"Art is an image-using system. In order to create, we draw fro our inner well. This inner well, an artistic reservoir, is ideally like a well-stocked trout pond...an abundance of artistic fish to fry. As artists, we must realize that we have to maintain this artistic ecosystem...we must learn to be self-nourishing. We must become alert enough to consciously replenish our creative resources as we draw on them--to restock the trout pond, so to speak. I call this process filling the well."
You spent the greater part of your life neglecting the part of you that needs to create and express and make things.
You pretty much denied and pushed aside that impulse to create—yet you seemed to regularly spend those rare spare moments and even career moments making something (a valance here, a writing course there, a collage here, a newsletter there, a poem here, a business venture there…) — or wishing you were making something. Or wishing that you could make something someone else made. But you believed you could not.
In her life changing book, the Artist's Way, Julia Cameron reaches out through her pages to identify just who you are, now. You are in fact called to create and express and make things. Yet, for one reason or another…time, fear, caregiving, upbringing…you haven’t created much.
You are a recovering creative.
And there comes a point when you...
Despite the fear and anxiety and insecurity. Despite that lizard hissing in the background of your brain.
Don’t be silly.
You know what you need.
Time and space and permission (mostly from yourself) to explore and play and create.
Companionship and encouragement from others who share the same journey.
Some serendipitous direction - you have a lot of learning to do and a lot of time to make up for!
Reflection and healing as you forgive yourself for self-neglect.
And finally, you need...
To share and celebrate the breakthroughs as you dip into the "inner well".
So you begin (beginning is always the hardest part).
You're going to hit the road - travel through all that foreign terrain where "real" artists live. Do it. Create. Make things. And explore those features of the creative landscape like Uncertainty and Play and Fear and Abandon - and so many other seeming obstacles, vistas and points of interest.
You don't know yet what you want to create so much. The locals of this wild place have cleared land and built gardens. They can answer questions, like:
In what medium do you work?
What's your style?
What are you making?
And here's a particularly thorny patch to clear:
These questions are not for you to answer yet. There will be time for homesteading.
For now, you are making a trek, taking a long journey to "pull [y]our overextended and misplaced creative energy back into [y]our own core," as Cameron points out in your guidebook.
Into your art journal you go.