because naked kicks creativity's ass
(in a good way)
It all started with Game Three of the 2008 World Series.
The game was delayed an hour and a half because of horrific rain, so I figured I could make lasagna before television coverage resumed.
I thought that perhaps using some energy pre-game would quiet me down during game time. Someone who shall remain nameless told me after Game One that my loud cheering and caterwauling could be heard two houses down the road. And I have my reputation as a calm, quiet and reserved elder to maintain!
The game played, the lasagna cooked - and eventually I went to bed. The Phillies won the game, I went hoarse (again) from screaming - and I left the lasagna in the oven because it was too hot to stick in the fridge.
When I woke the next morning my first thought was to get the lasagna out of the oven and into the refrigerator. Somehow as I tried shoving the heavy glass pan in between a package of fresh kale, some glass bowls, and a tub of ricotta I lost control of the pan and caught it three-fingered before it fell to the floor. Whew!
Look at that! Just watching the Phillies' fantastic post-season action has improved my fielding. Now if we could work on my sliding - that'd be a great way to impress folks if I was running late!
Sadly, the strange lasagna-pan-catch twisted my right hand, which resulted in a pulled tendon between my pointer and middle fingers. Not a big deal - but it did require me to rest my right hand for a couple days (except for knitting - because that didn't bother my hand at all - and knitting is a sport that helps me maintain that calm, quiet, reserved elder facade).
So I couldn't write (I'm right-handed) or type. There'd been a lull in my writing anyhow; I couldn't seem to find anything compelling enough to finish. The added problem of not being able to use my hand had me wondering how I was ever going to get words on paper...I decided to take a leisurely soak in the tub. It's amazing how many great ideas I get while I'm 3/4 under water.
While soaking (and reading poetry) I remembered the trusty little voice recorder I'd used during a few interviews - and realized that I could speak my ideas into it until I could use my right hand again.
I stepped out of the tub and immediately got further fired up by another thought - writing naked. Not literally naked - which isn't terribly practical since my office windows have no curtains (and besides I'd surely lose concentration). NO, literally naked wasn't a big draw - I was going to do the naked thing metaphorically. I wanted to write looser, freer - dropping anything that stood between me and the reader.
But how to write naked metaphorically?
Well, to start off, I figured I should go with the literal thing to the best of my abilities. Not really naked (windows, hygienic conditions, concentration, etc) but at least less dressed. Without even drying off I threw on my robe and headed straight to the office with my hair still floppy, soppy wet.
I grabbed the voice recorder and ideas started spilling. What began as: "Oh man, now what am I going to do?" when I realized I couldn't use my hand to write - turned into: "WOW! Am I full of ideas or what?"
Amazing - a couple small changes - writing naked (ok, dressing less) and using a recorder instead of a pen or keyboard - yielded big results! Want to join me? We could create a (metaphorical) nudist writing revolution!! But I think we'll have to give up on that calm, quiet, reserved elder thing.
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Want to shake up your creativity (in a good way)? Charlotte Rains Dixon and I are co-leading a teleclass about finding the intersection of (your) authenticity & (your) creativity - it's called (ta-da): Authenticity + Creativity (of course!). We'd love to have you join us!