Thursday, March 24, 2011

creative struggles

i have been having big problems recently with motivation and doing much course work [or blog posts for that matter]. i'm exhausted after work so i just do the necessities (washing, tidying etc) and then i'm ready to lie on the couch and watch tv. emotionally it's becoming quite hard. the last 12 months were filled with all sorts of event; as many good as bad.

anyway, i keep thinking to myself "the more i worry about being behind in my work, the more behind i'm going to fall behind". makes sense logically. but the part i find difficult is doing anything about it. i don't know what it is but setting up, coming up with an idea of what to do, tidying the area from the last time i used it is what puts me off. laziness? probably.
once i have got past this stage 7 times out of 10 i am fine and have ideas flowing. but the times that i don't just reinforce the negative thoughts i already had floating around... "your art is no good" or "why are you bothering? its no use, you have no imagination" or "you will never be as good as you want to be or be able to do anything like the people writing the blogs you follow". its this irritating, irrational little voice in the back of my head- nagging away. as they say; your hardest critic is yourself.

i suffered from sever clinical depression for a long time when i was younger, and while i like to think i have clawed my way back to the surface, sometimes i begin to sink back into it a bit again. and it feels like im starting to sink now. the reason im telling you this is because i read a blog post the other day about living a creative life and dealing with struggles like depression [here]. it was so interesting to read. i never really thought much about other creative peoples lives. the thing about blogs is that you can filter out all the unpleasant. all of the struggles. and only post about positive events or accomplishments. sometimes i forget that. it was really refreshing to see someone so successful who still struggles with depression; someone doing, in essence, what i want to do!

in an attempt to break myself out of this emotional and creative rut i seem to be falling into (whilst keeping my sanity as intact as possible) i decided to start searching through a book that Jonathan Milne has written for TLC called "Go! the art of change" and came across chapter 3- "Creativity: thinking for a change". I thought to myself; this is what i need! something to try organise my thoughts. the following are a summarised version of the TLC class agreement (a fantastic idea) which rang very true today.
  1. treat yourself with kindness and generosity. if you're getting stale, do something different.
  2. work with commitment and trust, even where things don't make sense or feel uncomfortable. be aware that frustration usually plays a part in good learning
  3. be supportive
  4. if a problem arises, tell someone who can suggest a solution
  5. focus on what works. Ask for what you want. Use your energy constructively.
  6. avoid blame and justification
  7. recognise that if you stay safe, nothing will ever change
  8. work with patience, persistence and playfulness. acknowledge that the only different between success and failure is quitting. difficulties often signal that something useful is brewing.
  9. Participate!! The more you give, the more you will receive
so this has already given me a bit more positivity and i did a sketch of my living room working with scale. i also had a look through some colour theory books my partner has. and i have spent the last hour and a bit writing this post (i stopped and started a lot) so i feel like i have accomplished something today. it may not seem like a lot considering i could have done a lot more, but small steps. i need to take small steps and then start taking two or three small steps.


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