Excuses, Excuses…

I’ve taken to writing down my artistic inspirations when they come. Why? Because I don’t want to forget them, and they don’t always show up when I’m sitting in front of my preferred media (i.e. my computer).

But, I’ve been doing other thinking. Work on the major triptych I’m working on has kind of stalled. It’s stalled for two different reasons:
  1. I’ve been somewhat sick for most of the last week.
  2. I’m mostly finished with the side reflecting the symbolism around my boyfriend, and I need to work on the symbolism around my ex-husband. While this is meant to be a healing process, and help to move through the chaos of the emotions, anything dealing with my ex-husband is very difficult to work on.

But, I’ve realized that I’m using these things as excuses.

You see, I’ve read all the self-help books written by creative people on the creative processes. It doesn’t matter if it is writing a book (fiction or not), painting, sculpting or any other form of creativity. Sometimes a creative person comes to a point that is difficult to work through.

There are three choices I can take:
  • Stop working on the art completely, finding other ways to fill my time – and telling myself I’m being productive.
  • Or work on a different piece of art.
  • Or, take the bit in my teeth and make myself work on the hard part.

Different creatives have different ways of dealing with this issue (commonly called a block – whether it’s writer’s block or artist’s block). Most of the creatives I respect tend to take the last option.

It’s not because they’re hard-asses (although some of them are). It’s because this is how they make their money. Letting something languish and procrastinating means they don’t have money coming in, and worse, if they don’t keep to their deadlines, it can affect future income as well.

One or two take the second option, because stopping to work in a different direction can sometimes shake the block out of the way. Whatever issue was discouraging you from working on the piece (whether conscious or unconscious) gets worked through in an alternative fashion, and you can come back to the problem piece having dealt with it.

The second option is a big temptation for me. Why? Because I’ll keep telling myself I’ll come back to the piece when it feels less hard to work on. Problem is, when working through one’s emotions in art, the issue never becomes less hard to work on. So, that means I’ll have assorted pieces partially complete, and nothing actually functionally finished.

And letting things like that languish is just another way of avoiding rejection. If it’s not finished, I don’t have to show it to anyone. And that way no one tells me that what I’ve created is absolute crap.

Me? Afraid of success? You damned betcha! I’m just as afraid of success as I am of failure. Success means I have to repeat the success, or be a one-hit-wonder. Failure just fits in with my own insecurities telling myself I’m worthless and won’t ever become worthy.

So, as difficult as it is to work on it, I’m going to push myself. I’m going to make myself work on it, so I can move past it.

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Categories: Creativity, Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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