creative life: setbacks

21 Nov

Lolita has been working, slaving, for over a year to refine and implement her concept of a website which features modern art and customized audio.  Image by image, composition by composition, relationship by relationship, with artists and composers, she has built.  And after an intensive drive last Spring to optimize the site more effectively – miracle of miracles- she began seeing visits to her website.  The difference between 0 and 1 hit was an occasion of great joy.  Needless to say when she steadily saw 5 hits a day, then 10, then in recent months 15-20, she felt confident that the site was moving in the right direction.

Suddenly, in the last few days, visits to her website dropped down to a paltry 5 a day. Needless to say, our Girl’st first reaction was “I’ve done something to the site.  I have broken the site.  I am responsible for this ‘failure’.”

For the artistic personality, somewhat obsessive by nature and inclined to self-criticism, it is typical and understandable that the first reaction to setbacks will be some rather harsh self-confrontation – the harshness coming from our frustration, our disappointment in a situation which blocks our progress, demands frequently a detour of time and energy.  There is a great potential at this point for emotional tailspin, for panic, for random “clutching at straws” in an urgent and obsessive quest for the fix.

But our Girl has learned over the years to step outside of her “box” at these moments.  She recalls role models from points in her life who exhibited particularly strong qualities of patience, of cool reason.  And she allows herself to sit for a day or so, as long as necessary, with the hard feelings associated with setback.  She keeps petting Deuce, nurturing her dear Spaniel muse, she keeps focused on what is going right, and she allows herself to regain emotional and intellectual equilibrium.

As she arrives back in a more balanced state, she is prepared to take the baby steps – ask the basic questions – do the basic research – necessary to uncover the issue underlying her setback.

You have learned to sit for a while with the hard feelings associated with creative setbacks.  You have learned to recognize these setbacks as opportunities for new learning – as points of unexpected revelation which ultimately  take you further down the road than you otherwise would have found yourself.  You see the hand of the Creator, hear Her voice, feel His participation most strongly at these moments of clear-headed problem solving.

Your focus on the positive, your step-by-step approach to problem solving, has strengthened you as an artist – increased your capacity for creative thought and successful efficient project execution.  Perhaps most importantly, your bond with your Partner has been strengthened, and you enjoy the peace only available to those who find positive connections with the Creator.

spark on!


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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in creative life


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