Could your sense of boredom be linked to fear? Best-selling author and creative teacher Julia Cameron thinks so…
I believe creativity is a part of our spiritual DNA. When we unleash our inner artist, we find ourselves blessed with feelings of joy and satisfaction. Being creative is the universe’s will for us. Refusing to do so because of fear runs counter to our true natures. Fear comes in many guises, but perhaps the most deceptive one is boredom. It is a mask we wear to tell ourselves, “what’s the use.” We feel a sense of ennui, and we fail to recognise that it is covering up our deeper feelings of worry and inadequacy. Often, we are afraid to take a risk or to try something new. Many of us suffer from this and feel totally stuck. We wonder if the feeling will ever pass. It’s only when we tackle what we fear that we unmask our emotions at a deeper level.
It was through my own experience with the making of my film God’s Will that I experienced deep within me the link between my boredom and anxiety. I found myself procrastinating on finishing the film, telling myself that I was becoming disinterested. It was only once I screwed my courage to the sticking post that I found myself with feelings of fear, not boredom.
It takes some digging and a lot of courage to unmask this relationship in your own creative life. I would suggest trying a tool found in my book The Artist’s Way called Blasting Through Blocks. Put simply, it requires you to list angers, fears and resentments connected to the project on which you’re stalled. This process is often explosive, as our deep-seated feelings are revealed. Simple enough to do, it unmasks our denial, rendering us free enough to move forward with our creative endeavours.
I would say the bedrock tool for opening up your creative life is an exercise called the Morning Pages. This simple process involves three pages of daily, longhand writing about absolutely anything, which moves us out of denial and into action. They are to be written first thing in the morning and shown to no-one. There are no rules on what you write about and sometimes what you jot down may seem trivial, but they forge the trail for further adventures in creativity in the future. Another exercise to try is the Artist Date. It’s a once-a-week solo expedition where you explore something that interests or entrances you. Those who do this report insights, hunches and breakthroughs.
In my experience, which is considerable, there is no such thing as an uncreative person. I would tell anyone to experiment with the Morning Pages and Artist Dates before they conclude that they are non-creative!
Julia Cameron is the author of more than 30 books, including the bestselling work on the creative process, The Artist’s Way. She has recently co-authored The Artist’s Way for Retirement, (£12.99, Hay House) with Emma Lively. It’s an in-depth look at how retirement can be the richest and most fulfilling time of your life. It works as a practical guide to help anyone who wants to live a more creative life.