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Creative Place
You need to find your creative place
7 January 2020 . 4min read

Here I am, sitting in a nice English country pub, writing this article. Aged brown oak beams, propping up a bar with an appropriate selection of ale. To my left is an open fire, bathing the surroundings in a warm glow. An occasional person will toss some wood onto it, forcing an orange-yellow burst of light. There are just enough people here to be entertainingly interesting, but not too noisy. I'm sitting in a comfy leather chair, with a pint of ale in front of me, which is adding to the sense of calm that I have about me.

This is not my creative place.

Don't get me wrong, it is a delightfully pleasant and inviting place, but it isn't the geographical muse that encourages my creative thoughts.

We all have places we like to visit. Sometimes because of the people that inhabit them; sometimes because they are beautiful. Often those places emote memories that are themselves warm and lovely.

It is healthy to have a catalogue of such places in mind, to be called upon as needed. We often do this with music, happy music, calming music, party music, melancholic music. Why not do it with places too?

Understanding what a place offers is important. Be it a feeling of safety or just somewhere to shelter from the rain?

The inverse is true too. Places can often have a negative effect, for exactly the same reasons.

In both cases, I think it is mentally healthy to know the lay of the land before you stumble into it.

I have to be honest here, this isn't anything to do with anything that I am writing about here.

There is a cliche that a Creative Place needs to be in some kind of idyllic location. It needs to be like a Muse dressed in white, playing a flute.

Before we get onto what my creative place is, let's have a quiet fireside chat about the importance of having a creative place.

You may be someone who doesn't have much creative output; thinking that this does not apply to you. You would be entirely wrong. Everyone is creative. What varies massively is how they express it, or even if they ever express it at all.

There are moments through your day where your mind will wander. It will daydream into an alternative state. It may be a lovely place, it may fall into a darker place with a sense of dread. This is the creative part of your brain doing its thing.

Often, such meandering feels random and without a sense of organisation. They can feel like you are a passenger on some kind of mind-bus. That randomness feels unsettling and can often be a cause of stress; never a good idea.

Having a creative place can help your mind bring some organisational structure to those thoughts. That structure can, in turn, instil an inward sense of calm. Now don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that all is well, that I solve your problems. No, I suggest you will have more of a chance of constructively thinking about the matters at hand.

That organisation allows you to get off the mind-bus gently and survey the situation presented before you. It may allow you to prepare for an unpleasant time, or better craft a positive experience; it is important.

In this current world, which has a fascination for things, we are often driven to destinations and places. The things that we want to own, the places that we want to go. When considering a creative place, it is reasonable to view it through that particular lens. Finding your place becomes an itinerary of possibilities, and a mind feeling of panic trends as part of this search.

I started this by describing the location where I am writing this, but also expressing that this is not indeed my creative place. I may have written this article in this place, but I found the creative inspiration elsewhere.

That place is somewhere full of magical intent. It is a gloriously complicated landscape populated with regret, joy, fear, and hope.

For me, it is that moment at 3:30am when I finally fall asleep. Specifically, it is that fiery space just before I fall into the abyss of the sleep landscape. That complex place in my mind that is rammed full of the intoxicating mix of fear and hope.

My creative place is located squarely in my mind and not an idyllic physical location full of white muses playing flutes.

To be honest, it has taken many years to get to this point; to arrive at this juncture.

I have to say, dear reader, that having recognised the importance of a creative place, and letting go of that responsibility of discovering a physical location, I have removed that particular stress-point and found something else.

The location in my mind, in myself, is richer and more textured than anything I could have discovered elsewhere.

Better than that, our minds are freely accessible by ourselves. Even if full of challenging content, they are, in essence, the core of our creative thought and, by extension, our creative output.

So, as we have moved into another week, another month, another year, indeed another decade, give yourself the gift of the stillness of thought and allow those thoughts to meander into the landscape of your glorious mind.

I promise it will be worth it.

The calm that an English Pint of Ale can provide...


Profile photo of Nigel Derbyshire

I'm a carbon-unit who writes; a Carbon Writer. Life & culture are my default topics, mixed with a little English wit & sarcasm. Full of mostly true stories, I occasionally remember to write them down. Found in a crowd, or contemplating in a corner. Habit of talking to anyone. Author.
- Nigel Derbyshire