Thursday, February 28, 2013

When Life Strangles My Creativity

The past few weeks have been tough.  Life has simply swept me away.  The daily demands of family and work are a lot in and of themselves, but when you add on top of that things like auto accidents with property damage, added work hours, a death of a close friend and the gloom of winter, I have been finding myself at the end of my strength.

As in the past, my creativity is the first thing to go.  And as I realize this, I see how little value I have place on it.  I have internalized the messages that art is frivolous and "extra" or a "luxury".  I have even arrived at a place where I wonder if God even cares about art.  I realize, after a bit of soul searching, that He does care for He is the Creator and we are made in his image, so we must be made to create and look at all the cool stuff we have created!  So much beautiful art, visual and other wise has been made to worship and glorify God.  Not only that but art edifies us, lifts us up and encourages us.  It also makes us think and reconsider when it shocks us.  Not to say that all art has a positive effect, but that potential is there.

I have to remind myself of all these things.  I know now, with no doubts, that God has called me to be an artist, to share and develop my talents and use them for the encouragement and blessing of others. But realizing this is not enough.  I have to take action and that is what requires strength.

It has been 20 days since I posted here. That is not my best.  I want to post here a couple times a week, but when I am tired and stressed, I want to crawl into a dark, quiet place and sleep.  I don't get to do that though, so, I become lethargic and apathetic, not to mention cranky!

Now I know creatives have struggled with this kind of thing through out the generations.  We all know about poor Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway.  I don't think there are too many artistic people who have not at one time or another struggled to create, let alone get along with the demands and difficulties of life.  But I believe it is important to realize there is a struggle and to recognize the triggers and the patterns which I fall into.  I don't have to stay  in this place.  I'm actually thoroughly sick of being here!  I hate that my motivation only comes in spurts.  I especially hate that television and food are easy ways to medicate my problem rather than me taking the time to deal with my problem.

So here's my plan. I know I have to have a plan and by posting it here, I am making a declaration that I am going to follow through with the plan!

1.  I am going to get more sleep... God way or another! And I am going to keep the Sabbath.  We all need a day off.

2. I am going to rise early EVERY DAY before everyone else, so I can spend some time alone with God and prepare for the day.  (By the way, I am taking a 30 day Rise Early Challenge to help me stay motivated.  Click here to check it out and maybe get yourself inspired!)

3. I am going to walk away from the television more often.  It only gets in the way of making stuff!

4.  I am going to take some art classes and get involved with a writer's group.  I need to be around other creative people, in a face to face way to help me stay sharp and get sharper!

5.  I am going to post here at least once a week about what  I am doing to make this happen.

6.  Sketch daily.  Write daily.  Even if it's just for 15 minutes!

7.  I am going to get a longer vision.  Life is not an emergency!

Okay, now, before I make this list too long, I am going to stop.  This is a good place to start.  I would love to know what you think about my plan and share what you do to keep yourself creative when life gets hectic.  Please leave a comment!  I want to know what you have to say.  Thanks so much for stopping by to read my thoughts.  That fact that you did means so much to me!

Friday, February 8, 2013


When I started this blog, I had this expectation that I would start posting my art work and comments and someone would see my stuff and things would start to happen.  Well, I have had a lot of someones check out my site and I have gotten some nice compliments and feed back.  Posting comments have had the effect of a journal, which a good journal will always get the writer to do some soul searching.  Five months in and it is February, the dreariest month of the year, and I am realizing I have so much yet to learn!

My art is nice, but it could be so much better.  My writing is okay, but this too needs be crafted more.  I am finding it difficult to keep up with my blog, my portfolio and my story ideas in a busy home with a family and part time jobs.  Goals I set for myself have gone from being steep inclines to mountains to climb.  I am also battling my own fears which in the light of logic look ridiculous, but they are still there when logic takes a nap.

So, I am still struggling with what I started to wrestle with in December.  My productivity has sagged and my frustration has become as prickly as an agitated porcupine.  In my clearer moments I KNOW this is just life.  Life is tricky, trying, tiring, testing and sometimes just trifling.  The lesson to learn here is the same as it was before... perseverance.  It has been the lesson for I don't know how long.  I have to keep learning it and persevering through the tests at the end of each lesson.

As I look out at this gloomy mid-winter day, I am trying to readjust my expectations and goals.  In the months ahead, I don't know what will happen in regards to my art, but my goal is to keep making it and to keep seeking to make it better.  I don't know how well I will balance my responsibilities  but my goal is to keep trying to figure it out, even if I totally blow it from time to time.  I just pray for the grace to get through the blunders.  I don't know if I will ever lose all of my sharp edges, but I am going to continue to grind on them.  One day, they may disappear.  My expectations will continue to get too big at times, but Lord willing, I will have future moments of clarity and readjust them to reality.

Thanks for stopping by to read my thoughts.  My purpose is to document my journey as a revived artist, trying to make my art while still doing motherhood and being a wife along with all the work that life gives us to do.  Your comments always mean so much to me so please let me know what you think.  Blessings to you dear Reader!