Kaleidoscope Mind: 100 Affirmations for the Creative Person
Being an artist is not easy. From the outside it can look as if the picture is painted by magic, the book appears from nowhere or the new music, suddenly and with no apparent effort, fills our ears. It took a very long time to claim writer or poet and even longer before I could call myself an artist.
“You’re so lucky,” we artists hear. “You’re so talented.” But we of the midnight hours and heavy self- doubts know differently. Art is a blessing: true. And a double blessing when it flows with perfection– because frequently it doesn’t.
Many a rose blushes unseen, to borrow from Grey’s poetry. Many a splendid creation is never begun, or completed if it is attempted, because the artist, the real artist, the dreamer who takes nothing and creates something artistic, find themselves unable to struggle past the inside and outside circumstances of their life situation.
Kaleidoscope Mind: 100 Affirmations for Creative People is meant as tribute and encouragement. And to function as a companion, to show you that you are not alone, that what you do in creating beauty, harmony, joy, understanding.
I am a disciplined artist. I make my own working rules and I fol ow them.
“Discipline is an artist’s best friend, and the lack of it can become an artist’s worst enemy. Having great ideas means nothing if you’re not disciplined enough to get them out of your mind” [and into their proper medium.] Lucinda Irwin Smith3
Here are four artists’ truths:
“The only way to get through artist’s block is to begin,” says journalist Jan Goodwin, “It’s the same as saying you’re going to start a diet next If all you ever do is talk about it, you will never begin. The real discipline must come from within yourself.”
“I think the best advice I ever received,” adds Beth Henley, playwright, “is finish what you’re working Start it and finish it. Don’t worry about making each paragraph or each scene perfect. Just go ahead and plow through to the end. Once you’re through, then you can go back and rework the scenes. You should even leave out the things you can’t get right. People start projects and end up not liking what they’ve done. They start something else and leave that unfinished too. It’s a bad pattern to get into.” Margaret Mead said in her autobiography that she learned from watching her professors, who didn’t do it, that she would always write up her research as soon as feasible.
“What is the best way to dive in? asks Carolyn “Just do it. What I say in my classes and what I try to practice in my own life is: Write a thousand words a day, make one charming phone call, and write one charming note…. I must say, however, these rules are easy to make but hard to follow.”
“An artist who has never experienced rejections simply has not sent work to the right places,” says Joyce Carol Oates. Expect rejection as a fact of life. And keep going.
Lucinda Irwin Smith, Women Who Write: From the Past and the Present to the [Writer is made generic. All quotes on this page from Smith.]