I received some feedback from a flash fiction piece I submitted a few weeks ago (My first time writing flash fiction), and the feedback was constructive but the things that hit my ego where “I wasn’t drawn in emotionally…It feels murky…the text needs polish.” (ouch)
The creative child wants to run in the other direction and hide, the ego grumbles profanities and I re-read the comments and saw the other comments “I like the idea…there’s imagination here…a talent towards observation.” yes, I understand the story needs work and I’ll work on it later.
This experience also screams “distraction!” and I already knew before I sent it in that it was a rushed story. My ego/old behaviors didn’t want to work on my manuscript anymore and took a time out when I know that I need to focus on the project at hand.
Being a creative person, being an artist takes commitment and a little courage. My process is learning to sit my butt down and write and that takes courage. Julia Cameron, from The Vein of Gold on Courage:
Courage is necessary to creativity, but no as necessary as most of us think. Too often, we confuse courage with comfort. We want to wait until something feels comfortable before we try it. There is a certain touching childishness about this notion. It has lingering overtones of Jack and Beanstalk, Aladdin, and even Merlin.
It goes like this: “One day, magically, we will feel safe and protected and powerful. When we do, then we will let ourselves begin the novel, the patio lessons, the acting class…”
But what if we never feel that safe? Then we will end our lives sorry – sorry we didn’t muster the courage to write that novel, good bad, or indifferent. Sorry, too, we skipped the risks of an improve comedy class, the joy of watercolors, however botched, the rite of playing “Chopsticks” on the piano.
Whenever we raise the question of reviews, whenever we ask ourselves to consider the odds, we are indulging in emotional terrorism. Be certain of one thing; the odds of selling an original screenplay are a lot higher if you’ve written on. The odds of being a good sculptor (actor, comic, painter) are a lot higher if you let yourself be one at all. In other words, the only courage you really need is the courage to being.
I’ve been working through my creativity process for most of my life. There are moments (that seem like days or months) that nothing bothers me. I’ll write and write and write some more. Then in a flash I’m taking two steps back, where I don’t write or work on my craft for a few days here and there and those are the moments I find myself feeling depressed. I know I feel like myself when I write, when I’m working on my craft and that’s where I want to be.
When we beat ourselves up for lacking courage, we should actually commend ourselves for having imagination. – Julia Cameron.
It’s amazing the things I am aware of and still the ego tries to take an inch when it can. I am truly grateful to be aware. Now, I’ll keep on working on my manuscript and then later on in the day I might work on something different to maintain the balance of my creativity.
Until next time, keep on typing…