9/23/10

Uninspired

I've been feeling extremely stuck lately. I tend to play mind games with myself thinking "once the girls are in school things will get better" or "once the summer is over and I'm stuck inside and have to work things will get better" which eventually turns into "once the winter ends and I'm not stuck inside things will get better." It's a continual struggle, the antithesis of Zen. In the moment is not my specialty. And no matter how many self-help books I read or mental exercises I perform the present remains mostly elusive. I have instants of clarity, but when I'm unclear I forget that I ever felt creative or motivated. So for all of my "things will get better" thinking, frankly I have to say right now they're not improving. But yesterday it occurred to me that I have a copy of The Artist's Way lying around, so I went and pulled it off the shelf after not looking at it since we moved to New Jersey. I find it oddly embarrassing to admit to having used it once; I shouldn't knock it--it's a great book and highly beneficial for artistic types, and years ago it kicked me back into gear--but it's also pretty corny, and I always feel like I need to make excuses for cheesiness. Long story short, I'm hoping it will get me back into the swing of things, despite my admittance earlier that self-help is not always helpful.

This afternoon I sat down at the computer around 3:00 and thought "I have loads of time." The next thing I knew it was 5:30 and I'd gotten nothing much done. I picked up Cameron's book and saw this quote: "It is the attention to detail that stays with us: the singular image is what haunts us and becomes art. Even in the midst of pain, this singular image brings delight. The artist who tells you different is lying." And for the first time in a week or so I felt like writing a blog post. Maybe just the act of reading something, anything, about art was enough to motivate me, even if the moment will ultimately be fleeting.

5 comments:

Kate said...

You should join Alec Soth's flickr group and do the treasure hunt. It's fun, it gets you shooting. Let me know if you need a link.

shāna said...

seems like your "higher self" knew just what you needed - you were moved to pull out that book (great one, i might add) i'm learning that acceptance is the doorway to freedom. perhaps free enough to make some art from wherever you are...
kindly from shāna

Elizabeth Fleming said...

Shana, so true! Two days of the book exercises and I'm already seeing all of the junk that's in my head stopping me from working. Acceptance is a word I try to remember and often forget--thanks for reminding me, and for your encouraging comment. (I haven't forgotten I still owe you an email, by the way :)

Kate, would love the link. Sounds like it would be a good way to get my creative juices flowing.

Kate said...

Here's the link: http://www.flickr.com/groups/from-here-to-there/. The deadline for assignment #1 is Monday!

Rob Brodman said...

I have to find my copy. I think of it often but neglect to find it, thanks for the reminder. It sounds like Alec's hunt is like the artist's date.