My creative self has been buried, lost, found, re-buried, burned alive, abandoned, found again, and the last few years has been kinda lonely.
These emotions are not unfamiliar to creatives. Writers and other artists often struggle with getting their art out, with feeling ‘whole’. I know for me, I struggle with feelings of insecurity and lack confidence at times when it comes to my art. And when I add to that the other responsibilities in my life, well, it can all get a little overwhelming.
But to be honest it can get overwhelming for everyone, whether we’re ‘creatives’ or not. We all have stress and responsibilities in our lives that keep us from feeling like we can be free to be who we are and do what we would like to do with our lives. And denying ourselves in that way over a long period of time can build up anger, frustration, resentment, and other not so nice feelings.
I’m able to recognize when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed and over the years I’ve been able to put into place outlets that can sometimes help me through the tough parts and keep me focused. But that is not an easy task. And lately, I’ve not been very good at using those strategies to keep the negative and not so positive feelings at bay.
I’ve been exploring a lot of the why behind that of late, and I don’t like what I’m seeing. I’ve been once again falling down a rabbit hole of letting other responsibilities that are not mine get in the way, and also trying to “fix” everything, for everyone. This is problematic on a lot of levels, and only serves to ramp up my anxiety, and a little bit of resentment, since what I’m trying to “fix” or “do” should not be on me.
All that is to say the TL;DR version: life has been a lot lately and I’ve been feeling a little bit lost when it comes to balancing things, and getting my creative on.
What am I going to do about that, you might ask?
I’ve been turning to some very helpful books of late, to help me find that balance. Some of them are re-reads, and some are new to me books. I’ll be sharing those books in the next couple weeks with you and hope you share your own thoughts as well, about how you find balance and also, how you focus on you and what your goals are, while also helping other and taking care of your other responsibilities.
But today I’m going to be start a new weekly series on my blog, with one of those books I’ve been re-reading, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I’ve read the book twice through and while many of the lessons have stuck with me, this time I want to really dig into the other parts of the books that are just as important but perhaps have been lost or skimmed over during my previous reads.
Where before my reading of the rest of the book was more on the surface, cursory if you will, this time I want to dig deeper to find what else may be holding me back and hopefully learn some new tools to make things stick.
And this time, I am inviting you to come along for the ride. I’m making this weekly series on my blog where others who have either never read the book before, or need a refresher, can come along for the ride. Starting today, I’ll post the “lesson” for that week from the book. I’ll include a summary from my point of view, what I took from the chapter, what resonated, what didn’t, and maybe share some of the exercises I’ve done for that week. (Note: this week there will be two posts: this one and a post on The Basic Tools part of the introduction. Next Wednesday will be the official start of Week 1.)
Do you want to go on this journey with me, or have you taken it before and want to join in again? I won’t have an official linky or anything like that (unless I get a bunch of people who want to do this–then I can add that in), but if you’d like to work the book with me, leave a comment below, and every week stop by for a visit, post a link to your blog in the comments, and we can work on things together. Or, if you’d like to just read about my experiences through the book and comment (or not), that’s cool, too!
So let’s get started, shall we? I’ll be back on Friday with my thoughts on the introduction and Basic Tools portion of the book. See you soon!