My fave buddhist principle is the ability to not follow my thoughts.
It’s my favourite but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it. It’s particularly challenging as a writer because following your thoughts is precisely what’s necessary for a first draft, a new blog post, a song lyric, poem…
So I practise not following my thoughts during meditation and following them when I’m writing!
One of the thoughts that wafted through my head during seated meditation this morning was why are there so many damaging cliché’s and stereotypes around being a creative. We hear all about the people who buy a new journal to add to the huge pile they already have, but never write in any of them. The drinking. The procrastination. The dreaded and insurmountable blocks! Oh the humanity!
I read an instagram post yesterday letting creatives off the hook – you don’t have to make anything unless you feel like it. OMG, people! No! That is the time to sit down at your desk and write or paint or knit or sculpt the yuckiness out. This is why creatives are known to be flakey!
‘Inspiration Is For Amateurs, The Rest Of Us Just Get To Work’Chuck Close
It’s fine to take time out or time off, but to let yourself off the creative hook every time you’re ‘not feeling it’ is the ultimate in self-saboutage, surely! Life is tough and there are days that are going to suck and making art is what makes it all a lot less sucky. Take time away from your work if you like, but use the time to do something physical and wonderful like swimming, dancing, or even running around with the dog (you can even offer to walk a dog from a shelter if you don’t have a dog – then everybody wins!)
You can meditate, walk around the block, write in one of those gorgeous journals…Just don’t let the cliché’s win! Full messy journals are infinitely better than pristine ones on a shelf.
Is this a thought I should not have pursued? That post on Instagram had sooo many likes and comments. People were like ‘ooh yes, me too’ and ‘Merc retro is kicking my butt.’ Oh just stop. I was all like ‘show up and get the work done’ and you know what? People do not like that! That is not a popular opinion!
Oh well, I’m not here for the popularity contest. I worked that out in high school – popularity is just not in my wheel house. I’m here to scribble in my journals, make a mess, and maybe even inspire others to do the same.