I'm a sensitive soul with particular needs; even more so when I need to create, when I want to create. In fact, when I'm feeling like the world is just too noisy (maybe my mind is also just too noisy?)I struggle to fight the fears I am sensitive to.
I am not able to churn out thousands of words in one sitting, perhaps the coffee shop isn't right, the background noise is just slightly that pitch higher than what I can ignore. Maybe I didn't wake up in the right way, the morning didn't go exactly how I wanted it to and now I'm drained of brain juice. Or maybe I can't seem to sit anywhere comfortably, the chair doesn't welcome me warmly enough, the table isn't wide enough/the right height, I'm not looking at anything inspiring or remotely mind-expanding. Perhaps I'm just not that good enough, perhaps there's just too much wrong with me to get over it all - get over myself - and just write.
And so enters the greatest block to getting anything done: self-doubt, Fear's first born child. What then makes me feel better? How do I start to create in spite of everything that I'm feeling?
I find some very wise artists and public figures to give me a good old pep talk.
Author of "Big Magic", Elizabeth Gilbert, is probably leading the way here. She speaks of creativity, of inspiration - of genius even - as separate entities with whom we must work with; these are not things that we have. We must show up and inspiration must show up, everything plays its part. Fear must then be told that it needs to pull back its over-bearing hands and step aside. I do realise that I'm not always showing up because of the above reasons (excuses). I fear that I cannot get the work out in the way I want to and so therefore, it'll be rubbish. But why am I so harsh on myself? Why can I not just get down whatever wants to come out and then shape it later? Inspiration will show up more and more as it sees that I am offering my commitment each time I sit to write.
And on those days when really nothing is happening, when sensitivity becomes sadness, I watch a load of Marie Farleo videos or listen to podcasts on spiritual growth (a particular favourite being "Tarot for the Wild Soul" by a woman I admire very much, Lindsay Mack), which are just as equally nourishing. They to teach me how to be kind to myself, how to forgive myself, and how to deal with these blocks better next time.
So as I prepare to edit the novel, sketch out those personal essays, journal in the diary, work on some poetry and begin the next book, I'm listening to the important words of powerful women, to remind myself that I can do what they do.