It’s about the process, not the product
On January 26th, I wrote about the phenology wheel and how Rebecca Morris had inspired me to create my own. The post explains a phenology wheel is simply a visual representation of what is happening month by month in the natural world around you.
It was a clumsy start in January. I would forget to record a day’s temperatures and weather and have to scramble for old information. It was mid-month before I began, so half the entries were blank. I considered adding the first part of February so I’d have more entries, but then what would February’s wheel look like missing the first five days? I began to dread showing up to the journal.
My heart wasn’t in it.
Before I knew it, the month was over and I hadn’t drawn anything else. I had noticed many things—squirrels, a rabbit, a hawk—but there was a disconnect between my eyes and fingers. And a lot of procrastination.
In the Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron speaks about procrastination as fear. “Fear is what blocks an artist. The fear of not being good enough. The fear of not finishing. The fear of failure and of success. The fear of beginning at all.”
She goes on to write, “There is only one cure for fear. That cure is love. Use love for your artist to cure its fear.”
Since I consider February to be the month of love, I took what she wrote to heart and look what happened.
The art just poured out onto the pages. It was easier when I loved my inner artist instead of yelling at her for smudges and crooked lines. There was joy in the process instead of worry about the end result.
“Focused on process, our creative life retains a sense of adventure. Focused on product, the same creative life can feel foolish or barren. We inherit the obsession with product and the idea that art produces finished product from our consumer-oriented society.”—Julia Cameron
We will do well to remember art is a process and it’s supposed to be fun. When there’s play and joy, you’re free to be yourself and share that on the page, and then ultimately with others.
Go create something, anything! Pick up that paintbrush, that pen, or that camera.