Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blocked Artistry

I've always had a rather interesting creative life. It was more like fighting with my demons at every turn and with each failure or success, I watched the blood flow onto the page as my art. But after many years of fighting I am finally putting some of my demons to bed. I have embraced a little sanity after years of depression. It feels so good I can hardly understand how I called it living before. Best of all I am happy about who I am and everything I have accomplished in the past…so why can't I create anything worth a damn?

I am frustrated by it. But in a move I can only consider inspired, I reached into my library and found Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way. Now, I've had this book a good long time and I've read it and reread it several times over the years but while I knew it could help me in some way I never understood just how much, until now. On the 15th page of the introduction she says, "…I stopped drinking. I never thought drinking made me a writer, but now I suddenly thought not drinking might make me stop." In those words I could see my fear fully expressed. I never thought depression helped me write or draw or paint but I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps the lack of it has stopped me.

I spent so much time trying to mitigate the effects of my dark and lonely feelings that I never learnt to do anything else. Now that the opportunity is available to me, I'm not sure what I should do. Julia Cameron would probably tell me to start again at the beginning; take the course and discover and recover my creative self. I think it might be a good idea. So for the next 12 weeks I want to try working my way through The Artist's Way and being as good as I can about accomplishing it. In all my other attempts I have failed in one of two ways; I never did all the work (skimping on morning pages and never going on artist dates) or stopping before I could see any real progress.

I do not know if sanity imbues me with any unnatural super powers but I hope it means I won't be fighting against myself so much. If that's the case, I might just have a real chance this time. Updates will come as I make my way through the minefield that is my creative motivation and perhaps I will put the demons lying there to rest as well.

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