Creative Crop Circles–ala Joni Mitchell

Yesterday I was riding in the car and heard the most interesting idea: creative crop circles. There was a blurb on the radio and the phrase, coined by singer/artist/writer Joni Mitchell, is her definition of working creatively.

When she feels tired of words, or when the words aren’t coming or aren’t making sense, Mitchell said she moves on to painting or if not painting, her music, to soothe herself. Flowing from one area of creativity to another, Mitchell said, has been really important to her work (and, I’d guess, her sanity).

How many of us have other creative outlets? When working full-time in a non-creative field (say, as a bank manager or administrative assistant) it’s somewhat easier to tap into your creative nature once work is done.

But when you write for a living (or draw, or make music) it becomes more difficult. This thing that once provided you with an outlet for feelings and emotions, that once transported you to another time and place, must now be harnessed and reigned in. Few authors I know are successful when they work “as the mood strikes.” Most put in hours of diligent work, even when sitting at their desk and typing words is the last thing they feel like doing.

So, how do you find that balance between art and product? Between creativity and the business aspect of selling books? Would love to hear your ideas and input in the comments below.

J.P. Choquette makes junk art during her free time. Long walks provide her with plenty of “materials,” and when she’s not creating mixed media pieces, she’s plotting her next novel. You can read excerpts of her work or sign up for her fun, free newsletter by visiting

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