Note To Self: Feed Your Creative Spirit

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-37-40-pm

Photo of Anne Sexton

 

You know those signs outside of churches with sayings on them? You must have driven past them a thousand times. They normally have a heart warming saying of some sort or a quote about Jesus not wanting all of us to text and drive. I usually have a minimal reaction to them, though some make me smile or laugh, but I’m mostly unimpressed. That is, until last week. I was driving home from work, and it was a long day, one that left me with little to no energy to do anything after work besides cook dinner and watch TV. That’s when I saw this quote:

“Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.”

Now, you should know, I’m not a very religious person anymore. It’s totally cool if you are, but events that took place over the past few years led me to find faith in other places besides a church. These days, I get more out of flipping through the pages of “The Complete Poems of Walt Whitman” than I do getting down on my knees and praying to whoever is up there in the sky. However, when I saw that quote I was reminded that we all have different definitions of what faith means to us, and that’s a wonderful thing.

I began thinking about creative folk like me, and all of the things that feed our “writing faith,” if you will. So, would the saying apply when it comes to our writing life self-doubt?

Don’t pretend you don’t have it. We all have it and that’s okay. However, what can we do? In a recent discussion with one of my most trusted advisors, I found myself complaining about how crummy I feel due to the lack of producing enough material for one complete poem. I ranted about how I feel like an intruder when I’m not writing enough. How can I call myself a poet if I’m not dedicating ample time to writing poetry? How can I call myself a poet if I only write down one or two lines and fall asleep on top of my journal?

She then posed the question: “what else feeds that part of you?” I quickly responded that I love reading. If I’m not writing poetry, I certainly should be reading it. Upon saying the words out loud, I almost instantly felt relief. The saying returned to my mind…

“Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.”

So that’s where I’m at. I have a lot of unfinished poems piling up, bits of paper taped into my journal with ideas that pop into my brain, but I’m incorporating some discipline back into my life when it comes to reading. So far, it feels good. So far, I don’t hear the demons of self doubt knocking at my door in the middle of the night.

Stay tuned.

-Christine

Advertisements