Note: This post was inspired by Pam Christ‘s post on Alumni Forum
When asked about tips for writing great poet, lyricist and writer Gulzar who has contributed a lot to Indian cinema said:
karte ki vidya hai, karne se aati hai.
Those words have been etched in my memory since I read them first. They roughly translate as–this is the art of doing it comes by doing.
What touched me in particular about his advice was the simplicity and efficacy of the suggestion. The emphasis is on doing. I feel most of the critical suggestions, whether they come from inside or out, become obstacles in learning a craft and improving creativity if they shut you down from ‘doing.’ Doing is so important for creativity. All suggestions are useful unless they stop you from doing. There is no such thing as overdoing in art. You will never get worn out by working hard on something you love and are passionate about. In fact, if you have to use words like ‘hard work'( and it might sound as impolite to some craftsmen but I must say) and struggling for something–you are in a wrong field and not listening to your inner voice.
Taking a break or creating spaces between doing should not be confused from not doing. Not doing is being too critical of oneself or the creative process. Too many voices telling you this won’t work all the time are not good for creativity. Some anxiety is good but most of it makes you so focused on results that you stop enjoying the process and it’s the biggest mistake to put all the stakes on destination. All that you do to support your craft is helpful but it’s not same as non-doing.