I have at least 5 drafts of blog posts on my WordPress Dashboard. It’s not that I don’t have time to finish them, although I have been extremely busy this summer. It’s simply that this whole blog is about being vulnerable, and the past few weeks I have felt like I don’t have any skin, like it’s been peeled off and I’m walking around raw and red, ready to be flayed at every passing wind. When I write, I want it to feel like this:
However, lately it has felt just too scary to push “publish”, like the lightening coming off my limbs when I clack the keys will surely bounce back at me, jolting me with electric shocks. Making art is such an act of bravery. Creating and putting it out there is the scariest thing on earth, as your very soul is on the chopping block. Usually, I have no shortage of courage, as it is a muscle you build over time, and I’ve done enough things that terrify me to know when it’s a good scared that means “Keep going” and when it’s the kind of terror that’s telling you to get the fuck out of there. However, I’m really struggling these past few weeks. I write things, save them, and agonize over whether they are the thoughts I really want to put out into the world. I pick them apart and use parts for other entries, which I don’t post either. I can’t say I have Writer’s Block, because I’m writing every day, just not publishing any of it for the world to see.
I am starting The Artist’s Way today with several friends, and I’m hoping that will help me find the bravery I need to continue to be vulnerable on this blog and in my life, even when I feel particularly sensitive. The last time I did The Artist’s Way was 9 years ago, newly married and struggling to find my voice. Going through Julia Cameron’s model for freeing the artist within led to many incredible realizations, one of which led me to move to San Francisco! It was such a wonderful place for artists and social workers when we first moved here 8 years ago. My beloved city is changing incredibly quickly, and I find myself at another crossroads, unsure of where we will end up. So, it’s time to go back to The Artist’s Way, and make sure that the choices I’m making for my life and my family are coming from a place of creativity and joy, rather than fear.
Would you like to join me? You can get The Artist’s Way at any library, or, chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably got a copy tucked away in a dusty bookshelf. Whether you’re ready to make that commitment or not, send me a little bravery, tucked in a sachet of healing petals. I don’t want my tough skin to grow back — I like living with my heart wide open. But I want to be able to create art from that place, even when it scares me.