Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Igniting the Bonfire, Again

Have you ever lost heart in a project? You have put in hundreds of hours and for sure you've started something interesting, but then something went wrong. The work stopped. It dies.
Now you panic like an animal caught in a trap. There is no way to escape! After panic comes depression. You go to bed and refuse to talk to anyone. The depression finally lifts and you determine to start something new. 
Yay, you are working again, but you aren't doing what you wanted to do. The bonfire of creative energy has gone out, and you are going through the motions. How do you ignite the work? How do you return to your former state? How do you rise from the dead?
You are broken. But hear this, death is not an end. It is a place of transformation.
There is no going back. Forward is the only choice. The best thing to do is to purposely let go. Don't glance back with regret at all the time you've lost. Nothing artistic is truly ever lost. 
Imagine that your work is a little boat that you shove onto an ocean. You let it go. Ignore any voice that belittles you. Shut the mouth of failure. Wrap up in a blanket of silence. This isn't a time to flood your mind with negative self-talk. This is the time to listen to what messages the universe sends. 
This is enforced time away from your work, not random hiding. It is a time of silence of the stars, of the sea, of the city, of the soul. In this silence, you will begin to hear voices speak. The voices will bring you new ideas, new directions, and new faces. You will collect these thoughts like sticks. Don't act on them. Collect.
Then will come the glorious day.  
The work will begin to burn. A spontaneous combustion of all the tinder you've filled your life with flares up. The bonfire roars to life. The work becomes relevant again, but better.
This is the artist's journey. Embrace it.
A doodle for you. 
A quote for your pocket. 
God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.Vance Havner

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