Okay. I admit it. I'm a sucker for all things self-help and I'm definitely that girl who religiously reads her horoscope and wholly buys into it. And you know what, it's that New Year, New You time again, so I'm not afraid to admit it, DAMMIT.
Phew! Now that that's off my chest, I can continue to gleefully share my thoughts on my most recent venture into self-help land - Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat. Pray. Love. famedom. Don't even come here pretending you didn't totally dig Eat. Pray. Love. or try to write your enjoyment of it off as a guilty pleasure. I see through you. Because I read your horoscope and am totally psycho-analyzing you about it. (See what I did there?)
Call it fluff. Call if lame.
I call it soul food, and below I re-cap some of my favorite takeaways from it. Read on, dear friend!
FEAR IS THE MIND KILLER:
Present! If I had to speak out-loud the number of times I've stopped a creative thought from blooming past the stage of a pre-pubescent bud because I feared how I would look or sound, I'd probably be that really annoying girl at the party that everyone lets hover by the Cool Ranch Dorito's. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert suggests that inspiration and ideas are living organisims the come to you for specific reasons and it is up to you to to follow that bird! My new goal when fear enters my mind is to push right on through and release whatever thought has entered my realm and then let the results go. That shit's out of my control anyway and I've got too many Netflix shows to binge watch in order to make time for that fear hogwash.
SUFFERING MAKETH NOTETH THE ART GREATETH:
Oh boy! Is this isn't a viewpoint that I am all too familiar with. Creative folks have been told for years that it is our suffering that produces the art and therefore if even a fleeting moment of joy or comfort enters our aura, we must immediately murder it with our bare hands until the list inkling of hope sadly seeps out of its disgusting body. Otherwise, how can we ever create again!? ALAS! Gilbert provides the viewpoint that living by this principle results in many people not creating at all. I can definitely attest that the same is true for me. Earlier this year a critic said a really mean (and kind of dumb) thing about me and it sent me on a total tizzy. I took every last pathetic word to heart and let this person, who I couldn't even pick out of a two person line up, win. I created very little in 2016 and the only person whose fault that is, is my own. Instead, Gilbert comes at it all with quite the opposite angle, suggesting that accepting that your craft loves you the way you love it, is perhaps the key to the most fruitful creative life. Why live in misery simply so that you can make things.
ONE PERSONS NO, COUUUUUULD BE ANOTHER PERSONS YES:
Gilbert talks a lot about the attitude she took in her early career (and still to this day as a matter of fact) when she was receiving enough rejection letters to wall-paper a small studio with. Instead of wallowing in her own self-pity, she simply took the rejected piece and submit it to 10 more places. At one point she even shares an instance where the same publication rejected a story only to turn around and publish it a year later. I love this attitude! It's so easy to let rejection stop you from continuing to do what you love. How rebelious to stick it to the man and how empowering to believe in yourself, despite what anyone else thinks. Preach!
NOBODY CARES OR IS REALLY PAYING ATTENTION AT ALL (SO MAKE WHAT YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, PLEASE!):
This seems like an extension of the fear theory, but for me resonates in the area of making the things you want in the way you want to make them. There have been many times when I've edited my creative expressions because I wanted it to be percieved in a certain way or because (GOD FORBID) someone had a negative thought of me. Ruh-roh! Can you imagine? Someone passing judgement? On poor, widdle, ole, moi! The nerve! Here's the thing. We're all human. I'm human. You're human. I fimrly believe my dog, Hank, is human. And therefore, we judge. It's who we are. So just make what you make in the way you want to make it because all that judgement is just really a reflection of the person doing the judging. How's that for some inception self-help bullshit.
Anyone else read this yet? What are your takeaways? Gripes? Dreams? Goals?
Write more. Like for practice and shit and maybe like to write a thing that can become a thing. Who knows? No expectations,
Create more of what I want to create and less of what I think other people want me to create.
Allow success and creativity to be easy. Alcholism is so Edgar Allen Poe.
Quite all that self-doubt sadness. Ain't nobody with this many ideas got time for that.
Move the heck out of Chicago and explore new territory, unless The Universe is all like, "Guuuurl, you gotsta STAY in Chicago."
Be proud of myself and take the damn compliment standing up. Like the woMAN I am.