I came across Julia Cameron’s book in my late teens/early 20s. Back then I was an aspiring musical theatre actress. I did acting classes, auditioned for Opera Australia and even did some dance classes. Over the last few months I’ve been feeling really uninspired. I know that some of that comes from being genuinely unwell, but I know that part of it comes from just feeling a real disconnect with myself.
If someone asked me if I thought I was a creative person, I would say, yes, yes I am a creative person. Not the MOST creative, but certainly creative. In my last two years at school, I chased my artistic dreams – I sang, painted, sketched and read and wrote. For a while, that was ok, until I found myself craving mental stimulation – which is why I chose to chase a science degree.
After that, my creativity took a back seat. I sang, but not as much as before, and not seriously – just karaoke – even though I am a classically trained opera singer who completed grade 5 with the AMEB.
I’ve dabbled in some creative writing, tried my hand a ikebana, origami, video editing, I’ve played with Lego, started bullet journals and sometimes have a play with doing my own makeup.
Over the last year I’ve been ignoring my creative impulses. ‘It doesn’t pay the bills, so its a waste of time’ I would tell myself ‘You’re not even that talented – you’re just average – and you’re spread too thin, people who are really creative and good at what they do only have one focus and you have way too many interests – no one is interested in what you can do if someone else can do it better.’
BOOM – I just did one of the exercises from Week 1 – which was to identify what my limiting thoughts are – and now I have to do the affirmation thing.
I have a good life, and I am very lucky that I have so much time to myself. Over the last week, I watched the ‘Good Place’ again and again and again, and as I did I wondered – why? why am I watching this again and again, what am I trying to tell myself. I decided to listen to the ‘making of’ podcasts – it was just filled with the comments of the writers and the actors talking about their creative process and it jogged something inside me. Finally I understood what I’ve been trying to communicate to myself.
I want to be more creative. I want to explore my talents outside of work – and I have a lot of them – I’m not super fantastic at any of them, but I am capable, artistic and creative and I want to share it.
Being creative is important. When I am at my most creative, I am at my most generous and empathetic. When I am creative I can give more of myself to others. I am creative for me and I while I share my talents with others the reason I share it is to document my journey.
So I picked up Cameron’s book again today and I decided I’m going to begin by writing my morning pages and taking myself on an artist date and doing one of the exercises of the week. I think perhaps the morning pages and the artist date once a week are going to be the things I’m going to commit to for now. Today’s morning pages are complete and I also managed to complete my artist date as well, which was a couple of hours writing the lyrics to “Rewrite the Stars” – that song has been in my head for ages now and I’m just obsessed with it . I want to see if I can record it and put it on my Instagram. That would be kind of cool.