It’s the kind of fall day that brings a certain weight to your body. The sun shines high warming my face while a cool breeze gently reminds me of what is coming in a few short months. I close my eyes to the blue sky and I sink into complete relaxation. Crickets chip in the background giving off that white noise that lulls me into sleep. I should be painting, drawing, writing………..take your pick to the should bes. But as you can see I am not. Now, I realize that there is a time during the week where I truly believe that a person should listen to their bodies and give into these impulses to do nothing but I’m finding the more I do the harder it is to get started again.
What Do Feelings Have To Do With It Anyways?
As everyone, I am sure, has the same thoughts that bombard them through out the day. I’m too tired. It’s too rainy. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s nice out. I just don’t want to. I can literally go through a thousand of these little invading thoughts in nanoseconds that stop me from what I want to do by convincing me that it’s not what I “really”want to be doing. With kittens, pianos, and dishes I can keep very busy avoiding what it is I should be doing. Finally I’ve reached a point where the struggle is too much and inspiration is not strong enough to carry me through these short term blocks of creativity. I have found that motivation is a conscious decision where as inspiration comes and goes like fleeting sunlight in a New York November sky!
Motivation Over Inspiration
Inspiration is too fleeting, like a flirtation rather than a relationship, that is often one sided and leaves a person disappointed. It is intense but fizzles out quickly like a firecracker rather than the warm emblems in your fireplace. It often takes an eternity for it to arrive and I’m left to wait with nothing getting done. Instead, I’ve committed myself to rely and remind myself of my personal motivation behind art making. So, when the feeling of avoidance arises, I quickly take my pencil or apple pencil and get to work scribbling and doodling! Creativity is a flow that depends on me cracking open.
As Nike Says…..Just Do It
I’m taking their advice. No more arguing. No more self deprecation, no more criticism, no more excuses. Of course I’m referring to art making. Exercising will need more motivation than slogans and shoes! But my passion has always been the visual arts rather than physical fitness. However, I believe there is an incredible truth to what they say. Letting go of all the emotional baggage that weights me down releases me to the flow of creativity that is my life blood. My Herculean effort could be no more than a ball point pen on lined notebook paper but it’s enough to start that flame again. Once ignited, watch how the ideas bubble up! Apples become things of beauty, cats are graceful mysteries, light is heaven on earth and the trees dance to music they can only hear. The ordinary become miracles and the act of art making is so much more than making pretty pictures but becomes an act of devotion and prayer. Motivation is depth rather than surfaces.
What Is Your Motivation?
Whatever place you find yourself in….this is always a good question to ask yourself when you feel stuck or defeated.