Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Creative People Feel."

I have writer's block. But not the regular kind. It's self-induced ... sort-of.

I was looking through some old content on this blog and recognized a certain open-ness that doesn't seem to exist on here anymore. And then I went to Facebook, and the same is true there, too. I'm not posting in either place. Or, I am, but in a vanilla sanitized way. Not too emotional. Not too raw. Not too edgy. Not too ... real.

Am I losing my voice?
Am I fearing judgment?
Are too many people looking?

I used to search for ways to display my character, to illustrate and demonstrate what the real me was like underneath the "stage persona." I put all of me out in cyberspace, for anyone to see. It was a living lesson in letting go of my fear of judgment. But now, I'm censoring myself. And even in this simple way. This not putting photos up on FB anymore, this not writing about my crazy ass emotions anymore. Why?

It smacks of dishonesty. Self dishonesty. I don't feel like I'm lying to others by not sharing what's going on in my world, but it feels like I'm not being honest with myself. Not owning my emotions. Like, if I don't document my fears and worries and joy and love, they don't exist. And I want to live all my emotions. Even the crappy ones. I want to own them and examine them and feel them ... and yes, write about them. Tell the truth to myself about myself.

Maybe I could do that in a private journal, and I do, but in some big way that is also small, I feel that a person's emotions are their art. And the telling and showing of those emotions that can so easily get caged inside is -- in fact -- also art. Of course it is. When you look at a painting, what you see is the artist's emotions. Or at least their opinion about something. Even if it is a portrait, emotion is still present in the eyes and facial feature of the model. The artist has painstakingly captured the other's emotions. Told the truth of their existence.

And that's all I want to do, too. Tell the truth of my emotions. Express myself from the inside out. Because that's all that art really is -- at the bottom of it. Telling truths and stories. Even the lies of fiction have truths in them.

So why the writer's block?

Unfortunately, no epiphany will come from this question. Because I already know the fucking answer. Plain old boring fear. Fear of being judged for my words/experiences/feelings. Judged by strangers. By people who say they are my friends. By my real friends. By my children. By my family. And by my lover. All of them.

My friend Jenny says, "Creative people feel. They feel deeply. And not just about the good stuff, but about the other stuff, too." She doesn't think that most people understand that. Or want to. They just want to look at the pretty stuff after the feeling deeply part. The part that actually makes the art come out.

I think she's right.

And maybe I'm just acknowledging that "truth" (if it is one) and am loathe to show the feeling-deeply-part-before-the-art-comes-out.

That's it ....

My certain brand of writer's block for this past year has been the "afraid of showing the feeling deeply before the art comes out" part of creativity. And when I look at that fear, I slam the door shut quick. And deadbolt it.

And really, how can art come through that?

Huh. I guess there was an epiphany here after all.


Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH, you have just put into words the exact feelings that I have experienced with Facebook and with my own blog. It's so true! There are so many people reading everything that you write online that it's so hard not to feel like you're censoring yourself...yet I tell myself, "Well, honest and brave people don't do that!"

You are an honest and brave person for posting this...I'm a new subscriber to your blog as a result! ;)

Valerie Willman said...

Yay, Monica! Thanks for stopping by and reading. I'm so glad you are here.

More coming soon!