tracy_d74 (tracy_d74) wrote,

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Art & Fear: The River of Ideas is Dry . . .

When things go haywire, your best opening strategy might be to return--very carefully and consciously--to the habits and practices in play at the last time you felt good about your work. --pg 57, Bayles and Orland *

All artist reach a point in their project (often every project) in which the free-flow of ideas comes to a slow or screeching stop. Often times, this change in momentum gives way to such thoughts as: "Oh, this must not be a good idea," or "I used up all my good ideas already," or "Maybe I shouldn't be writing/painting/singing/_____ (fill in the blank) afterall." These thoughts are lies. BIG. LIES.

So what is the truth?

Well, more than likely, at some point you changed a technique, approach, or behavior that was serving you well. For example, I set writerly goals for myself and when I reach them, I have a celebratory cupcake. Some people can only create art at night, while others must create as the day begins. Some people need an outline or sketch. Others must begin with nothing more than an image or idea in their mind's eye. The point, there is something that you and I do that makes creating flow smoothly. Often times learning new rules or techniques or changes in our daily schedule or events in our daily life, throw us off. Add to this, we often don't realize we have a "thing" that is unique and linked to our creative process. I ask you to mentally process what you do before, during and after you create. What helps? What hinders?

If you're feeling stuck, take a moment to put the brakes on the Doomsday-thinking and get back to the basics.   

*Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
Tags: book review, writing

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