Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. …Buddha
The above quote I found in the spectacular book A Life in the Arts by the greatest creative inspirational teacher and writer, Eric Maisel. I say greatest because his writing was the first I discovered that spoke directly to artists who have to struggle to find their way, their voice. I found his book Van Gogh Blues in a tiny used Vancouver bookstore. I had no idea what the book was about, but it changed my writing life, my approach to writing, and most importantly, his words aided me to find my confidence and take ownership of my creative life, because if you don’t do it, no one else will. Many don’t realize how hard it is to do what we do. It takes a unique bravery to create a work from the ground up not knowing when or if we will have any sort of success. And if you don’t have an Eric Maisel art coach living with you, it’s an almost impossible feat.
Self-motivation is the trek up the mountain. But I hear the peak is awesome…
I have found that once a writer knows what it is they truly wish to express within their work, that’s when the work gets done. I think I’ve come to a place of liberation with my craft, where I can now let go of expectations, and just get the writing done with my own signature. I’m no longer attached to finding conventional methods of writing. I have my own quirky rhythm. Even though, since childhood, I’m naturally a night writer, adulthood has meant me having to shift my vampire schedule to write by day if the deadline deems appropriate (it always does). Thus, I have to re-create night as much as I can during the day. I write by day with a candle burning, curtains closed, headphones with appropriate soundtrack music, the Weather Channel is on mute on my television (don’t ask), and I have a sweet fruit drink that sits on a phenomenal writing desk whose construction mimics the complexity of the Star Trek bridge that I acquired at the local thrift store.
But since I’m not normally a day time writer, it’s a formula that I’ve stumbled into that works. If I write at night, I lose all sense of time. Night is the safest place to write. If it’s not a Friday night (I live in a college town), then night is the quiet time. No impending appointments. No bills to pay. No nudging feelings that I need to check my email every five minutes because no one is up emailing me in the middle of the night. No gardeners with loud leaf blowers. The dependent is in bed, snoring lightly. I light a candle. Say goodbye to the mundane, and hello to greet the magic of the muse.
No matter how unconventional the flow may seem, I’ve learned to embrace it. It is my own passion for my creative life that has gotten me to that awesome peak…that is the place you need to get, and then you soar.