Here’s the thing about creativity. It’s not something that can be turned on or off. It’s not a book to be pulled off the shelf when you’re in the mood. And it’s definitely not a “curse” in blessing and family.
I have forgotten what an honor it is to create. I am lucky to have been gifted with the ability to create things — words, music, ideas. And yet, the pressure I put on myself to “deliver” kills the gift and eliminates the surprise.
Part of what I’ve always loved about creating is the discovery. There’s nothing more exhilarating than sitting down and showing up to what creativity has in store for me. Some days it’s pretty quiet, but other days, when the flow is rushing through me, I am truly content.
Those who know me well would agree that I’m rarely ever satisfied, let alone content. But writing…well, that’s where it all makes sense. And I miss it, which is why I thought a 30-day writing challenge would get me back into the habit.
I think I made it through the first two weeks. I lost track, (which isn’t the best approach to a measured challenge.) Instead of making it fun, I made it the enemy. Ever notice how the thing you love quickly becomes the thing you hate when you insert a little pressure into the mix?
And I’m not talking about the healthy kind of pressure that comes with deadlines, commitment, etc. I’m talking about the “If I do this then it means…” kind of pressure. The emphasis is on validation vs. stepping into the light of doing what I love.
Take the gym for instance. I don’t LOVE going to the gym, but I like the results: tighter butt, toned arms, more energy. I go to the gym for results. It makes sense to me, because I’m clear on my relationship with working out.
I’ve lost my connection to writing. The noise of the self-inflicted judgment and need to prove something to myself has drowned out the muse, strangled her, in fact. My relationship has become convoluted and obscure, and I find myself envying other writers whose muse is alive and kicking.
My friends keep telling me to take a break and stop putting so much pressure on myself. But here’s the thing — I fear that if I don’t save my muse, she will never return. I’m sure I’m not alone, but it certainly feels that way at the moment. I’m stuck. There, I said it. And I won’t bore you with the reasons behind the stuck-ness, because it’s not going to get me unstuck in any way shape or form.
I promise you nothing here. No 30-day challenges. No commitment to what’s next. I’m just glad to have sat down and spent a little time with my muse, who, by the way, is recovering slowly.