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  • Writer's pictureAyanna A.

What’s in your creative fridge?

I was staying with my parents in Atlanta recently, I notice they have a different approach to meals. When they want a certain type of food, they go out and buy it. I’m talking the good stuff: chips, Caribbean, friend chicken, plantain. My mouth watering just thinking about it. 

In a prior season of my life, I did this often when time was more limited than my money. Right now I’m adopting new habits that facilitate saving and investing for the future in small ways. Now, I use what I have before purchasing something new.

Since my approach conflicts with their habits, I found myself telling my mom a few times, We already have that, why are you buying more?

I was shaking my head internally (emoji) for all of about 30 seconds before my conscience spoke to me, But isn’t that what you do with your creative projects?

I was quickly humbled as I recounted how many stories I get all excited about at the idea phase. I write the sketch of idea and maybe even the outline at record speed. But then the roadblock comes. I get bored. Or I get frustrated in the middle that I haven’t figured out the structure. So I’m over it and on to the next idea before ever completing the first. Sometimes I abandon the story all together. 

How is that different from ordering a family meal from KFC, eating a few bites, and then letting the rest waste because I don’t like leftovers. (Side note: No shade to those who do not like leftovers. I understand some people only like their food fresh. I am not that person, but I respect it. This is just an analogy.)

Or different from looking in the fridge, and instead of finding a recipe for the ingredients I already have, I order out because I simply don’t want to go through the process to cook.

My habit has been creatively, I “take a bite” or get a fresh idea, do a little work crafting, then let it lay, never finishing. 

With food that can result in a lot of wasted food and money. As an artist, it means I have a lot of half-finished and in processed ideas with nothing completed. Both leave a feeling of dissatisfaction. 

Since I understand it with something the practicality of a fridge, I know I can apply to my creative projects. With God at my side, I can change. I can do this. 

And you can too! Do you notice you do this in other areas of your life? Perhaps not creative, but around the house, with finances, relationships. Finishing and completing is a mark of maturity. 

“It is better to finish something than to start it…”

Ecclesiastes 7:8

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