It’s such a challenge to manifest the space and time to labor when there’s no immediate paycheck attached to the investment and the goal is a moving target. It’s a certainty that I’m always teetering on some quixotic precipice, and that plenty of family and some friends will shake their heads in private, but that’s okay. It may take months or even years to reorder creative process in a truly productive way after major life events. In the last few years, I’ve completed an MFA, had two kids, got married, bought a house as well as volunteered and toiled to earn my keep. At this point in time, success is any progress in the work, however small, so long as you don’t succumb to creative attrition and give up entirely.
Finding a new space, same as the old space: ever-evolving, dedicated space for making.
Not really a routine kind of person, but I find that creative productivity is all about forming good habits – and it’s only possible to find your own quiet space in the kid chaos if you adhere to a nap schedule religiously. Then there’s preparing a sacred space and imbuing it with a certain energy. Securing the right materials for the particular rite to be performed, knowing what words to speak over the process, what symbols to hold in mind while summoning imagery, all take their own time and attention. It’s no wonder at all why the preparation is like, 80% of the doing and making sometimes only 20%.
Without routine practice and clarity of vision, nothing material will have happened. The object will not be charged, the sacrifice in mental and material resources will seem to have evaporated before your eyes. Was it ever real? Maybe the work you set out to do initially was simply sublimated back out into the universe to come back to you later, in different form. Wholly preparing oneself to welcome the spirit of this work is huge, not reserving anything for doubt and mental opposition to take hold, just taking a gleeful leap forward into ambiguous outcomes. Trust animal instincts, spirit guides, gaia or god, whatever names you resonate with, and then just do it.
New space; ironically, while I own more space than at any other time in my life, I have less to work with than I can remember having in a long time. Working to remedy that!
I’ve been told that if you stay in it ten years, you can consider yourself a success. Well, I’m going on 15 years and counting. I’m in a perpetual state of emerging, shedding and shedding and shedding to reveal further layers with every molt. Certain I’ll get to the bottom of these ideas and forms someday, I’ll take my chances on the road to wherever this fixation takes me. And if it turns out to be nowhere, even getting nowhere fills up time and is a destination unto itself. Nothing has it’s own rewards – it’s the journey, not the destination, pursued as an exercise in faith.