Harder to hit; becoming a moving target

No book on creativity has stayed with me quite like Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. It’s seared onto my mind, its concepts and ideas bubbling up in my thoughts, invited or not.

I certainly didn’t act on many of the concepts when I first read it in whatever the heck my twenties ended up being – let’s just say ‘not a creative time’ is a generous assessment. But I felt like I was doing something right and good for myself whenever I read it. And that’s not nothing.

Flash forward to now.

Moving to Leeds? Living a simpler life? Giving my thoughts more time to percolate? Addressing and reducing some anxiety triggers? Better ley lines? Beautiful places to walk? Friendly people? More cups of tea?

I’m never going to completely understand this phenomenon: put simply, my cup of creativity now runneth over. I try to harness bolts of inspiration when they strike, and more importantly, have the confidence to act on them.

Having different projects on the go means that I can hop around. If I’m in a proofreading drought, I can write blog posts to stay sharp. If I want to step away from the laptop, I can wander over to the kitchen and make something nice for dinner. If I want to keep busy while listening to a podcast, I can grab my knitting needles.

Recently I started a project that has been rewarding, challenging, frustrating, boring, and exciting. It has filled me with dread. It’s activated a virulent strain of ‘imposter syndrome’. It’s made me joyful to the point of exuberance. I’ve had to ask for help – I couldn’t do it all myself and outsourced key elements to talented professionals. I’ve also had to scold a printer for doing a lousy job and wasting a week of my time.

Working on it helped me through a cold winter week without heat, fallow times while freelancing, and kept my mind occupied during that grim time after the relief wears off after a job interview and turns into waiting to hear if I’ve progressed to the next level or not.

And that’s when I realised that I am embodying a principle from Week 8 of The Artist’s Way – something Julia Cameron calls a ‘diverse, hydra-headed productivity’, or put another way, becoming a ‘moving target’.

I don’t expect Bellicose Soap Co. to make me a billionaire, but I hope that having the occasional order to fill will be a nice change of pace from writing and editing. It will make me happy to send these little soaps off into the world – my idea, my creative burst made real.

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