artist, know thyself

IMG_0378 This is not my best time of year.  I hesitate to file it under the header of SAD - although perhaps it belongs there, and I know my mood lifts when the sun shines [a rarity this winter] - and instead prefer to think of it in terms of a 'deep delve'.

I'm not depressed, as such -- just more ruminative than usual, more inclined to long silences and bouts of existential explorations. I find social interactions more wearisome and the need for solitude more pressing.

Alas, the rest of the world would prefer I carry on in the typical fashion.

That's the crux of it, I think -- the 'problem' isn't my delving, the 'problem' is the world's view of such a state.

At this point I could veer off on a tangent on how I think the medical community tends to dispense mood-altering drugs in a knee-jerk reaction to normal cyclical and psychological processes, instead of leaving the medication to those truly in need of aid - but that's just one of my wildly unsubstantiated instinctual theories that tend to raise eyebrows and incite shit-storms of misunderstanding.

So I won't mention it.

attempting to photograph - through the window - a finch dining on echinacea seeds

In the spirit of honouring this particular phase - I'm attempting to allow myself the time and space to refill my creative well.

Writing a novel, it seems, tends to drain my life-forces. So much mental, emotional and spiritual energy went into writing Sea Bride -- and the work is far from over -- and it left me truly knackered. I'm sure it didn't help that I was writing over the madness of Chrimbly. Anyway, it took me a while to realize that was the source of my thorough exhaustion.

It was a tiredness that went beyond simply getting a bit more sleep.

It was a tiredness of spirit.

A good kind of tiredness, mind you, a sort of deliriously happy exhaustion, but tiredness nonetheless.

Then - as you do - I began to question whether my expectations of myself are entirely realistic. Sure, I can fire out a first draft in about 6 weeks -- but what then? Time for revisions, time for beta-reader feedback, time for more revisions and then, if I'm going to truly do this properly, time to let the manuscript rest before examining it again. And in between all that -- time for me to rest.

I'm still muddling all of this over;  listening to my inner whisper that, once again, is trying very hard not to say "I told you so" in that maddening sing-song voice because it's telling me something I already knew but chose to ignore.

This is a lesson that I have to keep learning all over again, it seems. Trying to work against my basic temperament, trying to push beyond my own process and what it requires of me, never works. Never. Not. Ever.

Which is totally okay.

I'm learning to appreciate the wonders that my creative process can produce when I get out of my own way.

I'm not able [well, at least not sustainably] to drill my writing process into a military exercise.

It's not an assembly line; it's more of a meander through the woods and fields with occasional stops to lie down and stare at the passing clouds.

So, I may be course-correcting*. Again.

Which is also totally okay.

I'm writing, and I want to keep writing, and so I need to sort out the way that is most likely to support that desire.

~m, xo

*I'm being purposely vague because I haven't actually made up my mind yet. :)