In one of the more memorable scenes from The Avengers, Bruce Banner reveals to his team how he manages to keep his green alter ego under control.
“I’m always angry.”
As a writer of both music and sometimes English, I’ve come to adopt a similar attitude. For years, I viewed my in-the-zone, down-in-the-nitty-gritty, actively-creative self as a sort of alter ego separate from my “everyday self” that I had to pull out whenever I wanted to create. Sometimes it came when I called, other times it resisted, and still other times it showed up unwelcome, pleading for attention at inopportune times.
A rather romantic view, yes. But entirely impractical.
So how does one always keep their creative “Hulk” close to the surface, ready to come up at a moment’s notice, creating something just as beautiful and full of depth as if they had been meditating on the subject for two hours?
It’s simple: throw out the side that does nothing for you.
Discard the split-mindset. Instead, integrate ourselves as Bruce Banner does. Always ready. Throw away the non-essentials. This might mean major lifestyle changes, but that’s the price of being an artist. That’s the price of possessing the ability to unleash your own creative monstrosity and lay waste to the blank sheet of paper in front of you.
Some of the changes are little. For example, even a single beer will absolutely destroy any chance I have of writing well. Apparently, the Hulk can’t hold his liquor. So I can’t just go “have a beer.” I have to plan for that–if the work isn’t done, I have to turn down the request.
Some changes are much larger. You must welcome the inspiration when it wakes you up at 3am. As I’ve said before, you must embrace the chaos. You might want to begin meditating so as to further harness your focus and creativity–a road without end and a blog post for another day.
Your Hulk is the real you. Let it take you over.