How to Write, Make Art, And Live Life Your Way. (Without Getting Killed)
I painted this a few years ago. It hangs in our kitchen and it’s still one of my favourites. Yes I’m dreaming of painting again, it can only mean one thing. That this is a writing day, or more specifically an editing day. How did I live before I found these things? I don’t know.
I started writing with the blog in 2012 before moving on to the novel. Did I know how to write a novel? Of course not, where would one learn that? At school? Lol! I learned how to write a novel by writing one. Being a reader helped too.
Next I started painting with a month long daily art challenge. I knew nothing about materials, I’d never had a class, we don’t even have art in school here. But it was something I’d always wanted to do. Writing THE END on the first draft of my novel gave me the courage to start.
I went from years of buying art supplies and never using them to painting every day for a whole month, and sharing my efforts on a public fb page. Is that part important? YES!
When it comes to artistic pursuits, ego is a big problem for adults. Fear of being judged, being vulnerable, being seen, of failure. And it’s bred into us until we can’t breathe on our own. Obvs I know naught of these things. Because I’m a rebel you know.
Here’s some of what I learned…
To blast the ego do the things you want to do that really scare you. Let yourself feel those uncomfortable feelings. That’s the price of living a full interesting life. As Kierkegaard said…
‘Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.’
One day you won’t feel that anymore, well you might, it just won’t stop you. Because action is the only thing that kills this kind of fear, and the more you do anything the easier it gets. Until you go on to the next thing.
Until even the fear is a thrill.
Believe me, once you find out what you’re really capable of… it will take a lot more than fear to stop you.
Stay focused on YOUR path, on what you want to do, for you. And do the work. Don’t talk about doing it, or your fears of doing it, just do it. Be so busy doing your thing that the DOING becomes the answer.
You’re scared, ok my love, it’s normal, but you’re doing it, so feel good.
You don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re doing it. Go you!
What if it’s no good? One way to find out, but it you love it, do it anyway. Remember what Debussy said, ‘There is no theory, pleasure is the law.’
What will people think? They’ll be indifferent, cool, interested, supportive, curious, neutral, scared, or jealous. Some of them will want to kill you. Regardless, 100 years from now, all new people. So better get to it.
It’s very important that you decide to do this thing, whatever it is, for you. If you need validation, understanding, and sometimes even a basic acknowledgement, from anyone other than you, you’re in trouble. You won’t get it, so needing it? No.
I mean we would all like that, of course we would, and I hope you have someone in your life who will be there for you, but you will defo have plenty that aren’t. They will pretend they don’t see what you’re doing. Oh they see you alright. It’s their way of trying to make little of you. Put you ‘in your place.’ Such a sad little pastime.
It’s not a nice feeling I know, especially when it’s coming from people close to you. If you’ve never stepped out of ‘your place’ before, you might not be familiar with this yet so, brace yourself. And the best thing you can do, is do more work.
You have to want to do the thing, more than you want validation, or anything else, from anywhere else. You’ll be crippled otherwise. It will show in the work.
If you really want to write, to make art, to live your life your way, if that’s the kind of person you know you are, then you have to do it. And you already have everything you need to do it. You don’t need education, training, support, permission, money. You don’t need anything but you and one moment of courage. Take one step, then another. Write one sentence, then another. Start today. xo Jane
“I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them.” – Picasso
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