You put that steering wheel down, young man! We are NOT turning this car around.
By Geoffrey Kidwell (actor)
Really quickly, Van Morrison has captured my current emotional state, and I'd like him to explain.
Mr. Morrison, if you please...
For the last week or so, I've woken up feeling...well...kinda...um...BLAH.
Not depressed. Not discouraged. Not downtrodden. Just...BLAH.
Do you know that feeling?
It's a weird space to be in because it doesn't stop me from doing the things I want and need to do, but on the other hand, it's definitely less than motivating.
And because I'm nothing if not possessed by a singular and superior ability to exacerbate already negative feelings, I sign onto Facebook each morning and inevitably read someone's "I'm so blessed," or "Wow...today is gonna be the best, most productive day" status and immediately find myself feeling the need to launch my laptop across the room.
No. You've been there too. Don't deny it.
(Confession: I literally just picked up my phone to look at FB after writing that.)
So like I said, I'd been feeling less than motivated and I decided I needed to get to the bottom of it.
I picked up my copy of The Artist's Way - I'm on week 10, btw - and began to seek some answers.
It didn't take long.
(Which is really good cuz usually when I can't find something after a few minutes I give up. That's why I haven't had my dignity since like the fourth grade.)
Julia Cameron - the author of The Artist's Way - calls this icky little feeling a "Creative U-Turn."
An artistic U-turn arrives on a sudden wave of indifference. We greet our newly minted product or our delightful process with 'Aw, what does it matter anyhow? It's just a start. Everybody else is so much further ahead...'"
Miss Cameron, that sounds just about right.
But what am I supposed to do? I've made progress. I want to keep going!
Turns out the solution isn't that difficult.
First things first, these little U-turns are motivated by fear, fear of failure or fear of success. Either way, the trick is to figure out what scares you. Identify those little triggers and then blast them out of the water by confronting them head on.
This brings us to the second step in resisting a Creative U-Turn: Ask for help. No man is an island, or a Pauly Shore, or any other thing that spends its days alone. (ZING!)
"Once we admit the need for help, the help arrives. The ego always wants to claim self-sufficiency . It would rather pose as a creative loner than ask for help. Ask anyway."
Damn it. Don't you just hate when you know you have to get off your ass and do something when all you really want to do is talk about what a tortured artist you are?
This is all just a bit of food for thought. Maybe I'm alone in feeling this way. I doubt it. Either way, keep going. A little less thought. A little more action.
Excellent. See you on the other side.
AND NOW...THE WEEK IN WHITNEY HOUSTON!!!!!
Can you believe it's been a year since Whitney Houston died? I certainly can't. I still wish it weren't true. To mark the first anniversary of her death, I'd like to share with you a performance I've shared with you before. Forgive me for the repetition, but this performance is, in my less-than-humble opionion, one of the best performances she ever gave. Here is Miss Houston at the 1991 Billboard Music Awards singing a medley of Lover Man and All The Man That I Need.