I heard an interesting interview recently on NPR. The story was about the small number of people who can recall every day of their lives in perfect detail. Of course, as human beings, they are also subject to the filters of their emotions and their view of the world, but in terms of what happened to them, they can remember every single day as if they are going back through stored records. Of course, this ability has its drawbacks since they could never forget anything bad that has happened to them. A hurtful event from age five can reignite the same emotions at age fifty.
The reason I mention this story is because of the idea presented that most of us can forget or suppress memories and move on to other things in our lives. Sometimes we don’t realize that we’re repeating things over and over. That was the conclusion I reached when reflecting on my Creative Journal. While the journal entries are not a complete diary of each and everything that happens in my life, they still serve as a repository of my creative thoughts and projects.
Like the people in the NPR story, I’m able to go back through my journal and follow my train of thought as I think about creative works, issues, roadblocks and new ideas. In doing so, I’ve discovered that I have fallen into creative time loops. What I mean is at certain periods of the year my thoughts naturally turn to my career and what I’ve accomplished as well as where I’m going.
I will go through a creative thought process, come to a conclusion, and maybe even take the first steps to make it happen only to stop at a certain point and put that idea aside for months. Then the following year, at the same time of year, I will go into this contemplative phase again and come to the same creative conclusions. After taking the initial step, yet again, the project is put aside for several months.
Having the ability to go back through my creative thoughts in a methodical manner allows me to detect the cyclical pattern in my creative thinking. I hope to use this new awareness to move forward with projects. I suspect the biggest problem is stepping out of the old comfort zones. At least now, I can see the pattern and take steps to break it.
How about you? Have you fallen into a creative time loop? Do you have creative projects that have taken years to complete?