The Creative Act is often performed in isolation. So much of what we draw, paint, dance or write is a deeply personal experience, that we choose – consciously or not – to explore alone.
Even those artists who share studio space, choreographers who direct a troupe, writers who sit in cafes full of people – each of us creates alone; the creation is in our heads and hearts before it is birthed into the world.
This is a natural part of the process of creativity: going inward to connect with the flow of our own creativity and only after much processing, bringing it out into the world to be shared.
It can get pretty lonely, sometimes.
After a sustained period of creative productivity, I can find myself sitting on the couch, staring into space, feeling sort of disconnected. Or worse yet, rolling over and just going back to sleep, not wanting to get out of bed.
Rest is fine, but staying there for too long can lead to a dangerous cycle where I don’t get enough stimulation or inspiration to continue the creative process. Getting re-energized and inspired to do further creative work can seem too hard, or like too much effort.
But, if I can manage to get myself out and into community, it’s not long before those creative juices start flowing again.
Now, some people find it hard to share their creative lives with community. Fear of rejection, comparison and feelings of envy can paralyze us to the point of becoming agoraphobic – afraid to step out, to show our true colors and fly our “freak flags”.
Finding the right community, the group or experience that will support you rather than tear you down is the key. You may wish that your parents, co-workers or mate could understand and accept your creative self, but those places aren’t necessarily the best places to start looking for acceptance and support.
In the years that I’ve been facilitating The Artist’s Way groups, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing participants form warm and lasting friendships. They share difficult spots along their journeys and receive loving support, getting good solid practical advice from others who have “been there”. Sometimes, we just sit and make art together in community.
This is powerful stuff for the Creative. We need each other to help keep us inspired and connected – not just to each other, but to ourselves and our Creative flow. So that when the time comes to go inward to channel that flow, we know we have a team of supportive people waiting to hear from us, wanting to share in our process and sustain us as we create.
Whether you choose a group like the Artist’s Way, or a group more focused on supporting you as a Creative businessperson; a writing group or a sketching group; a dance group or a consort of musicians, I encourage you to seek Creative Community. As much as we need to be alone, we need each other in order to create.