I am forcing myself to put this post up tonight. March and April were tough months for creativity, and I am still in a negative headspace about the blog and my theme. Moments of inspiration this season were few and far between, and in fact what I felt the most during this time was guilt.
Readers guilt weighed the heaviest for weeks. It is still on my shoulders, but with every half-finished book I finally focus on and complete, it gets a little lighter. Unnecessary strain from trying to keep up with two book clubs, reading for the theme, new book releases, borrowed books, and my Book of the Month picks all added up and made me feel like I wasn’t reading enough. I’d focus on a book club book only to stress about not reading a creative book. Then I’d read a creative book and worry that I’d be holding up book club meetings because I was the last member to finish a selection. Jumping back into book club wouldn’t last long, because I have a pile of borrowed books I’ve had forever and want to return because I hate when people keep my books for too long. And on and on. A whirlwind of guilt, all self-imposed, brought me down to a point where I’m not even reading every day. I have a book blog and I feel like a fraud because apparently, I don’t even read regularly anymore.
Since my reading focus was sporadic at best, I tried to focus on creating for creativity’s sake at times to ease my guilt. I largely disappointed myself in this regard as well since I basically colored in a coloring book every weekend and didn’t try anything new except faking my way through some water colors once. I say this, but really, I remember that day and it was grand. I had such a wonderful time coloring and testing paint. Even with no clear idea what I was doing, it was still a wonderful exploration into something new. I only wish I’d done it more. I feel guilty for calling this the year of creativity and only attempting to water color (or try anything at all) once in a two-month period. The energy just wasn’t there though; it’s still not there.
My last update mentioned that I would focus on journaling in the upcoming months. Those upcoming months have passed, and I can count on one hand the amount of times I have journaled. I attempted two failed writing challenges. You can find the abandoned attempts here and here. This is another instance that in writing about it, the task seemed to have failed, but I remember the weeks and how fun they were. I got relatively good participation on social media when posting and asking for followers to join me and take the challenges. Some good poems came out of that, that I am very proud of. I didn’t finish either week though. Neither attempt made it the full seven days of writing. I did not live up, yet again, to the expectation I set for myself. I’ve fallen short in every single endeavor I’ve undertaken.
Reader’s guilt caused me to stumble, blogging guilt caused me to fall, general creative failures paralyzed me. Here I sit still in my bubble of self-hatred and disappointment trying to figure out how to salvage the remainder of this year. There is hope, gentle reader. The more I feel guilty, the more I try and dissect why. I see this for what it is, all self-imposed, all unnecessary. It’s still incredibly difficult to reason my way out of these feels. I want to be creative in new ways, to write more and to write better, and to read all the books. How can I reconcile this guilt when I am not living up to what I think is my most-ideal creative self? That, I do not know yet. I’m not very chill and I never have been. I am not easy-breezy, not laid-back; I am high strung. And I get mad super easily, especially at myself. I’m trying though. Looking back, I can relax sometimes and acknowledge that I did have good moments of inspiration. I did enjoy my time with friends and family and my dog. I finished all of King of the Hill and I loved it!!! Also, I enjoy coloring! I love to color and chat; that’s soothing as heck. Every weekend that I colored, I was in the mood for coloring! That’s not bad. I had a good two months despite what my guilt is making me think. I’ve been listening to people talk about being gentle. There’s inspirational podcasts and social media posts about finding the time to hustle but finding the time to enjoy the process and enjoy the downtime. I feel myself getting stressed when I sleep in, when I watch tv, when I play with my dog for too long. These are all things that should not be stressful. SLEEPING IN SHOULD BE RESTFUL. I plan to write about readers guilt later on once I collect my thoughts a bit more. Once I figure out how to be chill about that. Until then, I am currently accepting tips and words of inspiration. I will return soon to write about my recent creative read, Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. Until then I shall sit here and try some meditation… anyone have a mantra?
Cuss word coloring book pages 🙂 Sorry!