Oh, such a day trying to deconstruct my weirdness.
I finally got it whittled down to: "I am avoiding something that scares me, even though it's not that big a deal."
It took me even more time before I took action and called the person I needed to talk to and requested the assistance I had been avoiding asking for.
Then I felt much better.
Then all of a sudden I could begin.
I started writing out a new scene outline for my revised novel. It's changed so much, I don't really just want to sit down and start writing without being clear on story and all the things I want to get to in the first few scenes.
I sketched out an idea for a new banner. I've had a Springtime banner up there since, well, the Spring. And what I have up there now? Well, that's no good, so I decided I would try to draw something. That's not true. I decided I would draw something since I didn't paint a picture yesterday, and when I had started, I thought, well, hey, why not just make that a banner, since it was on my mind anyway.
Here's the sketch.
I think it's a good idea, even if the photo isn't that good, because I want to keep it just the way it is. And I've discovered that if I want to keep something for my own, then it's good. I will probably turn it into a painting, but I still like the sketchy quality. Maybe I will incorporate the sketch into an underpainting and use sheer glazes and some opaque scumbling. I've been experimenting with that technique with the portraits, so I wonder what it would do to Flying Girl.
Here's what I have learned about my process in the last couple of days (and 38 years).
1. If I am scared of something and avoiding it, I freeze up everywhere else. Except I might be able to make a log or calendar or graph. Because I do stuff like that.
2. Once I take steps on the scary thing, I get some light and air into my brain and I can move forward.
3. If I don't know where to start, lists often help get me going. Lists where I figure out what I have to do. Lists where I write about important themes. Lists where I remember my blessings. Lists of things to tackle. Lists of things I've already done.
4. An outline helps me get my head back into work that I have not done in a while. The novel was far away, but when I started writing about what I wanted in the first chapter, so many other things came rushing back. A character sheet or place map or plot chart might do the same thing.
5. Sometimes I can't get my creative work done at night when I have scheduled it. That is okay. I can often still find a few moments the next day where I can keep the creative juices flowing. And even if it's not technically the same day, it still fits with my plan because I am flexible enough to allow room for my process and the reality of my day as a busy woman with no childcare and limited energy.
6. An awful lot of other people are going through something similar. I think it's part of the process of beginning. And that makes me feel like everything is going to be okay and I am not some sort of creative deficient who JUST CAN'T DO IT. Don't laugh. Everyone feels that way, even people who have been creating non stop for four months. And what that says is that even if you haven't created in four YEARS, you still aren't deficient and it IS normal to feel that way and everyone struggles through those feelings. So you can to do it, and so can I and it's going to be a great year even if, maybe because, we still struggle.
7. Oh yeah, and sometimes something you put on the back burner is actually bubbling away, not being ignored, and getting ready to be really tasty, if you just wait for the right time to stir it up again.