Here I am. Back from my hiatus. Having no idea what to write about. I was hoping to come back refreshed and inspired. And it’s hard to feel my mind as blank as ever, I must admit.
But then, I’m reminded of that simple truth : writing nourishes writing. Of course I don’t know what to write about, I haven’t written anything in almost a week after weeks of daily work.
However, by sitting down this afternoon to write a few posts to honor my new commitment to Instagram, it was hard at first, but also very pleasing to come back to the practice.
So I’m trying to trust that the practice will serve me. I’m sitting down, I’m writing. The rest is my muse’s job.
Please allow me a little aside to cuddle her :
Hi Denise! Good to see you my Dear, I missed your words. But it sure was lovely to paint with you during my holidays. Thank you for those delicious moments.
Yes, I’m actually talking to her, and gave her a name. Well, she told me a few years ago.
I believe being a writer is a very scary endeavour, that we made even scarier by deciding around the Renaissance that some of us were geniuses at it, and others weren’t. And that it’s utter bullshit.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s muse was definitely very inspired when they helped her came up with her wonderful TED talk. I love that talk from the bottom of my heart.
I’m listening to it right now, choosing to let her words infuse in me, even if they disrupt and slow down my process, because they also make it so much yummier.
They give that moment a taste of summer evening. Just warm and breezy enough, invoking the memories of my salty hair and the smell of my sun kissed skin, looking at a sunset.
She explains so well how Ancient Greek and Roman societies were cultivating the much more loving idea that we all have a genius instead. A magical divine entity, not necessarily that smart or perfect (they have flaws too), whispering in our ears what to create.
What a remarkable idea, so rich in creativity.
Brilliance is then not only ours, has nothing to do with our humanity. Keeping us humble.
Failure isn’t ours only either, has nothing to do with how good of an artist. Keeping us confident.
We are only little humans after all. Poor fragile souls.
We need to protect ourselves when doing such intimate work.
I know it doesn’t make sense to a very rational brain, clinging to reason and scientific evidence that something like a divine entity could even exist.
And yet, like Elizabeth is asking us : why not?
Why would it make more sense that the belief that some of us are blessed with being geniuses, even if that genial characteristic isn’t that predictable and consistent?
A work psychologist I loved having as a teacher at University, told us that we could assess a job on how personal it was.
Basically, working at a chain factory would be something like 1% personal, depending on the human doing it, while being an artist would be more 99% personal, deeply intimate.
He then added that depending on how personal the job actually is, we can predict how much fear and suffering can be involved in the process. This is hard work, with a potential big emotional toll.
We need to make that work bearable to allow creativity to be sustainable. Creativity flourishes in making the unavoidable fear as little invasive as possible. We need to protect our inner artist.
Take the feeling that this work is so personal that it is a literal piece of us, thrown into the arena, to the entranced and harsh public ready to devour us.
And be assured : any belief authorizing us to take a few steps away from such pressure is deeply protective, and very much needed.
So I say, like I always do about spirituality in a deeply intimate and personal way : who the heck cares if it’s true when it hurts no-one and bring so much more ease and joy to our lives?
Believing that absolutely made my creative process possible. So I’m ready to defend it fiercely.
Before its incursion into my life, I was daunted by perfectionism. Crippled by the fear of doing it wrong, I wasn’t creating at all, and it was soul deadening.
Now, I’m actually considered as someone highly creative, including by myself.
I don’t need to consider myself as a genius for this, terrified by what would happen if I (or others!) realized how deeply wrong or mistaken I was, I just need to remind myself that it doesn’t matter, I’m not in charge of the quality of what I produce, as long as I work hard. Denise is.
From the bottom of my heart, I know that would be my dream for me and anyone feeling attracted by creative and artistic realms.
To feel free to create to their heart’s content, liberated from the fear of having to deliver any kind of results.
What would happen then? What would you create with all this magnificent power and an imperfect though trusty advisor whispering on your shoulder what to do?
That, to me, is infinitely more powerful and interesting to wonder about than “Are your a genius?”.