Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sarah's Attempt to Court Herself- Harder Than it Seems

{photo found here}

I am creatively blocked.  This fact has been quite clear to me for some time now- years, in fact.  To try to combat said "blockage" I started up a program called The Artists Way- a 12 week, in depth program full of readings and exercises meant to kick your inner critic to the curb and get you back to the creative genius you were when you were five.  I never finished the program- finishing things is obviously not my forte.  Despite that, I did take away a few key principles.  One of those was the concept of an artist's date.

An artist's date consists of taking yourself out on, well, a date.  It can be anything.  There are no rules- no way you can do it wrong.  And that's important.  It's about allowing yourself to be free with yourself and enjoying the wonderful company that lives upstairs.

Artists dates intrigue me.  First of all, any excuse I can find to hang out with myself, one on one, sounds fantastic.  Second of all, despite the fact that I love alone time, artist's dates are super difficult for me to commit to.  Whenever I plan them there is always always something more important that needs to be done.  And I am not one of those people that puts off time alone.  Put the "artist date" label on it though, and there are a million things to be done that are far more important.  The irony baffles me.

I have my theories as to why this is.  The most formidable one being that the moment I deem "alone time" an artist's date, it becomes connected with my writing.  And in an effort of full disclosure, I suppose I should tell you that I simply don't write any more (this blog excepted).  Somewhere along the line I've convinced myself it's safer to just not try, that not humiliating myself is better than actually acting on my passion.  So I play the part- read constantly, wear dark rimmed glasses, and type away on my mac in coffee shops.  But I can't remember the last time I actually created something worth mentioning, or at least saving to my desktop.

So, if my hypothesis is correct, this tension with artist's dates and this fear of writing are connected.  Somewhere along the line, my synapses started to figure out that if I actually start taking responsibility for my creativity and writing process, I might actually have to start writing again; that will inevitably lead to the perpetual and viscous cycle of self loathing and insecurities.  Being right brained isn't all it's cracked up to be, no?

I did go on an artist's date this week, though.  I checked out a small used bookstore on Broadway called The Book Keep that I've been eyeing for some time.  I came out with three books, one of which is the complete anthology of Emily Dickinson poems.  One of the peices I started writing last year heavily involves Emily Dickinson, so I suppose I'm off to a solid start- ready to research and maybe even write again.

Baby steps.

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