the shape of their lives?
These are all questions addressed by A Course in Demonic Creativity: A Writer’s Guide to the Inner Genius. The book’s starting point is the proposition that we all possess a higher or deeper intelligence than the everyday mind, and that learning to live and work harmoniously and energetically with this intelligence is the irreducible core of a successful artistic life. We can call this inner force the unconscious mind or the silent partner. We can call it the id or the secret self. But muse, daimon, and genius are so much more effective at conveying its subversive and electrifying emotional charge, and also its experiential reality.
Your unconscious mind truly is your genius in the ancient sense of the word, the sense that was universal before it was fatefully altered several centuries ago by historical-cultural forces. Befriending it as such, and interacting with it as if it really is a separate, collaborating presence in your psyche, puts you in a position to receive its gifts, and it in the position to give them to you."

Truly, I believe that creation is an act of "earnest chaos."  The most unique and innovative artistic ideas do indeed seem to come from the ether, ghostly and unexplained or during times of severe upheaval and disorder.  As Paul McCartney wrote, "there's a fine line between chaos and creation."  Those paltry few times where ideas, good ones I mean, have come to me in one inspired flash and not through arduous and piecemeal struggles...those are the times I long for again.  I've heard other creative types give advice such as take a nap and channel your dreams, but that seldom brings anything but torpid and confusing subjects for me and stertor for anyone else in the house at the time.  Sounds like I need to read Matt Cardin's book.

Just wish I'd looked at that tweet before November.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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