Are the stars cold and distant, or infinitely beautiful and inspiring? Both, I reckon, but usually only one of the two aspects is appreciated at any given point in time, depending on one’s attitude and state of mind.
I don’t know that fear and creation are often to be found independent of each other. I used to think that most people just got on with it and made things happen without pain, and there certainly must be people out there who do it time and again with a minimum of fuss. It’s too easy to say that the act of creativity is always dogged by fear, but perhaps it’s not a stretch to say that creating and a feeling of terror often go hand in hand.
Is it the potential that scares us? The blank canvas, the computer screen with the cursor flashing in a sea of snowy nothingness, or the shadowy tangle of intense impressions and apprehensions, each of which blazed vividly in our minds for a moment in the past, which surely hold meaning that ought to be done justice and given voice to?
Is it the imminent expectation of failing to meet our highest hopes, anticipation of the frustration that meets us when we can’t physically realise what we see in our unconstrained imaginations? The ridiculousness of actually daring to think that what we feel and have to say is of the least importance?
Perhaps it’s the fact we can’t control it. Where does it come from, and how does it come to be that after a stretch of time we’ll have brought into existence something that at the beginning we had barely begun to conceive of, that was only a mere suggestion of what it would become? It seems to reveal itself, discovering twists and turns of its own as it spins itself out and takes form. This as yet unconceived or uncertain piece of writing or other work of art, or thing that aspires to be such, seems to come from nothingness. It can almost be like bringing a new world into existence, but is it an act of hubris to dare to do such a thing, or to think we can do so in a meaningful way? Surely not if we’re irresistibly, painfully, driven to do so… And even then, when it happens, is it even our doing?
So when we submit and immerse ourselves in the nothingness, what motivates us? The beauty of the idea we seek to explore, or an inner agitation that sees us either shrink into ourselves, or risk exploding outwards towards that distant light, hoping we don’t finish up in a black void of failure.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings:
Do you find the creative process painful, perhaps particularly the prelude to creating, or is it simply fun, easy, and never too serious?
Do you only create when the pain of not creating is greater than the fear of creating?
Are you adept at telling such concerns to shut up, sweeping them out of your way or rolling over them with your creative juggernaut?
Are you, like me, a fan of tasty cheese?
Oh, and, where do you think art comes from?
Afterthought: It’s probably worth throwing into the mix that Marianne Williamson has this to say:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…”