Monday, July 5, 2010

the Artist's Way - Week Nine - Day One

Recovering a Sense of Compassion

One must learn to call things and ourselves by the right name. Blocked artists are not lazy. They actually expend a lot of energy, just not productive energy. They use energy in areas of negativity. The blocked artist is not guilty of laziness, but fear. They fear what is before them, failure, and abandonment.

Most artist travel the road toward creativity with a sense of guilt. Guilt of letting others down, guilt of not doing what their parents wish, and guilt of not doing what needs to be done. This guilt drives an artist toward the belief that they have to be great artists. A second rate career will not do. This pressure causes fear.

The journey must be taken with baby steps and the artist's child should be rewarded.

Procrastination is caused by fear and the antidote is baby steps.

People sometimes say that it takes great discipline to be an artist. In truth, it is enthusiasm that keeps an artist working. Without enjoyment, one cannot push themselves to show up at the work place each day.

An artist needs to think of their work place as a play place. Make your work area fun. Remember you are working with your child within. Create your work area to make it fun for him/her.

Another disruption in an artist's life is creative U-turns. You sabotage your own work out of fear. You've reached the end of a project and all you need to do is edit the piece, but you don't. Your manuscript has been accepted, but some minor changes need to be done, but you don't do them. Fear causes these U-turns, along with anger and resentments.

This next exercise is to help you blast through the blocks, and function free of resentments and resistance.

Before you begin a project ask yourself these questions. When work becomes difficult ask yourself these questions.

1. List any resentments, or angers, you may have in connection with the project. It doesn't matter how trivial they are. To your child they are major.

2. List any fears about the projected piece of work and/or anyone related to it. Again, they can be dumb, but they are monsters to your child.

3. Ask yourself if that is all and list any additional angers or fears.

4. What do you stand to gain by not completing the project?

5. Make a deal. Okay creative force, you take care of the quality, I'll take care of the quantity. Make a copy of this and post it in your work area.

Angers/Resentments - It seems every story I write, someone has something bad to point out about it. Sometimes the critiques of others seem picky and irrelevant.

Fears - What if no one likes the story? What if I've written a bad story? What if I just can't write a decent story? What if I spend all this time on a dream that cannot come true?

Gains by not completing - No one will ever know I can't write. I can't be rejected. I won't have to edit. I'll have more time to do other things.


In the gains section, I almost wrote that I can't fail, but this would have been completely wrong. By not trying, by not going after your dreams, you automatically fail. Wouldn't you rather fail while trying, rather than never trying at all?


Alyssa Ast said...

I couldn't agree with you more. And very true about enthusiasm. If you lack it, you won't go anywhere. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Alyssa, thanks for stopping by.

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