I loved Julie’s post today over at Writing Roads about the Phases of the Writer, so please go check it out. ( I have particularly experienced 1, 3, and 5 a lot lately!) It ties in perfectly with my thoughts on cyclical creativity, and the process of writing, and with this post I wanted to write today.
Something that is hard to grasp as a writer (or any creative person) is that there isn’t a destination at which you will finally Arrive and someone will declare you Finished. You don’t “become” an artist in the same way that you can go to school for a set amount of years and become a doctor. You won’t master all the tips and tricks, figure out a great writing routine, and then be on autopilot for the rest of your career. Instead, there will be highs and lows, constant learning, adjusting and readjusting. This process in ongoing, forever and ever amen.
Does that sound like it sucks?
Once you realize, I mean really, really internalize that idea, you are free. You can look at those nights where nothing is coming, or the days when you can’t stop working, and just take them in stride rather than seeing them as a reflection of your worth as at artist. The big lesson here is that having an unproductive day (or week) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be an artist.
This can be really hard for us to believe. Most of us are way better at believing something negative, something that implies we are no good, than something that is redeeming and hopeful.
Have I mastered this idea yet? Certainly not, but I am way more comfortable with it than I was when I started this blog and really started looking at my own creative process. Now when there’s a drought, I’m not completely wrecked for weeks and worried that I am washed up. I just try to find some other ways to get inspired and wait for the rain.