You can struggle against your natural desire to do creative work but beware! To do so is to endanger your very soul. If you struggle, you will eventually tire and sink beneath the surface like a drowning man, too exhausted to do the work which feeds your soul.
Resistance takes so much energy! If you find yourself too exhausted to even think of beginning a project, it may be because you're giving all of your creative energy to a job or a relationship that doesn't feed your soul, or support your work.
But all too often, the problem begins at home. It is important to identify the ways in which we resist our impulse to create, so we can free ourselves of these obstacles to inspiration. Do you spend too much time at work to feel creative at home? Are you procrastinating, or letting other tasks like laundry take precedence over your creative soul-work? This means you're fighting pretty hard against your Inner Artist.
Maybe you're afraid of what monsters will be borne on the canvas, if you dare to begin painting but any monster you create is one you can vanquish, understand, and ultimately learn from. Face the monster. Dare to live the life you were meant to live. Only when you surrender, and let inspiration lift you up, can you float with ease in your natural element happy and free, living the life of your dreams.
Close your eyes and imagine an empty swimming pool. Each word you learn, each fresh burst of inspiration, each idea, is a drop of water. Slowly, slowly, fill the pool with your words, let them flow from you in a glistening blue fount of inspiration.
It's a hot, sunny day perfect for a swim. When the pool is full, step down into the shallow end. The water is cool and delicious against your skin. Wade in, towards the deep end, until the water reaches your chest. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, lean back and kick your feet up to the surface. As you inhale again, surrender to the embrace of the water, let your breath lift you up, let your words lift you on a wave of inspiration and delight. Float along on verbs and nouns, adverbs and exclamation points!
As you float, let the words sing to you. Let them etch a song into your soul. When you feel ready to return to dry land, open your eyes and begin to write. This will ground you again, so the end product is unimportant. Just write down whatever comes to mind, even if it makes no sense. The point is to let your mind wander, backstroking amongst cool blue pronouns and past participles, sun-spangled verbs, juicy adjectives and question-mark seahorses. Just write until your hand gets stiff and sore, and then stop.
©2011 Molly Anderson-Childers and Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.
Save these random scribblings, though you'll be tempted to throw them away. Don't read your work for at least a week. When you look at it again, try to see it with a fresh eye. Read it as though the words were written by a stranger. Highlight or underline any lines that resonate with you, even if you don't understand them. Fragments of images and interesting phrases can be copied, cut out, and mounted on another page in your journal to create a poem, song, or story.
You can also tear them into interesting shapes and create a collage with the pieces, or cut the pages into jigsaw puzzle shapes and send it to a friend in the mail. You can also cut out the individual words and dump them all into an empty goldfish bowl. Make a miniature word-pool, complete with a few pretty stones or marbles on the bottom. Fill it with your favorite words, quotes, and random bits of overheard conversation. Keep this word-pool on your desk for a quick dose of inspiration. Use it any time you have need of a creative kick-start.