December 25, 2012

‘Tis The Season of Creative Tension

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

“Tis the season, we find, of tension. There is the tension of decorating, gift giving and family gatherings.There are office parties and charity events. And don’t forget pageantry and parades. We tend to fill each and every moment with seasonal events that demand our attention while continuing our day to day lives of work, school, family and hobbies.

The truth is we wouldn’t have it any other way. In a few weeks we will remember what a wonderful holiday it was and at this time next year we will be doing it all again. Again we will feel the tension. Why do we repeat the cycle or even seem to thrive on it?

This time of year we find ourselves torn between our visions of the perfect holiday we are trying to create and the one we are experiencing which is known as creative tension. Don’t confuse this with stress. Earl Nightingale, a pioneer in the personal development industry, referred to it as “constructive discontent.” Most creative people, like writers, have this. They know there is more inside and they want to get it out.  How is creative tension resolved?

There are three ways to address creative tension. 
Give up! Yes, just let go of your vision completely. You may want to allow reality to take over and take charge of your actions.

Compromise! Adjust your vision to what seems possible.

Create! Reach for your vision. Change reality. Realize your Goal!
All are options but only the last one will produce positive lasting results. The key to success is not only having a vision but maintaining creative tension as well. 

As Earl Nightingale stated “constructive discontent” is a pragmatic view of where you are versus where you want to be. It is a vital part of the creative process.

“Reach for your Vision, Change Reality and Realize your Goal!”

Create and enjoy the Season! We at Southern Writers Magazine wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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