A guest post by Stephey Baker.
How do you know when you’re procrastinating completing a project (or reaching a goal) verses when you need to indulge a creative time out by creating nothing but rest from the creative process all together?
The answer to this question eluded me during my early years as an artist. During that time, I often felt victimized by creative blackmail the Muse employed frequently.
Her threat was to leave me suffering creative constipation from artist’s block. I lived in fear of this threat, which often drove me to exhaustion by over working myself.
I can remember feeling a sense of urgency to drop what I was doing in order to fulfill the presented idea. If I didn’t take immediate action, the inspiration would be lost forever because I didn’t catch it or seize the urgent moment. I use to lovingly refer to myself as being the muse’s bitch during that time.
It was a time of creative enslavement.
Freedom came only after the realization I hated feeling held hostage creatively to, well, my creative process. This is when everything turned around. I began to create differently.
I created a new creative process, one that allowed rest and supported engaging other aspects of life – off the blank page.
Is your creative process currently working for you? Are you satisfied with your creations on and off the page? If so, what is working? If not, what needs refinement? What could you change? How could you create differently while bringing your vision to completion?
As an artist, if an idea isn’t working in paint or photography I simply rework it until, well, it WORKS. Often times the finished piece is better than originally envisioned. Have you experienced this within your creations?
Most people don’t finish what they start.
Do you give up on your ideas before realized or do you stay with them, going the distance until realization is yours? I stay with it. I’m devoted to bringing ideas to fruition until the concept is complete. Sometimes this means choosing to ditch the project all together and starting from scratch or deciding to move onto a different project all together. As Kenny Rodgers says, “You got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to walk away.”
As the creator I have control over the when it is complete and the how (the process) it is completed (so do you). The process is no different in creating the LIFE you truly desire.
If something in your life isn’t working and you find yourself wanting more time or sleep then rework your choices. Take a creative time out.
Create your masterpiece called life INCLUDING the process in which to create it.
I began saying no to late night art binges and yes to sleep. I began saying no to anxiety and the fear that I must create it NOW or ELSE and yes to trust. I began to trust that the fields of inspiration are real and as an artist, I know where they are (you know where they are too) and how to reap the fruits of their visions.
I realized I served creativity better when creating creative time outs.
Are you feeling frustrated with your creations? Your LIFE? Do you feel held hostage creatively to your creative process? If so, remember, as an artist who is busy creating a LIFE, you can choose to rework your choices until your LIFE is working for you. Remind your self that often times the finished piece isn’t what you originally envisioned – it’s so much more!
Take a creative time out and embrace the life you never planned on.
Stephey Baker is a witty transcendentalist artist and writer. Her Muse tutored her to employ art and the creative process not only to craft conceptual works of art, graphic design, and photography, but to navigate the highs and lows of life. This use of art and creativity as life process led her to pursue a degree in spiritual counseling. Stephey teaches the art of creative living. She offers inspirational, one-on-one and group, support to create the life one desires.