Creating Just for Yourself, Not An Audience
Some days I have so much creative energy flowing through me! I want to paint, I want to draw, I want to write, I want to blog...all at the same time! And sometimes I jump from one to the other, not really accomplishing any of them completely. I've learned how to keep the creative energy flowing and what to do when it slows down to a trickle, but I'm still learning how to manage this wonderful waterfall of energy when it comes. I'm learning to focus this energy and direct it carefully, with my heart.
Finishing projects or meeting deadlines can be a great goal and motivator. But I'm a slow creator and I really wish I could create faster. A painting a day would be wonderful as I have so many different ideas flowing through me. And maybe it will come someday but right now I'm the last to cross the finish line. Well-meaning creative friends tell me I need to paint faster, use bigger brushes (I tend to paint with a very small detail brush), or pull an all-nighter, to finish it up. And there is some good juice in that. And I love their suggestions, as we are always helping each other improve. Having deadlines is a good thing or my creative soul can get lost and flounder in the creative process (it so nice to be in there). After all it is already finished in my mind. Sometimes I need a deadline to kick my energy up a level and get going. But I can't let it stress me out or direct my creations.
So I have to often remind myself, it's okay to be a slow producer, the joy is in there just creating. And I know myself well enough that if I am pulling an all-nighter I'm not going to enjoy it. I love my bed and I love sleeping. My best time for creating is in the morning. For some of my friends, their best time to create is in the middle of the night when the family is sleeping. But I would rather go to bed early and take advantage of an early morning. It's good to know what time of day your creative energy soars in.
It is about knowing yourself as a creator, not comparing with anyone else. I have a friend that sits down to paint and creates the most brilliant paintings in 1-2 nights that would take me months to finish. Does this mean he is a better artist than me? I admit he has his technique down pretty good. But to compare my paintings to his is like comparing apples to oranges as they say. It is not so much the finished product but the feeling we get while painting, and we need to follow that feeling! That is why we create! Creating, whether it is a painting, drawing, music, writing, a garden, a dance or your entire life is for you first. And if others find joy in your finished creations, well great. But it really is none of your business. Don't get caught up in creating what others want, or what might sell - just create for the joy of the moment of creating.
So if my heart tells me to write this morning instead of finishing that painting for the next looming art show, I remind myself that I paint for me - not an audience and I proceed to immerse myself in words for today - like this blog. Tomorrow if my heart says to paint, then I will paint, and usually, (not always, but usually), that painting flows together much more beautifully and in time for that art show.
Happy Creating Friends,
P.S. - I always begin my day with a meditation to help me connect to my creative energy. Below is a link to get my meditation and process that I have been using for many years.