I am a slow starter. Even when I go for a run, I like to walk a few blocks first. And sometimes…a lot of the times I am one of those jerky starters. You know, you start, but then it doesn’t feel right, or you figure out that you were just fooling yourself to think that you were ready. So you stop. You wait, for who knows what, to start again. And then you do hopefully – but not always - start for real. It’s a process.
Putting together website for my drawings was a process. Think. Research and look around. Forget all about it. Think about it. Tell yourself off for being a narcissist, because who do you think you are to assume people would care. Get pumped up by a few Facebook likes bellow your drawing. Think about the website. Put another drawing on FB…and Ouch, not too many likes today! Forget. Open Squarespace. Get intimidated by technology. Dillydally. Attack the inner narcissist again for a good measure. Really sink your teeth into the “it-really-is-so-easy-to-set up-Squarespace”. Cry because it might be easy for some, but what about the technological Luddites out there? Stop crying and ask for help. Put website together. Sit on it for a few weeks because the idea of putting yourself out there is terrifying. Few knock out rounds with the inner fragile narcissist. Aaaaaaaand….finally… drumroll …announcing my website to the world. And by world I mean the relatively very limited Facebook friendship world that I possess. Hey, I am realistic! I know my world isn’t The World.
And now I am going through a similar process with my blog. I gave it a name few weeks ago. I doled out a pat on the back to myself for thinking of the name Dot Dot Dot. Get it? It Starts With a Dot. Dot dot dot. What a clever girl, I am! But now I’ve been going through the stop-starting rollercoaster again and how good is a clever name if the body is absent?
So earlier in the week I requested a pep talk from my friend, Christine, the writer of a great blog, Love Life Surf. And I absolutely chose her because she is lovely and I knew she’d give the freaked out parts of me a hug and a much needed gentle push. The push was: “Just do it! You might go back later and cringe but you’ll get better at it.“
But why do it at all, if it’s such a process? I’ve been thinking about the role of art and creativity in my life a lot lately. I have recently realized that, since it has been such a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, it now feels like an extra organ or a limb. But there have definitely been periods along the way when that limb stopped being functional and felt more like a phantom limb. Just there, but unable to contribute to any movement, to any real feeding of me. The two major paralyzing hiccups that come to mind? The first one being the period of heightened consciousness of anything that came out of me during my art therapy training. The other and more puzzling one came when I became a mom and lost hold of myself as I knew me, exchanging once important parts of me, for new – not always improved and almost always mind boggling – parts. I’ve been slowly but surely climbing out of that latter period, reclaiming my creative limb. I started exercising, using regular sketchbook entries as my PT. There were the vigorous 30-day sketchbook challenges my friend Kristina subjected me to (they hurt but I was glad for them, because, you know, pain, that’s what PT is all about!). Then there were the more marathon-like challenges presented by contributing to a show at the Hudson River Museum, putting up a show at the New York Creative Art Therapists in Williamsburg. And finally came the negotiation with the part of me that is totally freaked out by my inner narcissist and putting together a show in my own house.
Yeah, I am up and running. BUT! But I am terribly aware of how easy it is to stop, to get too preoccupied with other things and slowly lose the function of the creative wings as they atrophy like the wings of flightless cormorant. Man, I am now FULL of creative existential angst! And I’ll be damned if I don’t do anything about it!
So here I/you have it, I want to see this blog as my way of keeping myself in creative check. I want to make sure that I keep exercising this wonderful limb of mine and don’t let it atrophy. Because one thing I learnt from running is, that even if you run slowly or very little, it’s better than stopping all together. The total re-starts are the killer!
Another drumroll please…here goes – Dot Dot Dot is my way to continue to draw, sharing my escapades with my world (not The World…but hey, you never knowJ ) and hopefully getting some feedback.
And I am immensely interested to hear other people's ‘recipes’ for nurturing important parts of self. How do you keep flying? And is it even possible in this crazy busy world of ours? Can we have it all?
And feel free to share this post, so that my world can become at least a little capitalized :)