As I begin to write, there is the ever-present monitor, that says:
Should I wait, and craft this into something really wonderful? Or should I just spew out whatever is on my mind, with a minimum of care and thoughtfulness? Where is the balance between those?
When will this matter to someone else? Or is it more like something that is meant to matter just to me?
In my creative process, I am well aware that my ideas start out as inspirations, and that preserving that flow and spark is very important, but there is also, always, an evolving process. The first draft does not come out as well-formed as later drafts, even as we want to preserve the original essence.
The core insight I had was this:
- In the first instance, I alone may understand the spark — even before it has words;
- As I put it into words (with some attempt to be clear), a small group of people who are already familiar with what I am trying to say, should be able to understand it, as well as see ways in which it could be clarified;
- As I clarify it, a wider audience of people who already understand the gist of how I approach things, could probably make sense of it;
- And lastly, as refined more, the widest audience could understand.
The people closer into the circle will have a higher tolerance with some unclarity, because they are already familiar with how I talk, and the kinds of things I often want to say. In the inner "creative community" circle, they may be particularly tolerant, if we are all contributing to one another's work.
Thus, the ideal scenario is that we should have creative circles where we get to share our work. I've never been part of such circles, and don't have the time to create them now. So (sadly), I can either keep them inside, or share them now.
If I share them now, the world sees them — which could be good; but then, the work that is seen is also... unpolished.
If I do not share them, then they stay inside my head, to rattle around with everything else.
Creative communities allow us to have rings of release, as they venture into the outer world in stages, having time to grow in the process.