Some History: In the last few months I’ve been coming out of a creative slump…it has lasted about 10 years. In that time I really had no motivation to create anything, I had no (what I thought were) creative ideas, and my overall attitude towards myself and others was poor and I had no motivation. I ‘m not sure how the creative juices were sapped out of me, I only know that it didn’t happen over night. Slowly but surely, my will to be creative was being lost. In that time, I still played guitar regularly, and was involved in several projects, none of which I (at the time) would call creative…I was pretty pathetic. About a year ago, something started stirring in me. I can’t put my finger on it, but I can say that I have had several ideas that are not out of the realm of possibility, and frankly they can be achieved if I really put forth some effort.
Lost: I can trace some of the decay of my creativity back to my former job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for everything that I did at Taylor, I worked hard, and they paid me well. When I started out, I was young, I had ideals, I was a guitar builder. I figured, “Hey, I’m a guitar builder…I’ll build them here at a factory. For the first few years, that was the case….10 guitars a day. By the time I was neck deep, we made around 350 a day, and I had 20 people reporting to me. I was no longer building instruments, just trying to get most of my people to show up for work. My attitude changed towards the art of guitar building and I left the company. Bob’s parting words to me were “Eric, what are you going to do, you’re a guitar builder?” I had no good answer for him… I was torn. I wanted to stay, but I needed to leave…
Found: Absent from ant type of building, for about 6 years, I went to the Winter NAMM in 2006. I was like a fish in water. It was everything that I remember it was, without the hassle of setting up and tearing down the booth and dealing with the union laborers. It was a little more than a year later when the when I made the mental change, and a switch went on…I started to be creative again. Ideas came to me easier; there was a catalyst for all of this. Bill Eaton. (read about it here) In the days after I met with him, my focus came back. I started to realize my purpose…I’m more willing to follow my instincts now. So what changed? I’m not sure; all I know is that I have more confidence in myself and my ability to accomplish things. This is less about guitar building, and more about finding my place in the world. Not everyone shares my passion, and that’s fine. But the key to personal fulfillment is finding that one thing that you’re passionate about and then perusing it with all that you can muster.
Creativity: Where do they come from? What is the driving force behind it? How do we harness it? This is something that I have to relearn these days. I’m finding that I have some flash in the pan ideas, and then I have some slow to boil ideas. Most times I write these ideas down for re-examination or development later on. Most times I just write them down and never revisit. ” Being that my interests are in music and woodworking. The perfect marriage of these to skills is musical instruments. I’m not sure from whom I received either talent, neither one of my parents are not musical, and my father only did some sporadic woodworking projects, nothing that would be considered “fine woodworking”
Riding the Wave: For now I’m going to run with it. I have a list of a bout 20 or so items that I can choose from. Most will never see the light of day, but I grateful for the ideas that are popping into my head. I want to see them through to fruition.
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