Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way , insists that many self proclaimed ‘writers’ are in love with the idea of being a writer but when it comes down to it are without the drive or the stamina to do the work. Others possess talent but internal voices of critics past and present snuff out any sparks of motivation or inspiration.
There also comes a moment of reckoning (and I’m having one of these) – a kind of straighten-up-and-fly-right type message from the divine. It hasn’t escaped me that after over a year of drawing birds and working with words I’ve moved into a house where the previous occupant went to great measures to repel all things feathered. The now fully laden fruit trees in the back garden are enclosed in a gigantic metal cage – which at first glance looks like an aviary but is designed to keep birds out. Every now and then a cheeky little bowerbird will squeeze under the gate and help himself to some windfalls while I watch with admiration – with that much determination the little guy is welcome to anything he can get. Even with the limits set in a most obvious way, life thrives.
Work with what you’ve got, the signs all say, no remedial action required other than what it takes to move from stone-still to action – openness (and maybe a small measure of that little bird’s cheekiness).
So what if one isn’t built for creating epics – one can always come up with an haiku or two. If there’s only a small gap in a busy day (perhaps otherwise filled with nappy changing, runs to school and the market and the like) there’s still opportunity enough to look around and notice things – to see life in one’s own way – get under the fence and be inspired.
And if all else fails, take a look at what has been created so far.
In honour of Mercury’s retrograde phase, I’m doing a review of my work – including some of my favourite bird drawings.