Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creating Challenge Days 148 & 149--Assessing

Confession time: For awhile now I've been at a creative standstill. I've kept my creative challenge moving forward by copying Zentangle® patterns, and I'm grateful for that. It has kept me creatively (though mindlessly) engaged at a busy time and a time when energetically I'm invested in making some big transitions.

Amid these baby steps, I've been asking myself "Why aren't I creating?" And when I ask myself that, I mean "Why aren't I creating big, original works of amazing quality and magnitude?" (No pressure, really.) Is it simply the busyness? Or is something more happening? As I ponder these questions, I'm considering a few options:

  • I'm resting. One cannot create endlessly. I've committed to a creative marathon: 365 days. Rest has to happen sometime. It's an integral part of the creating cycle. Perhaps that's where I currently am, and I need to embrace it.
  • I'm hiding. Sometimes I feel full-blown Impostor Syndrome. How can I possibly be an artist? I've heard powerful messages in the past to the contrary. As well, putting myself out there on the Interwebs feels vulnerable. Some of the pieces I want to work on are deeply personal, and if I consider sharing them publicly, I stall. Other pieces feel small and/or average (or even not that good at all), and I wonder "What's the point?"
  • I'm afraid. This is related to the hiding. What if I fail? What if I embarrass myself? What if I share too much or too deeply? I find it easier to not create at all than to try and fail. I also find it less fulfilling.
These three possibilities dance together to hold me in a creative waiting space. Perhaps more as-yet-unrecognized possibilities also enter into the dance. I am doing what I can to simply notice where I am and not judge myself. After all, the inner artist is a child that needs rest, nourishment, understanding, and gentle invitations to come out and play.

I think I'll take a nap. Then, perhaps, I'll create. And maybe I won't. Only time will tell. I do know I cannot push myself through this. I just have to wait, allow, invite, play, and see when the muse will return.