Category Archives: Personal Development

Finding Balance: Creative Life, Writing, Art, Vision & Focus

Okay, so…

In my last post, I announced an ambitious creative goal to write the first draft of a full-length screenplay in a week.

When I made that goal, it was under certain presumed circumstances, mainly being that my boyfriend/partner (whatever word one would use for a longterm non-married couple… “boyfriend” seems so flippant, whereas “partner” sounds like a business agreement) was simultaneously going to be very busy and consumed in his own creative/business project, thus being the perfect time for me to be absorbed and consumed by my own creative endeavor.

But! (There’s always a but…) His plans changed. And thus, so did mine.

For anyone reading my humble little blog who doesn’t already know me or my partner in some way, let me fill you in. We’ve been together for (at the time of this writing) just over eight years now. Woo hoo! It’s been a fun and crazy ride. 🙂

…BUT! (…there it is again…) All this time we’ve been in a long distance relationship. Why? Well, I’m Canadian and he’s American. He doesn’t have a desire to move to Canada since he owns a nice house in the U.S., and right now the only viable way for me to move to the U.S. is if we were to get married.

I find the differences between Canadian and American laws in this regard to be rather fascinating. If he were to move to Canada as my partner, Canadian law doesn’t demand that we get married as it recognizes the validity of longterm conjugal relationships of at least two years. American law, on the other hand, only recognizes a marriage certificate.

“So why not just get married?” Ugh, marriage. I don’t think marriage is inherently bad or anything like that. I think a marriage has the potential to be a great thing, depending on those involved and their reasons for choosing to marry, etc. That said, doesn’t marriage simultaneously seem like an outdated relationship model? I mean, legally, one can either be married or single (or perhaps widowed or divorced, which are just other words for being single but previously married), with no in between. Divorce rates are sky high. Isn’t it time for a new approach to marriage or other forms long-term committed relationships as recognized by government and law? Either way, it’s seems kind of creepy to me that there isn’t room for an in-between in a country that supposedly values Freedom to the extent that the U.S. claims it does. …But I digress.

Steve was previously married for something like eleven years. Their divorce process was very long, I believe going on six years to get everything settled and finalized… yikes! Since marrying again has the inherent possibility of divorce tied in with it, I can understand his reluctance or hesitation to want to avoid another potential divorce.

So, for the past eight years, I’ve been spending my time between Canada, visiting Steve in the US, and occasional travel to Europe. And honestly, I’ve been finding it rather difficult to focus on creative projects while being on the move so often.

It’s also for this reason that when Steve decides he’s going to have some downtime before diving into a big project and says that he would like to spend quality time with me, I’m not particularly inclined to say, “Sorry hon — I’ve just committed myself to an intense week of creative writing time while I try to hash out a full length screenplay in a week (or less).” I value the time we get to spend together since we have to spend a huge chunk of each year apart.

Anyway, with the recent down time and a short road trip behind us, we’re now both ready to focus on our own respective projects before I leave the U.S. again for a little while. And so, I’m taking up my original challenge to write a full-length screenplay in a week or less, starting tomorrow (Monday, February19, 2018) …TBD. (<— More on this re-dating later! …Oh, Life!!!) :)

In terms of fostering good creative and writing habits that yield flow and focus, I really need to figure things out there. I feel like I’ve been floundering for the better part of these last 8 (if not more) years of my life, and I think a big part of that has to do with my difficulty to focus on in-depth, long-term projects when I’m moving all the time and so focused on making sacrifices for the present-moment enjoyment of relationships and life. It’s definitely a balancing act, and I’ve been sucking at it. I really need to find a way to balance these things — these various aspects of one’s life… love, work, vision, and art — more harmoniously.

I want to devote a big part of this year to figuring that all out. I hope you’ll join me on my journey and hopefully we can figure out a number of things together. <3

But first, let’s write a screenplay… shall we? 😉

p.s. Consequently, in order to narrow my focus and avoid diluting my creative will power and energy, I’ve decided that my impending video/vlog challenge will be put on hold until once I’ve completed this 1st draft of my screenplay. 🙂

The Myth of Perfection: Learning the Art of Risk & Surrender

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash.

