Courage to Create

Posted: 10/8/2008

I'm reading a book right now called "Finding Water" by Julia Cameron.  I want to share with you a sentence on page 232:  "The courage to create is a courage to make something out of what we are feeling."  This evidently brings up the questions, "How am I feeling? WHAT am I feeling?"  And there are many answers to those questions, as I have different feelings on different subjects.  "The courage to create?  Creativity takes courage? What?!" My ego is screaming.  It ought to be easy, but it's not.  So I have to make it easy.  Even in writing this little essay, I feel "afraid" that I might say something stupid or uncool, which makes it harder to write and trust that I am saying something meaningful.  "Meaningful to whom?" I ask myself.  How easy it is to get trapped in the negative thought forms of my inner critic!  So I have to have courage to believe in something other than it.  In using this book by Julia Cameron, I have adopted the practice of writing three pages a day of free-form anything.  This means that I get to say whatever I want on the page, and just let it be what it is.  I hate this practice sometimes (a lot of the time, honestly) because what comes up is a lot of complaining. Then what happens?  I judge myself for complaining.  It's a vicious cycle, I tell you.  I have humbly come to understand that it is the practice of writing itself that is important, and that if I stick with it long enough, all of the mindless chatter will eventually end up on the page and out of my head, which potentially means a lot less clutter and finally (maybe) peace of mind.  I think it takes courage to admit to ourselves how we are feeling.  I have found it daunting sometimes to even answer the question when asked, "How are you doing, Mari?"  It can be a loaded question when I am unaware of how I'm feeling.  "Good," I answer, like a robot (doing and feeling are two different things, are they not?).  I have this thought- that we are all connected and capable of feeling the same things. The truth is, I may not always have the courage to admit how I'm feeling, but I can be willing to learn something about myself as a result.  In this moment I am creating something, and I feel pretty okay about that. That's what matters.