Kind of a Poem about Two Types of Creative Work

Kind of a Poem about Two Types of Creative Work

As a person who spends a lot of time in the creative zone, there are two main kinds of work I do: quiet work and work with beats.

Quiet work is idea stuff. It’s pre-idea. It’s conceptualizing and visioning.

Work with beats is what follows. It’s “cranking it out.” It’s making it happen.

I do quiet work in my daydreams and in my sleep. I do it sitting, staring out the window at home while the kids are asleep.

I do work with beats in cafes. I guzzle coffee. My fingers fly across the keyboard.

I will snap and flip out if someone interrupts my quiet work.

I welcome stimuli when I’m working with beats, unless a thorny idea has presented itself. Then I will snap and flip out if someone interrupts.

Quiet work is stark.

Work with beats is fecund.

Work with beats has a rhythm. It goes and goes and goes.

Quiet work comes in revelatory gasps, like coming up for air.

Quiet work listens to the unconscious.

Work with beats brings what the unconscious has said to light.

Quiet work is indirect.

Work with beats is direct.

As such, quiet work makes conservatives uneasy.

Work with beats can make dreamers uneasy.

Quiet work is weekends.

Work with beats is weekdays.

Quiet work is drawing a blueprint.

Work with beats is building the damn thing.

Quiet work is planting a seed.

Work with beats is alive.

Quiet work is breathing in – inspiration.

Work with beats is breathing out – expiration.


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  • I Jackson

    March 27, 2016

    Beautiful post. Absolutely an elegant description. Breathing in comes before breathing out…… I need to adopt your conceptualization. Thank you

    • Ryan Melsom

      March 27, 2016

      Why, thank you!


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