How To Create Without Fear, Express Your Truth.
The internal battle didn’t start until I got the compulsion to write about sex, my disillusionment with my faith, my anger with life, and the realities of being a mother. I suddenly got struck with fear. Can I write what I really want to write? If I am angry and feel like divorcing my husband today does that mean we are getting divorced? If I write about my increased libido am I suddenly some kind of sex freak?
My oldest daughter found herself in a similar situation. She decided to start painting. She started nice and easy. A few animals. Some pretty flowers. A nice water scene. Then she called me. Mom, I am not creating the way I really want. I think there is something else inside of me that wants to come out. Then paint it. But what will people think? Will doing that make me a bad person? No. It will make you an artist. Soon after she started painting interesting women, with curvy bodies, in the nude. She found her stride.
Books Can Set Us Free
Sometimes you get those special books where the author teaches you some amazing concepts and in doing so gives you permission to live your life the way you want. You might not even know you need permission. The author might not have intended to give it to you, but you get it nonetheless.
It started with Natalie Goldberg. In her book, Writing Down the Bones, she sets the stage stating, “We write in the moment”. We write in the moment. We create in the moment. It’s not a statement of who we are as a person, but of a reality at the time we create. It’s an emotion we want to express in a moment of time.
Now let that mull around in your mind for a while. If we create for the moment then let’s create and move on. We express our emotion through an artistic activity or create our immediate idea and then we move on. That was something for that moment. What comes next will be something indicative of us at another moment.
R.G. Collingwood, who I have been studying and writing about in other posts, states in his book The Principles of Art, that “an artist expresses emotion arising within him at that point in his life and no other.” We have an agreement between two authors that the artist creates based off the emotion they are experiencing at that moment in their life.
Motivation To Create Truthfully
Today I could feel like expressing an emotion of anger, joy, frustration, lust, desire, and empathy. I could come to my canvas and when my painting is finished discover the emotion of depression. I could write a poem to express emotions that I fear will make me look bad. Don’t express who I am all the time, and really that is the point. We are expressing what we feel at a moment in time. Today we might be full of anger and tomorrow we might not. It’s all part of the journey of being human.
We should have no fear of the emotions we want to express or the ideas we want to try. They are indicative of where we are in life today. It’s okay to be who you are now and then be who you are later. It’s okay to get disillusioned and express that and then go about living your life. It’s okay if something dark comes out or something light. It’s not dark to express reality. It’s truth. It’s just an expression for the moment. Like I told my daughter. Paint nude women if that’s what you want to do. She did. That was that day and may not be this day.
In the end what we should be concerned about is being truthful with ourselves. With admitting what we feel and/or want to create and doing that. With being faithful to ourselves and giving our ideas merit. We should be more worried about oppressing our emotions and our reality then what others think of that reality. At one point or the other most of us share in feeling similar emotions and desires. We should be able to empathize with each others expressions.
Since we create for the moment then we can create and move on. If our work is a flop that’s okay. It was for a moment in time. We get up, try again, express a new emotion, try a new idea, and move on. We create and repeat. We get about six months down the road and realize we created a large body of work. All expressing different moments in time.
I am free. You are free. We are free to express our emotion. To create our ideas. To act based on this moment in time. It is not wrong to express the truth of what you feel and who you are. It is your current reality. Some days we may express anger. Some days we may express joy. Some days we may tap into hate or lust. It’s all what makes up part of our very real and human journey.
If what you do today didn’t work get up and try again tomorrow. Tap into the moment. Natalie says “the moment you can finally align how you feel inside with the words you write, at that moment you are free because you are not fighting the things inside.” That will be a beautiful moment and no matter what the result is you will be wildly successful for having been truthful to yourself and honest about your reality. If the world doesn’t agree, then get up, express again, and keep on going. The journey will create in us great artists.
Originally published at https://aprolificanthology.com on January 16, 2020.