Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Writer Girl: Do You Feel God's Presence When you Write?

Day 3:
Oh gently lay your head, upon my chest,
And I will comfort you like a mother
while you rest.
The tide can change so fast but I will stay
The same through the past,
the same in the future,
the same today
I am constant; I am near
I am the peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy; I am wise
I am the only one who knows your heart's desires
your heart's desires
Oh weary, tired and worn let out your sighs
and drop that heavy load you hold
for mine is light
I know you through and through no need to hide
I want to show you love that is deep and high and wide
Jill Phillips- "I am"

So though I officially have a "blog"(online weblog)*, I have this crazy habit of wanting to write my thoughts out on paper first. I know that sounds harmless, but given how much time it takes me to begin writing this habit prolongs my ability to actually complete what I might want to get down on paper  AND THEN transfer what I wrote to the blog.  First I have to re-read the entry to make sure it makes sense and by that time usually my little one is up from her nap and  UGH you see my dilemma. I have to learn to just go for it! I have to keep coaxing myself to take the baby steps.

I have two friends who I would say have been the most beneficial for just having a benchmark to move forward into the idea of being a "working" artist. One of them lives in another state so it is a bit difficult to do any face to face check in. I have known her for about ten years and she has definitely been the most consistent when it comes to not just talking about "creating art" but actually working her craft, mostly through oil painting and photography.

The other friend, however, I visited with last night. She is a former coworker that is married to a "working" artist - He actually makes a living from it and does AMAZING work.  My friend always has beautiful projects happening at her house.    They are either painting the walls of their home vibrant colors or creating a trellis for the entryway or incorporating mosaics into the walking path.  Just beautiful, soothing work. 

But I sense fear.  The same fear I am experiencing to be quite honest.  She recently quit her retail job because she felt like it was siphoning her energy (she might have said something like siphoning her life force - she is very poetic!). She said her immediate response to the new stage in her life (you know after the thrill of sticking it to your boss) was sheer panic. Did she really decide to take herself off the hamster wheel-the one that tells you where to go, when to go, how fast to go and how to think? Quick find another hamster wheel!

If you have ever taken a plunge like that, then you know. It feels like you are drowning in possibility. Problem is you do not know how to discern anything outside of the schematic of a structured work environment. My panic came in the form of motherhood. I waited several years for the little girl in my arms, but what was the constant ringing in my head? I felt like I was a retired Pavlov's dog unable to generate anything more than to NOT GIVE IN to the desires invoked by the bell. Too much time to fill and no one to tell me how to fill it. Well meaning friends who have heard me "lament" (a pretty word for moaning and groaning) said, "finally Robin you can write like you always talked about."

But how can one create in a state of panic? I felt forgotten in the world. 40 years old in a play group with a toddler surrounded by the other "twenty something" moms. Many of which were joyfully talking about their "next baby" while the one in front of them is barely a year old. I am college educated and full of life experience, stuck in a world filled with "The Wonder Pets" anthem playing in my head and not much else. It was getting difficult to get out of bed.

So as I embark on this thing - this facade I still call it even as I make myself write-I have no choice but to wake up in my life and EXPLORE. I see that my panicked friend and I could help each other. She actually holds a bachelors degree in art so she has the foundation to imagine a life of openness through her creativity; the ability to live more fully with her heart and mind.

Or... not.  This realization showed up the other day as I noticed that the very ones that I so admire for their creativity seem to be disinterested in cultivating my desire for living a more creative life.  Attempted conversations are met with limited curiosity and one or two words responses.   And conversations around creativity only seem to arise when I make the effort to introduce the topic. 

Julia Cameron in her book "The Artist's Way" warns of the "blocked" artist. Specifically, she warns the new artist who is beginning on this new road and still working through her panic -ME-  to be cautious of the blocked artist. The one with so much potential but... The old adage from your mother that says to watch the company you keep? Apparently it is true in the area of creativity. We can love to talk and "think" about creating. However many times what happens is the new artist begins to downplay her new explorations in an effort to bring comfort to the other which causes the new artist to minimize the value of what she attempting to do.

What do you do when you realize that those closest to you may not be as excited about your journey as you are?

Priming the Pump:
Are you feeling God's presence in this process?  Where/how are you experiencing Him?  Are there initial whisperings about what to write about?  What emotions are you feeling about those topics?  
Write 100 words OR write for 15 minutes (set a timer to help you focus and whatever you get down on paper for 15 minutes let grace hold you – well done!)

To Purchase "Writer Girl"  or my other Faith and Creativity Resources:

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