In many of the posts I’ve been reading the authors reference Julia Cameron, especially her book The Artist's Way. I finally, after all these years, picked it up from the Library. (Yay, Library for having it!) I was reading the first section (The Basic Tools) and found this: As artists we must learn to be self-nourishing.
What does she mean? Self-nourishing?
What she means is I have to feed my artist. I have to take her out, have fun with her, pamper her, listen to her. But I also can’t just let her stay up watching TV and eating honey buns all night. I have to make sure she eats healthy, creative things. I have to make sure she goes to bed at night and learns what she needs to. I have to make her do her homework. She has to have a little bit of discipline along with the wild creative abandon.
How do I do this?
- Exercise: I’m a writer. I write, even when I don’t feel like writing. I write about nonsense and see what comes out. I also use writing prompts and challenges. This goes for any of the arts—if you’re a painter, paint, a sculptor, sculpt.
- Finish: I’m not good about finishing things. So, I hold myself accountable by telling writing my writing buddies, online groups. Also, classes help. And, not getting discouraged. Like anything else, practice makes you more persistent. I did NaNoWriMo in 2014 and told so many people I was going to get the T-Shirt that I had to finish. Now I have something I’m editing. I need to find another incentive to continue this process.
- Ignore others: the naysayers. We know who they are! Those people who say “get a job” or “why would you do that?” or “That’s okay, I guess.” Not feelin’ the love sometimes, but that’s when I have to believe in myself—to find nourishment within myself. What I’m creating is important. –that’s not arrogance, it’s confidence.
- Seek fellow artists: they give me encouragement and constructive criticism. This makes me a better artist.
People need nourishment to grow and thrive. We can’t focus on the outside at the expense of ourselves. If we don’t feed our inner self we won’t be any good for those around us. As artists, that means to create. To take what’s inside and put it out.
How weird is that? In order to Nourish our Inner Artist, we don’t take in. We put things out: pictures, words, paintings, sculptures. Whatever our creative genius wants to share.
Art may be a solo endeavor, but it’s doesn’t have to be a lonely one.
Note: Amanda Palmer and Laurence Fox don’t actually play together, but if they did, it would be interesting.