Are you too anxious or tired to create?

self-portrait1 160cmx120cm oil pastel on canvas

Before I go to bed, I thought I’d pay homage to an old friend – late night inspiration.


recommended listening whilst reading this blog post.

I’ve recently started reading The Artists Way with a friend. We are only two chapters in, but are already blown away with how the book resonates with us.

Julia Cameron describes a journey that I am all too familiar with. The inevitable road to burn-out. Pushing yourself to find motivation and creativity, and using vices that you’ve (knowingly or unknowingly) become addicted to and rely on to get you to ‘that place.’ Grasping onto it desperately and going full steam ahead when it arises…no matter what the hour of day. For me, it was generally around the 3am mark… and I’ll admit that too often, the night before a project was due.

She describes it in a disturbingly beautiful manner, “Creative in spasms. Creative as an act of will and ego. Creative on behalf of others. Creative, yes, but in spurts, like blood from a severed carotid artery. A decade of writing and all I knew was how to make these headlong dashes and hurl myself, against all odds, at the wall of whatever I was writing…”

This had been boiling up in me for a while.. (well after nearly a decade and a half) of working and living in and out of high-pace, high-stress, short turn-around environments where everyone around me was reactive and after I had experienced (several) burn-outs. I started recognising that there had to be a better way.

The pivotal moment? It wasn’t one exactly, but I would say that it had to be a combination of feeling completely unsatisfied with my own creative outlets and realising that my unsustainable practices were effecting everyone around me… my anxiety and stress from these unsustainable practices were ruining my life. I couldn’t have a cup of coffee with a friend and focus on what they were saying because I was so stressed out about all the work I had to get done.

“What started as a whisper, slowly turned into a scream. Searching for an answer, where the question is unseen. Old friends became old strangers between darkness and the dawn.” 

As they say, it’s always a journey, but it’s one that I couldn’t be more grateful to have begun. Since starting to walk down this road, I’ve started inviting others to find their own path to what I have coined “Creative Sustainability.”

And I thought it was time to start sharing this journey with you.

…Part of creating a place for this creative sustainability, for me at least, includes getting enough sleep. Whilst I can’t deny the important place of late night inspiration in my life, I try to limit the all-nighters and sleep deprivation to a ‘sometimes food’ these days.

ps – whilst looking for images to go with this blog, I discovered the amazing work of Nikos Gyftakis… and now it’s time for bed!

~ Deb Morgan ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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