Okay, I’ll admit it.
I’ve been an avoidant artist for much of my life. I’ve carried a guitar around with me to different sharehouses over about 10 years with no impulse to play it.
This is one of the saddest things to me.
Sometimes my dreams are so big, they dwarf me. I can’t do anything in their shadow. There is always an excuse not to pick up that guitar. But one of the main ones was love.
For years I have chased men when I was feeling empty instead of doing my art. It was a kind of compulsion. I only realise that now that I don’t do it anymore.
What a relief to be in a relationship with someone who just allows me to be me. Allows me to do what I need to do to be a Gemma, including my art. Goddamn it, I can’t blame the man I am seeing anymore for my lack of action. Freedom also means taking responsibility for what you have control over. Because those patterns that used to chain you are no longer there, so what is chaining you? Maybe just your own mind, your own limitations. Do you know how to deal with them? Do you know how to melt the chains?
I’m still sorting things out with that guitar. I am still terrified of that particular dream. I don’t know if I will ever do anything towards it. Maybe I won’t. Maybe that is my soul’s choice this lifetime around.
But I do the art that I can do which at the moment is writing. I’m not an avoidant writer, for sure. I don’t think it is usual nor unusual to be an artist who does more than one art form. They are out there. And among them, I wonder if it is usual or unusual to be avoidant in one of the artforms they create in. How many avoidant writers are there out there, I wonder? Are you an avoidant writer?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. All I know is what works – and doesn’t work – for me.
What doesn’t work: Letting my big goal overshadow me, thinking of it like a should, being worried I will never GET THERE. I will never be GOOD ENOUGH. Feeling heavy with it.
What works: Holding onto that big dream lightly with your inner work – the affirmations and journaling you do every day. Don’t attach a timeline to it, give it some space. Then do the outer work – pick up that guitar, that pen, that paintbrush. Make a fucking start, or you’ll never finish.
It might be out of tune a little, but you’ll soon get into the swing of it. Aim to have fun. Oh, and, don’t worry about the HOW. Just begin!
I will if you do!
P.S. Hey Mr. Guitar, I’m looking at you!
P.P.S. If you want to work with me to get your writing back on track, take a look at my writing mentoring page.
Want to Read More?
Read the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Poetry here.
Unleash your creativity with this rethink of the creative process.
Or, read 33 personal definitions of poetry from writers I know.
You also might like to know these 3 Habits That Will Make You A Better Writer!