As your recovery progresses, you will come to experience a more comfortable faith in your creator and your creator within. You will learn that it is actually easier to write than not write, paint than not paint, and so forth. You will learn to enjoy the process of being a creative channel and to surrender your need to control the result. You will discover the joy of practicing your creativity. The process, not the product, will become your focus.
-Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way, pg. 44
This was an important lesson to begin learning this week. I had become increasingly impatient with how much work was going into The Artist’s Way Collective because I felt that it was taking me away from my novel, the thing that I truly wanted to be investing in. But I kept coming back to the fact that The Artist’s Way was helping me to become more creative and thus a better writer. It would help me write the book better when I came back to it. This paragraph from chapter two showed me that by worrying about the novel instead of the craft, I was focusing on the product instead of the practice. I’m beginning to shrug off some of my impatience and begin to “use the page to rest” and nurture my creativity.
Something else happened this week that retaught me this lesson. I had heard of an essay contest that I determined I would enter. For months I’ve been wrestling with what I would write, how I would word it. Time ticked by and the dead-line was in twenty-four hours. Over the course of two very difficult hours, I wrote my essay (I had to use a lot of my new found affirmations and exercises from Cameron). I decided to sleep on it and finish the revision today. I remembered tonight…ten minutes before the deadline. Knowing that I certainly didn’t have time to do the editing I had wanted to, I just hurried to send off the e-mail. For whatever reason, the e-mail addresses provided never worked, and my submission was too late.
The question I had to ask myself was, “Was it all for nothing? Was the writing of it enough to make the essay worth it? If no one ever reads it, never admires it, does it still count for something? Was it worth the two hours I spent on it?” I think it was. In fact, through writing the essay, I was able to make an exciting discovery about myself that has left me feeling encouraged ever since. Besides that, it was still worth it, because I was exercising creativity and this makes God happy. Like Eric Liddel, I feel God’s pleasure.