Whoever said creativity was easy, a buzz from the subconscious, has not been through the dark night of the soul. I have. I wept with my protagonist wondering, why…why am I doing this to myself? So lately I’ve been spent. Drained by the sheer grit of finishing the first draft of my novel and now with trepidation, I’m commencing the rewrite process.
Erwin McManus of MOSAIC said, “the person who steals is terrified of creating.” Now you know the reason for our overcrowded county jails. Creativity is soul-breaking hard work, demanding diligence, responsibility and a thick-skin to withstand inevitable criticism. Yes, Criticism. My retainers are proof that I can look at my reflection (cute as I am *-*) and still find fault. Nobody wears halos, visors maybe.
The craftsman shows up and plugs away, like someone possessed by the need to show themselves worthy of another sunrise. I must admit these last few weeks has been hard for me. I’m like a brow-beaten Lebron James, after losing 2014 NBA finals to the Spurs, soaking his weary muscles in a bathtub of epsom salts and reprimanding his kids, “I don’t want to hear anything about basketball.”
Here’s what I did today to avoid writing:
- Washed my hair and deep conditioned it twice.
- Created a head full of twists ( that accounted for 55 mins.)
- Browsed used car websites – Craigslist, CarGuru, KBB, Recycler , then Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills for a good deal on a Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class CLS 550 Coupe, steel-gray body and ash-black leather interior.
- Searched online for a white gown (Service of songs; dress code – white) and in the process, I was sorely tempted to buy ten pounds of Kansas City steak from QVC and from HSN, Twiggy London’ s flag-inspired tee-shirts.
- Served myself two large scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream.
- Teared up as I went through three trunks of my native African clothes, reminiscing about each occasion that called for another gele* (African headgear)
- Read and deleted spam comments (Yep… Akismet obviously needs help)
Then something good happened. I decided I’d better write or feel guilty when I step on my scale tomorrow on account my creamy indulgence. Motivation can come from anywhere, as far as it works. As artists when we stay away from our craft, we experience an unsettling, a foreboding that time is slipping away and with it the miracle of chances.
If we wait too long, it’s so easy to slip into a dissatisfied and depressed state. Off-track we get moody and our words become wind – destructive, unkind – blowing restless in all direction of our lives. Now I’m learning to pray – Lord, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, can you please create through me today?
Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Eph. 4:28 (NKJV)
Art is everywhere. This video shows Segun Gele, a Nigerian *gele artist profiled on CNN, reveling in the work of his hands.
If you haven’t…you’ve got to read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Fight the resistance. Be encouraged. Create something that makes you smile today 🙂