Usually when I write my morning pages, words show up for the blog post. But not today.
Luckily, I know what to do. Okay, I say to myself, start where I am. This is advice taken to heart, from both Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron. Wise words born of their years of creating, and generously shared with all.
Start where I am.
The last three days my creative energy has been focused on the sketchbook I’m doing (halfway through!) for the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project 2018. I’ve been happily playing with ideas and art materials, choosing what speaks to me, and creating it in the sketchbook.
Today I need to change gears, from image to word, and I feel stuck.
I go through fallow periods, both long and short, when the artist and writer in me rests. This used to terrify me. Panic. Maybe I’ve stopped being an artist, stopped being a writer. Maybe I’ve used up all my ideas. I’ll never draw, never write again.
I have to have patience.
Patience is not my strong suit.
To soothe myself, I pull favourite books from my studio library and read about other artists and writers. I experience their work, drawings, paintings, essays, and musings. I notice how this colour shocks the colour next to it, how this phrase stops me breathless in its beauty. I borrow other people’s creativity, while I wait for mine to rise again. Their creativity gives me joy, and shifts me from fear into appreciation and possibility.
Creativity thrives in possibility. Ideas show up, triggered by images and words that shine beauty into my heart. Sooner or later, I am creating again.
Today the fallow period lasts a whole thirty minutes. Hardly a test to my patience. Definitely not enough time to go into panicked drama queen mode, thank goodness.
Thank you, Natalie and Julia, for your advice. Thank you, every artist and writer who have lent me your creativity through the power of your images and words. Thank you for sharing. I am blessed to know you.
In this post:
When soothing my patience through a fallow period, I especially love:
The Sound of Paper: starting from scratch by Julia Cameron, Penguin Publishing Group, 2005. http://juliacameronlive.com/
Living Color: painting, writing, and the bones of seeing by Natalie Goldberg, Abrams, 2014. http://nataliegoldberg.com/
Find the Brooklyn Art Library and The Sketchbook Project at https://www.brooklynartlibrary.com/