Sometimes it feels like my creative journey is leading me down one way streets- in the wrong direction. I can tell you that's what it felt like because as a child I had a pretty impressionable experience with that. Driving along we took a turn and went down a street and as we went, noticed that people in the skyways, and on the side of the road were waving at us and seemed really focused on us. This is downtown Minneapolis and while friendlier than most, you don't usually see people waving and cheering for you as you drive down the street. The street was Nicollet Ave.-Nicollet Mall, and is reserved for public transportation and emergency vehicles. Not only were driving our car down a "do not enter" street but I believe it was the wrong direction as well. Because of the "strange" behavior of the pedestrians we looked around and soon understood the situation. To fix it all we had to do was turn off, but the experience is still one I remember.
This story comes to mind today because today I started Kelly Rae Roberts' business e-course. She had a wonderfully inspirational first post with prompts at the end that have made me think about my creative journey. There have been times when I felt in tune to the journey, and other times where I feel as if something's not quite right but can't put my finger on it. I'll be cruising right along, feeling the creative energy, whipping out art like there's no tomorrow and more ideas than I have time to do. Then suddenly- it stops. I can't finish a piece to save my soul, because the vision isn't as clear, and nothing I try seems right. I feel clumsy and my entire life is affected. I can't seem to concentrate on the easy things-like what's for dinner. I feel anxiety when I enter the studio. I see the projects stacked up and feel like the current that I was happily following suddenly switched directions and I was now struggling upstream.
That's been the case lately and I've wondered how to express it to you. If I should. But after today's first class I think I've realized that this is all part of the journey. We all go through it to one degree or another. I think it's important to realize because if you don't acknowledge it as part of the journey than fear comes knocking and soon after it's arrival creative paralysis sets in.
If this happens to you, then I think taking it slow and looking around at your life, consulting your map, or a roadside sign or two might be the answer. You might even stop to talk to a pedestrian. Everyone on that street saw us going the wrong way down a "do not enter" street. If we had rolled down our windows and asked anybody what the commotion was about they would have told us. So do the equivalent. Ask a friend what they've observed. Or ask yourself why do I feel this way? Was I going the wrong direction to begin with? Was I inadvertently traveling along to someplace I don't want to go? Or is there something else going on? I feel distracted so I need to ask myself where the distraction is.
After looking at my life I've realized that my creative life might be stalled right now because I'm dealing with some pretty big life changes in other areas of my life. Letting myself put a bit more time into those areas right now is really investing in all areas. My creative growth will resume, but I'm going to let myself take it a little easier this next week. Not give in to my internal pressure to produce. Play a little. I'll let you know how it goes... :)