Two years ago, a fellow yogi and I e-mailed one another daily preparing for a retreat we were both attending. This correspondence continued over a 6-month time period. I saved all the e-mails thinking that I would compile them and put them in book form as a beautiful memory for both of us. This endeavor produced 63 double sided (8.5 x 11) pages. I realized with that exercise that writing a page a day is incredibly doable. So, why have I continued to make excuses for my non-existent writing life?
Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, describes this type of behavior as ‘shadow artists.’ Pent-up creativity flows sideways into other venues such as e-mails, telephone conversations (read Facebook and Twitter!) in an effort to clue the defiant artist that he/she is not living the fullness of his/her life. Whether it hearkens back to being discouraged from exploring art as a child, feeling incompetent or simply viewing the task as a waste of time, the idea of creation for its own sake rather than a manifestation of outcomes takes much courage to walk into.
As I choose to move my own shadow artist into the light, dusting off years of denial, complacency, and just plain laziness, I pray that this decision awakens the thrill of living within the juicy words on the page, finally out of my head with the potential to garner community and conversation.
[Photo credit here.]