The clearest guide you can have in life is joy.
It's a beautifully written account of craftsmanship and mastery. And it speaks to the process of creating, period.
Teaser below. Read The Way of Bladesmithing here.
Though this process of self discipline we are attempting to gain mastery over ourselves, but the next step is even more difficult. Once we are able to quiet our minds and focus our attention, it is then necessary to let go. While the preparatory steps of self discipline relied on developing will, the will has to be released and like a step into the void, we become empty. By letting go, we now are able to receive. This state is the source of inspiration and through it we are able to attune ourselves to the material and process. I believe this is how the ancient smiths were able to develope such refined work. It is within our reach as well.
"Polish the two fold spirit, heart and mind. sharpen the two fold gaze, perception and sight. When your spirit is not in the least clouded, clouds of bewilderment clear away. There is the true void." Musashi.
The craft of bladesmithing is non verbal. Working with the materials and the tools, it is quite easy to let go of the verbal dialogue. It is not necessary to translate every action into words or even structured thought. Thinking does not have to be linear. An interesting thing happens when you let go of language, first you are no longer bound by the subject-verb-object relationship. While this is a wonderful and necessary construct if you wish to communicate ideas, it often falls far short of accurately describing experiences that go beyond that relationship. Later you find that while you are working, you are capturing perfectly every moment of your consciousness. The blade is a frozen record of your experience, it needs no explanation because it exists and can speak for itself.