It’s been over a year since my last post. In all honesty, I didn’t think I would return. I’m not sure why I stopped blogging, except maybe due to a lack of ideas and an unrealistic expectation that I needed to create something of value. I’m sure part of the reason was life “getting in the way.” Too much to do at work, too little time doing things I enjoyed. I had to pick-and-choose what activities I would spend my limited free time on. Blogging seemed like such a chore. I couldn’t compete with the big boys and girls. I’m too much of a perfectionist and I set myself up to fail.
What is different, you may ask. I started The Artist Way (re-started is more apt) by Julia Cameron and have been working through the tasks. Things have started to change, slowly and every so delicately. I enrolled in a journaling course that started today. I guess I just feel like writing. Not for anyone else. Just for me.
I’m not sure what I hope to gain. Or maybe I should just say, I hope to gain. I hope to free myself of fear, eradicate my negative thoughts, let go of the things I cannot change. In a nutshell, I hope to sort myself out. And some of that is going to end up on this page. Fair warning.
I am reminded of Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, a sad reflection on missed opportunity:
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back
But here I am.
This post is an assignment for Writing 101. It is a 20-minute free write. I am a little nervous about posting this as it has not been edited, except for punctuation and spelling.
Every morning I wake up and free write. I started following Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way a few weeks ago in order to develop my creativity. To “unleash it” as she says. So I write. Not about anything in particular. Maybe the weather or the silence of the house. I write about my fears and write about my dreams. But mostly mundane stuff. I don’t consider myself a very creative person.>
If i had to describe myself, I would say i have two left brains. I am very analytical. I can solve problems, I can view the future and find multiple scenarios that may play out and need to be accounted for. But I am not creative. I can’t do the things an artist does. I can write a good sentence, when given time to edit it, but I can’t think of anything to write about. I can start a good story but I can’t find a way to develop it or end it. I don’t think much of what I write is interesting. That is my critic talking. One of the ways to quiet the inner critic is to free write, to just let it all out. But I am afraid. I want to post this but I don’t want to look a fool. And I am afraid I will. I read a few posts before I started this and they were so good. They were so organized or so focused. This is a ramble. This is just words strung to together without meaning. I want to be creative. In The Artist Way, I identified my past monsters who stifled my creative spirit as a child. My kindergarten teacher who slapped my hand because I colored my Thanksgiving turkey wrong. My second grade teacher who punished me for poor grades by not letting me decorate my open-house folder. I felt ashamed that all of the other children in class had beautiful folders and mine was plain old gray. I was never encouraged to dance, to sing, to play a musical instrument. When I asked if I could take lessons, I was told no. Maybe that is why I am a quitter now. Maybe because I was never given much of a chance to try different things, to see what i might like. To discover. I am not creative. But I want to be. I also identified my heroes. My 9th grade creative writing teacher who encouraged me and helped me find a voice through words. My friends who like what I wrote. Why did I have to grow up because writing was not something I could make a living on. And so i descend into the abyss of not being creative. Of not being able to do creative things. I wanted to learn to play an instrument. I wanted to learn to dance, I wanted to learn to draw or paint. I want to do so much but now as I look at my life, there is not much time. I am now trying to make up for lost time. I want so much to be creative. I take writing classes, and I sign up for courses like this one where I can develop skills. I want to be a storyteller. I want to make my stories interesting. I want.. I want.. I want. Wanting does not do anything. It is only through action that things really happen. It is only by putting yourself out there and letting others critic your work, or praise you even. It is being willing to take a chance on life on finding your dreams. On discovery. The words “I want” should be stricken from the vocabulary because we all want something. But how may people are willing to actually do. Yoda said, “Do or don’t do, there is no try.” There also is no want. Take the steps to pursue your dreams. Forget the past monsters who may have held you back. They are no longer real because the light has been turned on and all monsters disappear in the light. Keep going. Keep moving toward the goals that you have set. Affirm what you are. I am creative. I can tell stories. I can make something beautiful out of nothing. I can do anything I want in life.