Flailing About In The Unknown: The Creative Process In Process
I am nearly a month after declaring I am creating a career for myself as a writer and a speaker. As you may have anticipated (I did, although I was in denial and hoping I could somehow avoid this part), I find myself in the “I don’t know what the hell I am doing stage” of starting something creative and new.
And since I believe in being honest, and that it is okay to be human and messy and not have it all figured out, I’m writing to you as I’m flailing about.
I really do believe in this radical humanness (I’ll call it that for now). Allowing ourselves to be all of who we are – the hurtful and the loving, the ugly and the beautiful – is part of my life philosophy. I believe that if we give ourselves permission to be all of it, that is when the voice of our soul - our intuition, who we really are - can be heard. It is this voice that knows the way forward to a more beautiful life and a more beautiful world.
I believe these things with all of my heart. I believe in them so much I have devoted my life to living this philosophy and sharing it with the world. Sometimes I believe in it so much it hurts.
It hurts because I feel the pain of us hiding both our brilliance and our weaknesses. I see how exhausted we are from running so fast towards some perfected future than never arrives. And I see this hiding and striving result in violence and destruction in the world. And it hurts even more because I don’t know how to make a difference except to try my best to live more honestly and to be more present myself, and to hopefully inspire others to do the same.
Sometimes I can feel the bliss of living this more honest, present way. And sometimes I just want to punch myself in the face for having a philosophy that is so challenging to live.
Sometimes I just want to be ten steps ahead. Sometimes I feel so strongly the urgency of “getting there” that it is challenging to even think about anything else. I want to know things I don’t yet know. I want to know what to say and where to go to share my work. I want to know who will listen and how I can make the biggest difference. And I want to take all of the action I possibly can.
Sometimes when this passionate drive kicks in I let it take over and channel it into my work. And sometimes I force myself to set it to the side so I don’t lose my grounding and forget to take care of myself and be present in my life. Because that will serve no one, least of which my philosophy or myself.
So there you have it. What comes after taking the second step onto the high wire is the frustration of knowing that if I start running I will surely fall. And so, instead, I am inching, and wobbling, and flailing about.
Don’t get me wrong – I am (of course) doing all kinds of things. I have set up an official book launch party, poetry has been flowing out of me effortlessly, and I powerwalked home Friday evening in a frenzy of passion and wrote late into the night and most of the next day. I’m speaking out. I’m being seen. And I ate half a pizza, drank half a bottle of wine and cried for an hour before writing this post.
Being fully human. That’s how I make my art. I guess I should have anticipated that too.