Doodling to Restore My Spirit
Last week I read a book about getting past the excuses people used to keep from exercising their gifts of creativity. Unfortunately, it seemed to me the author was implying that following “her way” quite specifically, was the only, or at least the best, way to unstick any creative block. Some of her advice troubled me: Get up a half-hour earlier so there would be more time… Keep working so many minutes or hours even when not feeling inspired Focus on enlarging your activities… Take your responsibility for using creative gifts instead of letting fear or "self-talk" stop you… Only work on (and think about) one type of project, not diffuse your energies by trying to go in too many directions.
These suggestions left me in a desolate mood. They were so NOT ME! For they treated not using the creative gift as laziness, fear, or negative self-talk. But they didn’t take into account that one might have actual health problems, or commitments that couldn’t be broken, either of which would forestall long hours devoted to creative pursuits
And I AM an experimenter, not a highly-focused-on-one-thing person. Some of my most satisfying hours are spent thinking about a project in one area, while actually working on an activity in a very different genre. I even admit that I actually enjoy thinking about making art or writing stories, mulling over ideas and images in my head, far more than the actual labor of "carrying them through."
A blog post that came to my inbox, and also an essay in The Curator* about daydreaming and listening times being a valid part of the creative process -- restored my good spirits. So I made a choice to ignore what I perceived as threats (from the book’s “how-to’s”). Rather than pine over complicated projects that I didn’t have time and energy for, I celebrated the capability to sketch some quicky doodles with colored marking pens. Fine art, it wasn’t. But it satisfied my urge to create. The activity also gave me back my self-respect and restored my peace with God. Thank you, Lord, for the creative ways you enter our space to redeem us!
This post is shared with L. L. Barkat and Laura Boggess