A start. (May 11, 2017.)
My morning journaling isn’t helping me in the way that it once did. And I think that’s because I am not being courageously honest with myself as I write. So, I wonder if something might change if I radically change the format.
As I write that, I realize how crazy it is. The format isn’t the issue; it’s admitting what I want, because I know my follow through often leads nowhere. And then that’s just unearasable failure on the page.
(I’ll be shocked if I’m more inclined to honesty and accountability in a public forum, but somehow I’m still here and still writing.)
Because it would be failure anyway, right? Even if you don’t outwardly recognize what you want? You’ll know. And I think we all recognize that there is power in naming something and in then taking responsibility for it. When I name my purpose, I feel it in my bones and then I work that much harder. I refine my routine. I write a bunch of new songs.
But inevitably I run up against some uncomfortable creative wall and lose my momentum. And that sucks to acknowledge. But maybe if I were better about the acknowledgement, I would be better about the recovery. Because the wall is unavoidable. I don’t think I am alone there. It’s showing up to stare at the wall that gets tough and where I most often give up. First in small ways and then totally. And, you know… Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
But then there is my other problem. Of being pulled in multiple directions. Do I really want to focus on music? Is that what makes my heart beat? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question. I’ve gone for long periods barely playing or writing and I’ve survived. A little uncomfortably. Shamefully is probably the best word for it. But generally, pretty contentedly. I mean, as content as you can be when you feel nagging shame.
To hear other artists tell it, they would never be able to do such a thing in whatever medium they practice. Does that mean I was never well suited to my chosen path? I know I’m good at it. I know I love it. But I’m also good at other things, and there are other paths that intrigue me. Twyla Tharpe calls ability in multiple mediums a curse. I kind of agree. (Sort of.)
Most importantly, though, I know I do not show up for music every day. So, is that about the medium or some other personal failing of mine? The aforementioned lack of follow through? I’ve most often felt that at its heart, it has to do with my ambivalence about being heard. And that I can understand, because I do fear being heard. But I can’t help but worry a little. That this isn’t the thing that moves me to move mountains.
I don’t know. I’m not sure I buy that. When I am going through extremely emotional periods, I need to write music like I need to eat food. I just don’t go through hyper emotional periods as much as I once did. Is it even possible that some artists feel that way all the time? Or are they just more disciplined about showing up when they don’t feel that urgency? I’m inclined to vote for this line of thought. I know it is fairly well documented. I still feel the insecurity of not knowing, though. Wouldn’t it be so great if we could just know?
Man. I have no idea if I should publish this. In some ways, it’s the thing so many people write about, albeit productively and with answers. So it’s not like I’m alone, even if this piece is crazy self-centered. But it’s not like I have the answers either. I just have a bunch of questions and I’m trying to sort them out.
And also to hold myself accountable. Because part of the thing I don’t want to name is that I do want to put myself out there. To be read, to be heard.
So, I suppose that’s a start.