Being creative is not about escaping problems. I’ve learned that the hard way over and over again during my adult life. Being creative often requires tracking problems and, when they track you, learning how to finesse them with grace and art. That’s especially true when you’re in Emergency Momentum.
Emergency Momentum is a mindful state of modifying your creative work flow while tending to a personal or business crisis. And here’s the real lesson I’ve learned while in this state: When in Emergency Momentum, it’s vital to reach out to others. As an alleyway-loving, woods-haunting kind of creative, I’ve found a way to thrive in groups of my own forming called Creative Packs. And I’ve added a fourth kind of Creative Pack – the Emergency Pack.
Take Stock of Your Creative Packs
I advocate the Boy Scouts’ motto: Be prepared, at least with flexibility, for an emergency. There are several things I do now and that I help others do to prepare, and one of them is to take stock of Creative Packs.
A Smooth Running Pack is a pack of people on whom you rely to sustain your creative work flow on a regular basis. Think of the behind-the-scenes people who make your creative projects and enterprises happen. This pack includes my extraordinary assistant Michelle Mangen, CPA Jay Halpern, lawyer, agent Linda Loewenthal, website team, a handful of specialized experts/freelancers, and possibly a new Online Business Manager. I call on them and count on them regularly. I bow before them because they each possess skills and talents that I either lack or have no interest or time to develop.
A Nourish Pack gives you vital emotional support and sustenance. My family, in short, as well as a few dear friends. My wife, daughter, and other family members – just by who they are – feed my drive and mend my wounds.
A Wild Pack is composed of a few trusted creatives – not necessarily in your same field – who understand the vagaries of being creative every day and who support your ideas with truthfulness, openness, and compassion. My Wild Pack includes a few “wolfy” allies I can trust with my ideas and creative challenges – not all writers, not all enterprisers. I know they’ll “get” my creative problem, not psychoanalyze me but understand me, and “run wild” with my ideas or creative problems. This pack mostly includes a few other creatives, another enterpriser, and, again, especially my extraordinary wife.
One outgrowth of the Wild Pack has been creative partnerships – creatives with whom I have partnered and teamed up with for enterprises, cross-promotion, and more.
And there are the Big Wolves in my life – my own teachers, mentors, and coaches – who are indispensable.
In all such Packs, my best self is respected, engaged, and nurtured.
The Emergency Pack varies according to the emergency. The Emergency Pack is a small group of select, trusted people you can count on in all of the above groups. It’s good to take stock ahead of time. Who in your Smooth Running Pack will step up and work overtime? Who in your Nourish Pack can you really count on to listen and offer sympathy and guidance in the right dosages? Who in your Wild Pack will keep alive your imagination in crisis? And who in your A-Team Emergency Pack will step in and do things they otherwise wouldn’t do?
DROP IN THE HUT
How have you called upon your Emergency Pack to thrive during crises? How else do you prepared for the unexpected so you can express grace under pressure?
See you in the woods,