Had a conversation with a friend about what she wants to do with her art business. As I sat with her I asked questions to point her into a mission. What she really wants to see. What we could build upon.
I write a heart on my paper waiting for her to tell me what she loves about her business, so I can write a word or two, beside it. She goes on to tell me that she has postponed doing certain things and had filled her life up with stuff for others in order to avoid the new mission. Automatically avoiding the real success she could have if she just did it.
I push back, and say she can do it, then in my next breath I said I get it. I feel the exact same way. The excuses build up everyday until time is wasted that you can’t get back.
I have been “home” for almost six months. Plenty of time. A real long respite from everything. How did I spend it? Helping others with their dreams.
Working on my own creative endeavors; some, but mostly I would find projects helping others which very conveniently took me away from my writing.
“I’ll get back to it.” I’d say. “Tomorrow.” Then I walk away from the computer. And another day is gone.
I will make a generality here for the sake of this post but I do realize not everyone feels this way. ( Don’t argue with me about this. I don’t care.)
Many of us are absolutely terrified of living up to our full potential and we are all afraid of rejection.
I have two other novels I could have worked on, literally with outlines. Good concepts. If I sat down and really let the words fly, I imagine I could bust them out in about six months. But then what?
As a creative, you make things. Ideas come from your heart and your mind and you put them out into the world, and sometimes the world is not hospitable. It is like holding up your child to the family for the first time and having them say your baby is ugly or stupid. These big things that we share, are our children, are our very hearts. We have carried them with us for months or years. Maybe a lifetime.
Rejection is rough. I have over twenty rejections from years ago with my children’s stories. Now trying to play with the big boys with a novel that I feel, and believe with every part of my being, could give others a sense of peace and acceptance of us being one.
But, I have no audience. No one even gets back to me. The lack of answer is the standard rejection, these days. That in itself is painful. You are not seen. Not heard. Not a person, you stand vulnerable and naked in front of them, and they turn away. Ok, that was a little dramatic, but it feels like that sometimes. Dammit.
Getting up and finding someone else to hand your heart to, then more hopes or wishes that they will get you. Trying again. Then silence. More time goes by.
Then the thoughts that eat at you. Who am I to try to put something out there? Who am I to expect an invitation to Oprah’s house to talk about my book. ( I still see it)
A lot of creatives are also “afraid” of the other side too. What if I get totally successful? What if people will then expect more from me, than I can deliver? The original came from the heart, maybe from trying to heal a dark secret or get over a painful love. What if we can’t perform on command again. What if we can’t deliver?
Many artists are especially tortured with the idea of creation. It can feel like a burden. It is because you feel compelled to do it, you have to get it out of you. many times you cannot sleep, eat or do anything until it is done. Out of you.
I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s story in her book Big Magic that someone relayed to her. I can’t remember who it was. He looked at ideas as if they are always floating around, just waiting for someone to land on. Once he was driving on a beautiful coastal highway, when the words to his next song came to him. He screamed back “Hey! can’t you see this is not the best time for me to write this stuff down?!”
Love that. I do believe that there are always more ideas and thoughts behind the ones that get away. Sometimes I don’t even write things down anymore, I just let it go on to land on the next person. You have to prioritize, man.
I don’t even know what I am writing about anymore. Basically it was two creatives, drinking tea at an antique oak table and venting about the crap, the excuses we come up with to not do our biggest art. And it was f*&n magical.
Love days like that.