My own worst enemy/best friend

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing creativity—and can you eliminate it?

While, obviously, I have a blog and, therefore, write, I feel replacing the word “writing” with “creativity” above makes me squirm ten times more and, as a result, must be more appropriate. So, this is me squirming:

  • I know, since the move, I’ve been having more creative ideas, but creating less.
  • I get dragged down by the fear of doing things poorly and, therefore, don’t do them at all. The result is that I find myself mired in the deeper fear of being someone who takes about creativity but does not create.
  • Acknowledging these fears, looking them in the eye, naming them and the behavior that ensues is the best way for me to deal with them.

I was, just this week, discussing with my friend Adrienne the propensity some have for pushing forward on things, the desire to get from point A to point Z without any of the inbetween vowels and consonants, to be at the finish line without having run the race. And now I see, in artmaking, I can resemble that comment, too. I need to get back into the pure making I was enjoying while participating in Kate Swoboda’s Across Mediums e-course. Just mentioning that inspired me to go back and review some of the course materials, including Kate’s interview with me and my course journal, where I discovered I had written:

Perfectly timed for this course, we talked about the idea of the “holy fool” yesterday in church, about its role in Christianity, Sufism, and others, and about how it can be absent from UUism; that we may come to our spirituality as an intellectual choice about shared values vs an emotional, ecstatic, passionate commitment. I think the same can be said for art making or other creative endeavors—that we approach them with a claw-like grip, wanting respectability, perfectionism or some other high-stakes result instead of just a transformative, joyful experience. That claw, expressed in critical inner voices and procrastination, limits our ability to play, to explore, to ramble, to just see what happens.

Isn’t it kind of amazing when the best advice comes from yourself? We have the wisdom and means within us; we just need to make the time and space to listen more deeply, I suppose.

Reverb 10 is an opportunity to reflect on this year past and manifest forward into 2011. This project involves daily prompts throughout the month of December and you can learn more about it—and join!—here and you can follow participants on Twitter using the #reverb10 hashtag.

Thanks for reading!

Published in reverb10 on Thursday, December 2, 2010
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