Your creative process does not want to fit into your life – it wants your life to fit around your creative process. If you’re working on putting creativity first, you may need to explore if your environment is supporting you, or hurting you.
I need space to write.
That includes physical space, psychic space and emotional space. Some people can write on the subway in NYC, blotting out all activity.
I am not one of those people. From my years as a creativity coach, I know that most people are not one of those people.
And yet, of the three, physical space is probably the easiest space to access.
True psychic and emotional space implies internal expansiveness and real freedom.
That’s much harder to attain and it often takes a long time and a profound commitment to change a situation, internal or external.
Most folks can go to a room and shut a door, or go to a coffee shop or a library to write.
But what about if you’re in an abusive or clingy relationship? What if on the other side of the door you shut, there’s always a t.v. blaring or an angry person who you just had a blow up with?
What if your partner finds ways to “need” you to do something else when you have a writing or improvisation date set for yourself?
What if you’re wondering if you will have enough money in your bank account the next day for your rent check to clear?
What if you have a sick child? Or, a boss who expects you to show up 60 hours a week? What if YOU’RE that boss to yourself and your business?
What if you’re in a scary custody battle for your kids?
You know, I’ve been in all of the situations above at various times in my life.
I’ve had to leave relationships, postpone my own joy (despite the bumper sticker that says not to) and make compromises to my creative self along the way.
With that said, I know without a glimmer of a doubt, that in my heart of hearts I have always remained committed to my creative and spiritual life. It has been my North Star. It has waited patiently for me at times. And, it has been insistent at times. I’ve gotten work done in fits and starts and I’ve gotten entire solo shows written in bursts of energy over the course of a few weeks. I’ve shut back down and opened back up.
There are many coaches who seem to like giving rules. Some can almost become a cultish dogma or superstition (If I don’t do my morning pages, my life will fall apart!) I make suggestions, but I hope you understand, that I’ve broken every rule in this and every other book on creativity and art.
And, I hope that you will as well. Because, you’re not here to be another Spalding Gray, or Natalie Goldberg or Anne Lamott, or Elizabeth Gilbert or Cheryl Strayed. You’re here to be unabashedly you.
As I am here to be unabashedly me. So, take the suggestions and inspiration that work for you and leave the rest behind. Promise me.
Find your own way. Your work will be far more original and interesting that way.
The thing about a creative life is that, inherently, it must spring from a deeper source than where any rules are made. It is an oxymoron to think that you’ll be handed the keys to YOUR creative kingdom by someone else.
The willingness to face my own emptiness, the blank page, and sit with fear as my companion, have been necessary tools for every breakthrough in art or in life that I’ve ever experienced.
Assignment for Today:
How do I get beyond my own perceived limitations? How do I get down to my own core creative process? How can I begin and complete something meaningful?
How to I open to discover/receive my breakthrough? What most needs to be broken through?
I hope to God that you have begun working on your dream project, one baby step at a time if necessary. Don’t waste this year. Don’t waste this support.