I’m a little late for the party, but I recently signed up to be a part of an online book discussion. The rest of the group is on the third chapter and I’m just starting the book. The book we’re reading is The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor by Gail McMeekin. The discussion is facilitated by the generous and talented Jamie Ridler. I hope to get caught up in the next few days and then I’ll be posting on Friday or Saturday in response to Jamie’s prompt in connection to the chapter we’re reading. The first “assignment” was to post where we are “on the journey to your creative self”.
When I first set down to answer this question, I wrote a 2.5 page Word document full of fear, longing, and tears – and I hurried through the end of it so I could move on to the "real" version of this post! It was cathartic and good for me, but I don’t think that anyone else would be interested in all I had to say. So, rather than write about my entire creative history, I’ll just talk about where I am now.
Currently, I’m a mixed-media artist, but a blocked one. In fact, I recently finished a 12-week long course in The Artist’s Way, and I’m more blocked, creatively and emotionally, than I was when I started the course! I’m trying to get unblocked by making art, but it feels stale and predictable. And foreign.
I am taking a basic drawing class at the local member-run art gallery, and I alternately love and hate it. I’m the least experienced artist in the class, so my work is somewhat sophomoric. But when I’m able to get lost in the process while drawing – well, I love those moments. And, not surprisingly, I’m not as judgmental of my product when I was lost in my process.
I even know what my issue is – fear. Yes, I’m afraid that my work won’t be good enough or meet the standards that my previous work has predicted or that I have set for myself. But that’s really the least of it. I’m mostly afraid of the emotional consequences of giving in to my creativity. You see, somewhere along the line, I emotionally shut down. I can feel myself wanting to wake up, but I’m afraid of what will come up, what will need to be dealt with. I’m afraid of losing control, emotionally, and I’ve worked hard for a long time to maintain that control.
I’ve read through the first three secrets/chapters of the book and it’s left me feeling very anxious and edgy. I am both wanting to create and finding myself fearful of creating.
Since it’s after midnight, I think I’ll go to bed and deal with the tug-of-war tomorrow.