Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just Another Thursday

We-Tired and Writing
Author Blog - Cheryl Thomas

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - First Posting

No clock to punch, no meals for five to fix, no house to clean, no husband shadowing my every move, so what's keeping me from the writing life I'd planned to claim as soon as I retired?

 It's six years into retirement, and while I've uploaded two novels to Amazon.com (find them at amazon.com/author/cherylthomas), I have written only one of them during this time. The other one I wrote while holding a full-time job and raising three great kids (Michael, Kimberly, and Stacie) as a single mom. 

The children are adults now with children of their own, and my husband has a rich professional life as a semi-retired antique motorcycle restoration wizard  (Arizona British Bikes - azbritbikes.com).  So, why am I not enthusiastically throwing myself into my longed-for second career as a novelist?

Over the years, I've honed my skills, studied the craft of writing, taken some classes and produced two contemporary novels. Now, I'm working on Novel #3, but not consistently enough to finish it in a reasonable length of time. In fact, it's been two years since Arrowstar hit the e-market, and I'm only a few chapters into the next in the series. I keep asking myself, "What's the big problem keeping me from employing my talent faithfully every day?"

I'm not the only one struggling with this question. I've got an artist friend, and we've talked about this phenomenon at length over coffee and long lunches. We both think fear might be a major factor keeping us from pursuing our life's passion for the creative. There's something very intimidating about a blank page or canvass to fill.  It's dangerous baring the creative soul for all to see.

Respond to my query and let me know if you've struggled in this way and what you think might be the root of the avoidance practices going on among the creative. What is it you think we're afraid of? Do you have a trick you use when you find yourself wrapped up in a similar malaise? 

I'll be sitting in front of a blank screen on the edge of my comfy chair on wheels awaiting both your wisdom and your woes. Or then again, I might be gardening, vacationing, writing blurbs for the church gift shop, helping plan the women's retreat, sewing on a button, shortening some slacks, baking, fixing a snack, reading someone else's book or a thousand other things that keep me out of that comfy chair.

Thank you sincerely for reading novels, blogs, tweets or whatever you might choose to read - I'm so not kidding - Support your favorite struggling artist.

Inspiration: "Take a chance; amaze yourself! " 

Cheryl




2 comments:

Suzanne said...

What am I afraid of? Not being able to live up to my own dreams, desires, goals. In other words, fear of failure. Also, it is said that artists express what is inside of them. I actually wonder if I really know who I am and what is it that I want to express.

With each new blank page or canvas, I hope it to be at least as good technically as my past successes while, at the same time, not expecting it to be better.

Often, when in the early stages of a painting, my work looks so ugly that I struggle not to throw it in the trash. (Sometimes I do.) If I find the courage to keep working at it, eventually I realize that there is possibility in the painting and actually look forward to spending time at the easel.

I'm beginning to realize that the computer is my enemy. It's so tempting to spend lots of time looking at other artists' work. Valuable creative moments are wasted while comparing my work to theirs. In my eyes, mine always comes up short.

I have a long way to go to feel like I've arrived, but there is something deep inside that drives me on. I can't let go of my paints, brushes, pastels, and the vast array of colors begging me to create!

Cheryl Del Monte said...

I'm so in agreement with everything you've expressed in your comment, Suzanne. Yes, fear of not measuring up blocks my creative self as does comparing my work with a novelist I admire. I've learned these kinds of lessons over and over again, but banishing those fears is something I've yet to accomplish.

I know that I've got to learn to forge ahead and let the words fall where they may just to get the "bones" down so I can return to it and get down to the creative stuff. When I wrote the introduction to my husband's book, I thought it was terrible. Then, a few days later, I went back to it and saw great possibility. I reworked it and the finished piece was very satisfying.

Your point about not being afraid to throw something out that doesn't satisfy is necessary at times just as sticking with a less than perfect piece might bring something to life you hadn't imagined. It's the wisdom to choose, isn't it?

Maybe the topic for today's blog should be "Just Where Does the Creative Muse Originate?"