Some lists.

I reblogged this post from a few years ago

I think I have come a long way from this but some of them still apply.

 

Reasons I get stuck.

1. It is hard to keep going when the destination seems so
distant and unknown.

Imagining Frida
Imagining Frida

2. It is hard to keep believing in yourself–
when there is no real evidence that what you believe
is more than your ego gone wild.

3. It is hard to go on without recognition
or validation or reward–
because you could be delusional.
Completely mad.
It’s a distinct possibility.

4.It is hard to find a reason to keep going because of
all of the above.

5. And then there is the question of your own sanity.

So Here’s another list.

Reasons to question my own sanity.

1. I am writing the third draft a play–that may never be produced.

2. I probably could put time and effort into more lucrative pursuits yet
I persist.

3.The life of an artist is often painful, disappointing
frustrating and depressing.

I hate to say it, but this leads to another list .

Painful things about being an artist.

1.The weeping, nail-biting–
and hopeless staring at an empty
screen.

2.Thefeeling that I am absolutely on the right
track suddenly changing to the realization that I’m not.

3.Awareness that my ability
to say something-
that hasn’t been said-
by countless others–
seems–
a) lacking?
b)missing in action?
c)otherwise engaged.

3.The constant nagging voice inside me
saying unkind things about the value or validity
of my own work

4. Experiencing shame, jealousy and resentment for the success of others

5, Trying to not have jealousy and resentment for the success of others.

6. Feeling threatened by the success of others. Oh God! Help me!!!!

7. Though some artists, writers and actors are wildly successful
famous and rich– the majority of us deal with–

Oh dear– I guess it’s another list–

The 99 percent

1. lack of recognition,

2. crushing poverty

3. the thought of dying in obscurity

4. The realization that absolute failure is entirely possible

5. The ever looming reality of poverty–
and dying in obscurity increasing with age. Yikes!

BUT–

I realize that despite the above lists–

None of these are good enough reasons to give up my dream.

Not writing–because of fear of failure
ensures my success at one thing– failing.

Failure is possible enough without my helping it along.

And–If I do not write–

My fearful, negative, self will have defined me and
controlled me and won this battle.

AND SO

I keep

1. writing.

2. painting,

3. improving,

4. growing,

5. discovering–

and even though I am often–

1.stumbling

2. falling,
3.crashing,
4. burning.

I keep going.

Because

1.There is no turning back for me.

2.The road only goes one way.

3.There is no place that I can go back to.

4.The road behind me is closed.

Well folks–

if this has not been annoying enough–

Here is another list–this one is for you .

1.What are you working on?

2. If you are not really working on something–

What are you avoiding?

3.What are you risking by not risking?

What are you denying yourself

by not devoting yourself to the discipline?

4. What terrors are you subjecting yourself to

by not confronting the fear?

And last but not least–

5. Why are you reading my silly lists.

1.Go get to work.

2.Call the Muse.

3.Wait for her.

4.Don’t make other plans

She is most likely to show up when you are actually at your desk or your easel
on tapping away on a keyboard in bed or in a coffee shop or wherever you write.

Accepting uncertainty and living the questions in life and art.


 

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
Live in the question.”    Rainer Maria Rilke

I love these words.

I try to call them up when

I face uncertainty

 

I am in the middle of developing

an idea that is slowly forming in

my mind.

I don’t know if it is a play

or a short story

Or something else altogether.

My  desk is covered in sketches of  artists who have  inspired me I am not sure why I drew them.

The images are clues or perhaps  threads  of  a story – slowly weaving itself in the back of mind.

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If I stand back and speak to

my images I might say JacksonPollack and Lee Krasner and Andy Warhol–What are  you trying to tell me?

Why are you here? What are you pointing me to?

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For me drawing opens a door into  a deeper

more potent form of imagination.

Something beyond intention and anything

conscious.

Maybe these drawings are part of a search

into my own psyche.

Maybe I am digging, sifting through the layers

of  my early romantic ideals-

when my fascination with these famous artists

woke up some kind of young longing in me.

I don’t know. I have to sit with the unknowing.

Here is the thing.

There is a relationship somewhere

between the drawings and the writing I am doing

and my own life right now.

It’s not always immediately evident.

I  look at the drawings that come out

after a session of writing

and I think  ok–

I  think that  the subject of what

drives someone to create

is the subject I want to explore.

And somehow death is part of the subject

And how the need to be present for life

is part of it. And how creativity

is the way of showing up.

And I think that somehow

spirits– as in the spirits of the

dead artists  are alive to all of us who

look at the art they made and left behind.

But I don’t really know.

Maybe drawing the artists

and even writing in this blog

is like playing with a Ouija board,

and I am summoning spirits from within myself–

to help me with my troublesome imagination.

I know the location of whatever I am writing

is somewhere just west of collective unconscious.

And has to do with a place where artists

can meet and converse.

 

e thing is, with art and with life–

sometimes we have to tolerate

the churning and distracted feelings of  uncertainty.

Because on the other side of this unknowing,

is the path to where it all makes sense.

It’s true we  must learn to live  in the questions–

as Rilke tells us–and just wait–because beyond

the  clouds of uncertainty,

is the bright blue sky of knowing.

The story will weave itself together and everything will be revealed.

 

Overcoming creative blocks– magic cures.

I am in bed recovering from surgery and bored out of my mind.

The wasteland of daytime television stretches out before me endlessly it seems.

“I could be working on my play.” I say to myself hopefully.

As I open the lap top I listen for an engaged response from deep within–

some murmurings of eagerness or zest–a shimmer of enthusiasm perhaps.

But all I get is a weak whimper and a shudder of shame.

I realize that somehow my inner prosecutor– modelled after Hamilton Burger–

you might know him from Perry Mason re-runs–has now taken over my mind.

He is addressing the judge and jury that lives in my head.

They are the folks behind the Salem Witch Trials and the Spanish Inquisition.

“Ladies and Gentleman this woman has no discernible talent–no imagination and no original ideas.

She is guilty of the crime of self delusion! How dare she call herself a writer?

Send her back to her jail cell and sentence her to watch endless reruns of Perry Mason.”

Well–ok– that didn’t happen. Actually instead of writing my play

I wrote the above silliness. Please forgive me. Tee hee.

But truth is, I have been struggling with, if not, a full blown writer’s block,

a fairly serious writer’s delay.

All the roads in my imagination seem to be closed,

and I can’t get to where I want to go.

It is time I dig out my list of magic cures for this pesky nuisance,

and get myself back on the road. I have faced this before. I can do it again.

This coming week I will be posting my favourite creative cures so stay tuned.

Feel free to use any of these cures for whatever creative ailments you are suffering with.

Perry Mason is not on right now so it’s back to the Storage Wars Marathon. I just loves Barry Weiss.

A message to my fellow writers.

 

lunapicmorningstar

Writers are like stargazers,

searching an imaginary sky

for distant galaxies

of meaning and metaphor–

trusting in the existence of a story-

an act of faith–

knowing that the story is  there.

Somewhere beyond the flash of the idea.

Scientists and astronomers have a name for

the invisible material surrounding a galaxy.

They call it dark matter.

As I explore the galaxy of  my imagination

I hope that somewhere,

beyond the dying stars of my early scribbles,

somewhere in the endless night

of all that is unknown to me

I will find the story that wants to be told.

I do know that the flickering brightness of my ideas,

just like the stars in the night sky, seem much closer than

they  really are and  may take longer than I think to

reach them.

I have come a certain distance with my  writing explorations.

Sometimes I feel as if I have been traveling for a long time,

too long–and I will never arrive at my destination.

 

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