October 27, 2015

On Writing More

This blog entry was increasingly difficult to write, so bear with me.  Creativity is a potent drink for magical thinking, but it can also be the source of all-encompassing agony.  It makes one person cry, while another buzzes with inspiration, and yet another metaphorically tears out her hair in frustration.  Over the process and its tumultuous fits and starts, the (in)ability to surmount an artistic blockage.  For the difficulty is always this: the process.  By making art, sometimes more of our imperfect inner selves is revealed than we can handle, and as a result, leaves us emotionally and mentally drained (and feeling vulnerable...).  Yet, when we can harness our artistic natures and surmount that creative block, oh, is it crafty magic.  If I could somehow distill creativity and inspiration into a bottle...

Sometimes I forget to draw a line between work and life, between obsessing over the details and just fully living each day.  It is a decision that can be difficult to make.  This is why I write and make jewelry and book page goods: tedium is released, the once-academic in me gets some mental exercise, and new jewelry ideas again surge with productive energy.  Writing tends to center me, while jewelry making is an energetic task.  Basically, I love them for different reasons.  It would be easy to concentrate only on jewelry making (and wedding goods), but I continue writing because it keeps me sane, endlessly inspired, and still.

Stillness is particularly important for those like me with ever-roving minds.  With stillness comes the ability to concentrate fully on the task at hand; this is especially helpful when it comes to writing.  Through personal writing, for instance, deeply held words are dripped onto paper out of my subconscious--I am often left wondering, after jotting them down, where the words had come from.  And with my writing services, a bit of myself is poured into this work, whether it is a well-turned phrase, a particular word choice, or even a stylistic lilt in sentence structure.  Every writer leaves her mark in subtle ways; I can tell when my writing has been modified by others for their own gain--but that is (kind of) not the point being made here.  The point is: by occasionally changing up my shop goals, the energy and mental clarity that is tapped into positively shifts my perspective on both work and life.  As a refreshing result, there is less obsessing over the creative block, and more constructive assessment of the direction of things.  I know that I am not alone in experiencing this.

Also, I know that balance is needed in all aspects of life if we are to function as the complex human beings we are.  After an intensive flurry of jewelry making, I am, humbly, writing more (present tense).  If all goes well, I will share some of that writing here.  Unlike my grad school days, writing more is no longer a chore; I no longer liken writing to the pulling of teeth without anesthesia.

Instead, writing is catharsis: it is the lifeblood of my existence.

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I've also written about the writing process here and here.  

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