Thursday, October 29, 2015

What Are YOU Working On?

As October ends and we gear up for autumn darkness, another blog series comes to a close. I'm grateful to all our contributors for sharing their thoughts. If you missed any of them, just click on the names in this list. Or better yet, search them on Amazon. Maybe you'll find something that whets your winter reading appetite.

What creative projects do you find twirling in your mind as leaves fall along with temperatures? For my own part, I continue to type old journals and write memories of the time when I was a young woman exploring life and self in Mexico City. I wrote in Spanish, a language I must now reacquaint myself with to understand the thoughts of that younger me. I do not know how much of this work will make it into my next book, but I'm grateful for the journals I kept. They now serve as a reality check of memories, partially forgotten or rewritten over time.

In all things - good and bad - I prefer truth. A journal allows me to hold to my own truth, the truth of the younger self rather than the interpretation warped by time and distance, accumulated experience and faded memories. Sometimes I recall the past and it appears far worse than it was. Other times I do the opposite, remembering a past time or event with those proverbial rose-colored lenses. My journal allows me to re-enter earlier thoughts to better understand experiences and emotions long past.
As I continue mining my journals, I search for inspiration in Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Currey explores the creative habits and routines of 161 artists - from Austen to Armstrong, Faulkner to Fellini, Beattie to Balanchine - all struggling with the challenges of finding too much or not enough time for their work, dealing with creative demons and muses, balancing their creativity with a life that makes sense perhaps to only themselves. Elizabeth Gilbert tells us that "Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege." She encourages us to allow ourselves to be the conduit of inspiration by coming to the table, putting in the seat time, and being open to the universe. By both, I am reminded how fortunate I am to live a creative life.

What are YOU working on? I hope your projects fill you with wonder. I know they will also bring times of extreme frustration as well as deep joy. Follow your passion. Know yourself. Be true to you.


Jack said...

this is a good thing you did, Arleen.
I know the writers appreciate what you offered.

arleen said...

Thank you for reading and commenting, Jack. Much appreciated.