I admit I was harsh last week — and most of the previous weeks — in my check-in(s). This week, though, I must congratulate the author for providing some material that has given me a useful insight. In fact, I have to admit that she may have changed the course of my creative endeavors.
The theme of chapter 7 is “recovering a sense of connection,” with the goal of “excavating areas of genuine creative interest as you connect with your personal dreams.” The way one connects with the inner creative self is doing the morning pages and going on artist’s dates. This gets one past the obstacles that so treacherously cause one to trip.
I do find that writing the morning pages the first thing after waking helps me to tap into some sources of unconscious inspiration. One of the tasks in this chapter was to create an “autobiographical collage”. I did a collage of found images early in the week shortly after reading the chapter. It depicts a hand rising from a cave reaching towards the sky. This illustrates my unconscious material coming to light.
The author also discusses two obstacles in connecting to inspiration and making subsequent creative output: perfectionism and jealousy. Although I feel compelled to apply my best efforts to any undertaking, there is a freedom in knowing I can never be perfect. There is no perfect writing or art piece I can create so I might as well just relax and enjoy the process. Similarly, trying to outshine another creative is a manifestation of jealousy. I may strive to create in a particular genre or medium I don’t really enjoy or excel because I want to be like some other writer or artist.
So what is the useful insight for me? I don’t really enjoy the novel writing process; I’m just jealous of the celebrity, great or small, that being a novelist may garner for fifteen minutes. I would much rather continue doing what I’ve always done: blogging, writing poems, essays and the occasional short story, and maybe arting about things that interest me. Coming into this awareness, I am released from the tyranny of perfecting a genre I don’t enjoy. But who knows? Maybe that release will end up allowing me to create something truly spectacular.
In other words, I am learning to enjoy the ride towards an unknown destination.