I had the pleasure of meeting with two other writers today. We all look forward to sharing a creative space, even if “work” didn’t get done. As one friend said, “There’s just something a little different about the energy of artistic people.” Besides getting caught up on individual happenings since the last time we chatted, we also discussed where we were in our WIPs and the activities we do to entice readers to try our stories.
As a musician set up and played in the outdoor space where we met, we shared ideas about what was missing from our work. It wasn’t dialogue or description or character development, but the curiosity and excitement of the creative act. Maybe attaching expectations and monetary value to our artistic endeavors changes how we move through the process and how we view the outcome of our efforts. One friend is in collaboration with a jewelry artist. They have a show coming up in March. She said how excited she was, not because she wonders if she’ll sell any of her books or canvases, but because it’s different and she’s curious as to what attendees with talk with her about and what they might say about the art.
That curiosity and excitement, that wonder of what might happen, is what often disappears when burnout or failed expectations are the results of our efforts. We decided to ask ourselves, “How do we change/adapt to feel that again?” Because I don’t believe we can go back to what was (like we can’t cross the same stream twice), perhaps we need to discover how to continuously create or give space for or recognize that curiosity/excitement/wonder so our artistic endeavors are joyous instead of disinterested dread. I can’t share that answer with you because I think it’s unique to each of us. But I can wish you the space to explore and the awareness to recognize how that joy/passion/curiosity/wonder can be found/created in your work.