[ Only you know best. This is what works for me. Take it or leave it.]
There are 3 ways to get rid of writer's block or launch yourself into creative expression.
#1. Let go of judgment!
Once you let go of the idea of good or bad in your art, the possibilities will be infinite. I have written in detail about this on HOW TO BUILD A LIGHT SABER, but for simplicity's sake let me break it down into its bare minimum:
Negative thoughts change your body chemistry. The only way to lose them is by asking questions. You can use Byron Katie, and identify the stressful thoughts you have around art i.e. "This is not academic enough" or "My painting sucks." Are these thoughts true? Who would you be without them? And then turn it around.
#2. Find gratitude.
I usually find that the reason I get art depression is because I become goal-oriented, or as I call it, "endzone-oriented." I am consumed with how to get something out to the world, rather than what I am or have actually created. In order to get out of this future thinking, I have found that gratitude is the easiest path to clarity. When you look around and appreciate the little things that make up your life, goal-oriented thoughts are left by the wayside and you are brought back to the centered place from which your art began.
#3. Discover your intention.
Another way out of writer's block or stressful thoughts around creation is to discover your intention. I recommend asking the following: What inspires me? Why do I write? What is my intention? These questions will return or catalyse the possibility for creation. It will help you lose the idea of the waiting game 'it will come when it comes' mentality, which is not true, and if you don't believe me, take it to inquiry and find out for yourself.
Now, finally, I will give my advice on the following questions which I have been asked in heart-to-hearts, emails, etc.:
"Can you tell me how to get published?" and "How can my writing be better?"
I will take the last one first. "How can your writing be better?" you ask. I say, "Lose that thought." Once you stop being consumed with approval, applause, and your own self-preservation, you will come face-to-face with what makes your particular work the best that it is. It is this simple.
So many times I see artists so busy worrying about genres, classifications, or if people like them, that I think, 'How in the world do these people have time to create?' I mean it really is a testament to how all human beings have unlimited potential. We can be filled with so many thoughts and still manage to make a painting. But imagine not having this clouded mind. What if there was no mind when you approached your art?
Yes, my sentiments exactly. And it really is easy. Just question your stressful thoughts, get grateful for being alive, notice the little things, and roll with it.
Some people will like particular pieces more than others, and this is just taste so don't take it personal. And if you do, look at the critique; ask if it's true, see who you would be without it, and move on.
For artists who believe canons are important or a certain sense of lineage when approaching art, good luck! I have no real advice for you, besides the truth, which is you're going to have to drop the conceptual frameworks you learned at your MFA or PhD programs before you find that voice which is yours.
And this doesn't mean I am against classical education or advanced programs, I just know that some human beings are better served painting without any frame of reference, while others are seeking a more, academic route of exhibition or livelihood. Neither is better than the other. It's just different tastes. Don't get hung up on it.
I, personally, dig dirty music more than refined pop, but then again, I don't mind dropping a little Justin Timberlake on itunes after a Doors-Nirvana-Foo Fighters marathon. It all depends on how I'm feeling.
This brings me to the last and most important advice I have to offer and that is openness. As soon as I have thought solidly about something, it invariably turns jellyfish on me and oozes on the floor.
Don't be afraid to be open. It is a healthy position for the mind. It takes itself easy on us when we are this clear. It also zooms out of the picture frame or microscope slide of our lives to reveal a much, bigger scope of what our lives may mean for one another, and the unlimited possibility such a super telescope provides.
I wish you all the best on your journeys, and happiness with your creative and life endeavors. Please know that I will respond to all art that is sent to me. It may take time, but feel free to send me work or links. I will do my best to respond as soon as I can. And know that I really love being sent little gifts like that. It is so thoughtful and a real blessing. Thank you.
If you would like more information on my approach to art or life, visit HOW TO BUILD A LIGHT SABER or download GOLDEN ASHTRAY.
Oh, and one last thing. Reading. I read a lot. If you're working on craft or language, etc. Reading is so nutritious.
Anyway, like I have said earlier, take or leave my approach. Only you know best. Trust that.
The Desert Rose
Pirooz M. Kalayeh
PS. How do you get published? The Internet. Do-it-yourself. Meet someone.
2 days ago