Most enjoy art, be it movies, books, paintings. Some have a talent for producing it. Fewer put in the repetition of work to truly be transformed by its production. They don’t perfect their craft.
This is how I stay sane while consistently writing:
- Wear It Like a Loose Garment: The recovered drunks at AA told me about something that St. Francis of Assisi said. “Wear the world like a loose garment.” To be authentic means to be something not exactly consistent. Consistency is a necessity for marketing. I can’t sell myself as a real fluid being. I need to package my writing (my craft) into something sell-able, something dead. The trick is wear to it loosely. I am not my work. It’s probably not even me doing it. When I’m writing, I’m a writer. When I’m earning my paycheck, I’m a healthcare provider. When I’m driving, I’m an asshole. They are just different masks to try on. It’s about having a sense of play in between the deadly seriousness.
- Let the Hands/Fingers do the Talking: I wouldn’t know how to craft a section of my book or even a post in this block if I get my brain overly-employed. My brain wants to fix things, categorize things, package things. To make life understandable and dull. It’s what Freudian psychoanalysts would call the Ego. My art needs to be fluid and ultimately alive. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for scheme, format, education, and techniques. But it should be above else something that allows me to breathe. I can’t do this with the grimness of dogged goal-orientation. I need to loosen up and mess around. See the Writing Prompts to Change Your Perspective post if you’ve thought your way into some kind of stifling box. And finally…
- Work When it Hurts: I should write when I don’t want to. That’s it. There should be some blood, sweat, and tears put into it. It should be painful at times. Even scary. It’s the difference between a charlatan and a real artist. If you feel silly talking about your craft to others, then stop talking about it. Yoga, writing, painting, whatever; if it didn’t require an effort, then there would be nothing to brag about on social media.
So…that’s my mind set for my craft. Try these out if you don’t know what to create next. Just…sit down and show up for yourself. Thanks, and comment below. And for a great writing resource from someone that I am influenced by check out Steven Pressfield’s site!
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