The noise subsides


That’s what my critical voice wanted me to be. More serious. It wanted to rob me of the play and joy I find in creating.

That was actually the second thing I learned by stopping to take a moment to listen to what my critical voice was yelling at me about.

The first was more subtle and scary that I had been missing it because it has been going on for a while now and has actually been coming from my creative voice. My critical voice was trying to get me to listen to it.

I’m one who falls into the camp of “a writer writes while an author has written.” Since I was a teenager, I never wanted to be an author because I was a writer. Then I went through the phase where I had issues considering myself an artist (as seen on many of my early blog posts). It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I was an artist because I wrote and painted. A couple years ago, I came back to the thought that a writer writes and a painter must paint. Therefore, I had to be a writer and a painter.

However, whenever someone came into my booth at an art fair and started talking to me about my work, I would still say that I was a writer and artist. Well, if I was an artist (based on my theory about writers), didn’t that mean that I was referring to someone who has painted. I tried to force myself into always saying that I was a writer and painter, but dang it was hard. I rarely got that out.

I always figured that it was my brain having come to terms with the fact that I could just say that I was an artist and encompass both writing and painting.

Until I was writing the other day. I asked myself if I wanted to keep learning to be a better writer. That was almost a trick questions. Yeah, duh. Then, did I want to keep learning to be a better painter? My answer to this was, “Not sure.” Not sure? Well, that was interesting. So, did I want to keep learning to be a better artist? The answer was a resounding, “Yes!”

So why?

I asked myself to define the difference, wondering if this related back to my earlier struggles of calling myself an artist.

No. My creative voice took charge and informed me that it wanted to not only paint, but to draw too. It wanted me to get better at sketching. It wants to return to drawing comics at some point. It wants to be able to have a sketch and create a painting off that. It wants to draw children’s books – I have several stories written. It really wanted me to practice my drawing skills.

This is why it didn’t like me setting a schedule — I wasn’t including time for drawing.

It certainly hasn’t helped with building a schedule, but at least the voices have calmed and I am thinking clearer now. I don’t feel nearly as frantic either.

Several years ago now, I was writing up a goal card on Sunday nights which planned out what I wanted to get done for the week. Then, each night I would write out steps toward accomplishing those goals. It really helped me focus my direction and I got a lot done. Sometimes I didn’t always complete everything, but it did well. Unfortunately, I started to see more failures than successes and I let this process go. I’m not sure I want to resurrect this system, or not at the time, but I’m considering it.

To start a daily habit of writing, art, and narration, I believe I should do a couple of things. Firstly, I feel that I should start an X chain on a calendar. Remember that reusable 90 day calendar I purchased earlier this year. Well, I thought I’d use it for planning, but I haven’t been very good about that. I’m wondering if it’s to be a quarterly chain record for me. Every day that I get things done, then I get an X.

But there’s a part of me that’s very resistant to that. I’m not sure why. It’s just another way of creating a streak, which I know has the power of momentum. It might just be more fear stopping me, fear of committing, fear of failure.

But, beyond that, I also feel that I need to be using the 5-second rule which Mel Robbins writes and speaks about. While the book itself is very wordy, the concept does work. I’ve used it several times. I need to get back to it. I think that it would get me out of my head and into action rather than thinking and doing nothing.

Tomorrow is to be my first day. I still don’t have solid answers, but I know that something needs done to help me focus. I don’t know what will happen, but I’m open to the possibilities. I’m trying to be open to failure and falling flat on my face too. But obviously some of this has been so important to me that my creative voice has enlisted the help of my critical voice to shout at me.

Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s see what happens.


P.S. The photo leading this post is one I took list night on the way home. It was such a gorgeous sunset.