When You Want to Create and Also Don’t

Inspiration is unreliable fuel.

As an artist, I wear my heart (and wear it out) on my inspiration. I’m horribly unpredictable with my consistency and it’s one of my worst habits.

I’ve developed a bad habit of starting fiery and strong. Only to give out, fall flat, and stall.

This is because, I’ve largely relied on my heart. The engine of my art.

To be fair, I always thought it to be a noble thing to follow. Because, why wouldn’t I want to produce from place that is pure and sacred? Why not draw from that which my passion develops?

All the great artists are ‘pure artists’ — so I thought.

They create create create.

They don’t let anything get in the way of that.

No one.

And that’s who I am. That’s how I will model myself.

Isn’t this the way to thrive?

Well, I had to learn why not the hard way.

You see, the heart — although it’s intentions are good — isn’t much of a businessman.

Somewhere along my artist’s journey, I made the horrible mistake of only creating when I felt pulled to create.

And if I didn’t feel the itch or desire, I’d retreat and avoid creating altogether.

I’d resign myself to a busy task that didn’t involve anything creative. Like scroll the ‘gram or refresh email or watch hours of Breakfast Club Interviews.

Anything to distance myself from creating.

Because in my mind, that’s what would bring me back to creating — avoiding it.

But I was wrong. The less I created, the less I was drawn to create.

The less I wrote, the less I wanted to write.

It started to feel like unfinished homework.

Homework I would never have to do if I never thought about it again.

But there was a problem.

I wanted to think about it. I wanted my art to bother me and keep me up at night. I wanted the fire to return. For some reason though, I couldn’t keep the flame ablaze. I couldn’t make myself fall back in love with it from a distance. I couldn’t conjure up feelings for a reason to create.

I’d developed apathy for what I was writing, whom I was writing for, and for my purpose. I could do with or without it.

My own comfort had become more important. Not forcing the issue had become more important.

I had no routine to call home. I’d dropped what had first brought me back to the page again. The love. The gift. The purpose. I was doing it for claps. I was in it for recognition. I was only surviving off what little memory I had of the fulfillment I’d once experienced. Chasing a creative high felt like a distant memory. A lost relative whom you’re embarrassed to reach out to first.

Routine used to be the best creative practice for me. Having a routine saved me. Because whether I wanted to or not, I wrote. Many times, it was bullshit. But having written always felt better than having not.

Perhaps I forgot that part of it. Because when speaking to my artist heart, it doesn’t listen.

Thank you for reading.

I write for creatives with big ideas and even bigger inner-critics | Husband, dad, mango-enthusiast | Connect with me here: https://bit.ly/2VOg4sU

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