It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
This week I had one of those silly setbacks (of my own making) that had me adrift for a day or two. It wasn’t anything really.
Just the sad feeling that I wasn’t getting a big project done that I’d promised myself I would complete by the end of June. I kept procrastinating. Everyday I found a half dozen excuses not to spend time working on it. I started two other projects rather than finish the one I’d already committed to finishing. I was mad at myself, impatient, and cranky.
Finally, I decided to share my frustration with my wonderful Creative Playmates circle. And guess what? I discovered it’s a problem most other creatives share.
We get excited about a new art technique, a fancy new art supply, the inspiration of a recent art journaling YouTube video. We have a deadline for completing a special birthday card or creating a little project for the grandkids. We have three big canvases half started, an altered book in progress, a collage just waiting for that last, perfect piece. And we beat ourselves up about it, mad at our lack of ambition, sad at our inability to follow through–which, of course, doesn’t help at all!
Sometimes I try to trick myself into creativity. If my art space is messy, I spend some hours clearing and refreshing it. Even if I don’t get anything else done, having a tidy studio feels good!
But sometimes I just can’t quite capture my original enthusiasm for a project by the time I’m ready to start it. And, sometimes, I just plain want to stay in my jammies all day, read a good book, watch an old 50’s black & white movie, or take a nap with my Sweetie instead of working on a project.
What I’ve learned over the last few months is that these periods are just the normal ebb and flow of the creative process. We all need respite, little mini-vacations, moments not scripted by our day planners. We all need to give ourselves permission to nap on these sweltering summer days.
And sometimes doing nothing is just the right thing to do!
Sometimes the work of other artists inspires our own.
So here’s my hot summer advice.
Go with the flow…step into it…let it carry you where it will! Enjoy the journey!
P.S. Thanks to Flora Bowley for various pictures and much inspiration in my life!
I did get the project done–
NOT as I’d originally visioned it, NOT when I thought I’d have it done, NOT quite as elaborate as I’d planned—
but BETTER somehow for the long gestation period (and, I like to think, the naps and the chocolate cake didn’t hurt either!)
Love to you from Kaitlin, Mistress of Merriment
In the flow!
© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows 2015. All Rights Reserved.