Diary of a Creative Mind

quiltWeek One:

Get a creative idea and the slightest bit of encouragement and feel on top of the world, burning, singing, dancing, and feeling as though it all makes sense now and everything will come together.  You are magnificent.  You will be rich.  Life is so beautiful.  You will never be stopped.  How could you have ever doubted?

Week Two:

Get a cancellation from a client or a form letter back from your proposal, query, or inquiry and feel the world is harsh, cruel, sick, and scary.  “Reality” sinks in.  This will be hard.  This is not easy.  This will take a lot of work, time, and adjustments to your personality.  Your therapist might not be that good.  You may just be too old. You may just be too tired.  You may just be too sensitive, like your family said.

Week Three:

Turn on television and have a love affair with chocolate, Cheetos, cookies and guilt. Notice how thin the leading women are.  Notice how the celebrities are getting even more famous and fabulous.  They are thin.  Many of them look like they are fourteen.  Many of them are fourteen.  Notice how you haven’t moved from the couch in about six hours.

Week Four:

Begin to be clear that your life will never work, you don’t have what it takes, and you should just give up.  Journal morbid, angry things you hope no one ever finds. Get paranoid about the possibility of them finding these things.  Write illegibly.

Week Five:

Slip into depression, like slipping into a cozy, unmade bed.

Week Six:

Eventually, pick up a self-help book and read it cynically.  “Yeah right,” muttered after every page.  Keep reading anyway with hunger and buried hope.  Have one idea slip in that makes you wonder: “Maybe.” Attempt to be positive.  Affirm to be positive.  Read more self-help books and buy the CDs, downloads, and online programs.

Week Seven:

Get a creative idea and a flash of excitement and possibility, and begin the process again.

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By the way, here’s the really amazing thing.  This works.  If you stay with this process long enough, you’ll keep getting ideas.  You’ll keep taking steps forward. It doesn’t matter if you lose momentum or get distracted or forget the name of the main character of your novel or don’t get around to putting up your website.  The only thing that matters is that you begin again.  There’s a great Japanese proverb that defines success: “Fall down seven times.  Get up eight.”  Take another step forward.  That’s all you need to do. Keep taking steps.  You will succeed this way. Stay with it.  Those who dance, can’t fail.