Art and creativity are fascinating enigmas. An artist strives to create something beautiful (or sometimes ugly), or meaningful, or touching, or layered, or shallow, or simple, or complex, or elegant, or chaotic, or critical, or maybe even (somehow) all of the above. But what happens when the end result is received in a way that doesn’t match up with the artist’s intention?

Art is, essentially, a form of communication. It is the artist’s expression of some thought or message, whether simple or complex, in physical form— even if that physical form is temporary, such as is the case in theatre or performance art. (Then again, even a painting or sculpture is, ultimately, temporary.) However, because communication via art is indirect and therefore has an inherent abstractness woven into it, there is a non-zero chance that the artist’s message will not be fully understood, or misunderstood, or even missed entirely.

This is the risk of all art, taken by all artists. We cannot control how our art will be perceived by others. Through art, there is no guarantee of perfect communication, and therefore risk is an innate element of all artistic expression.

This element of risk might give some people the message that perhaps it’s better to give up before even starting, since there’s no guarantee that “success” can be achieved.

But ah… guaranteed success is not the pure purpose behind art. Is it? (If it is for you, I might suggest you re-examine your inner “why” which drives you to create.)

I believe art exists for its own sake, and we can benefit from it in a multitude of ways, independent from the successful (or even unsuccessful) communication of the artist’s intended message upon the receiver/viewer/audience.

Art can open a dialogue between people or communities with opposing views. Art can inspire. Art can teach. Art can cause introspection and searching. Art may cause us to rise up and take action. Art may leave us in awe. Art may move us to laughter or tears. Art is sometimes emotional and cathartic. Art is sometimes mental and intellectual. It can be philosophical or it can be whimsical. It can be humorous or serious.

The potential of creativity and art is limitless.

There are so many overlapping themes between humanity and art, is it really such a far stretch to propose that humanity IS a work of art? Perhaps art and artistic expression is inherently an extension of our own humanity.

Working on one’s artistic or creative side is, therefore, very much akin to working on the development of one’s own person (i.e. personal development), and in turn, a piece of the puzzle of working on the betterment of humanity as a whole. In other words…

Being an artist has a noble, greater purpose beyond the myopic self. Artists help sculpt humanity’s present and future.

Not that’s certainly an inspiring reason to create! 😉 <3

~~~

Because of the inherent nature of art’s relationship to risk, a good artist must ultimately learn the art of surrender.

…Surrender to the unknown, to the uncontrollable, and to the subjective world of experience and interpretation.

Learning to surrender, in both art and life, is something I’ve been working in and on myself.

One thing that has often held me back from diving deep into creative expression is tied to the element of control and the desire for perfection. I’ve learned that perfection, when it comes to art, is an illusion, and therefore I must surrender to that imperfection which exists in its place.

Done is better than perfect.

Create with love. …And let it go, with love.

Reflecting on the nature of and desire for perfection, perhaps it might even be rooted in a desire to evade criticism, judgement, or being misunderstood. If we create something perfect, we will (theoretically) be free from potential negative criticism and feedback, and we will be completely — perfectly — understood. After all, isn’t that something which all humans desire at our core: to be loved and understood?

But since perfection is essentially a myth in this subjective universe of art and creative expression, seeking perfect expression is a fruitless, impossible goal. I say this not to dissuade you or anyone from doing your best, but rather to free you from holding yourself to impossible and unrealistic expectations.

For example, I know this blog post is rather imperfect… perhaps it is overly verbose or rambling or meandering. It could probably use a bit more focus and structure.  But hey, it’s published! It exists in the world. And an imperfect something is better than a would-be perfect some-day maybe which never ends up seeing the light of day.

Embrace imperfection. Embrace your self. (Because yes, we are all perfectly imperfect.)

Embrace who you are today and share your unique perspective with this world, imperfections and all.

You are a unique work of art.

There will never be anyone else like you.

And, especially:

All things, your self and your art included, are inherently temporary in this medium of space-time reality.

…So, good or bad, who cares what the critics think? It’s all subjective and temporary anyway. 😉

xox

<3