"We are a species who needs and wants to understand who we are." - Anne Lamott
We are all creative beings. Which also means we come face-to-face with resistance in our creative process. We experience moments of doubt. Is this what I'm really supposed to be doing? I'm not good at this. And the debilitating thoughts continue. They may even thread themselves into the biggest, most tangled ball of messy and suffocating thoughts ever.
This is part of the creative process. This is part of working on a big project that you put all of your love into. There will be shitty first drafts that test your patience as well as your commitment to your craft. I experience these drafts on smaller levels and then sometimes on big, existential levels. So, here's a piece of writing to remind you that you are not alone and that what you do and who you are, matters.
There will be imperfect, even shitty, first drafts...and many at that.
Drafts that are unpolished, that contain shaky bits, that test your dedication to your craft.
This is not the shameful part.
The shameful part is stopping there, at the shitty draft,
despite knowing deep in your bones
that this is what you are meant to be,
meant to do,
destined to share with the world.
I work with a lot of not-so-perfect first drafts, at my writing desk and on my yoga mat.
I write a piece and then find myself rewriting it all over again.
The first draft is not a waste. It is necessary in navigating the internal process and
untangling those knots that resist the creative process.
I work through new yoga sequences, new poses, new transitions. Some go smoothly the first run while others are shaky, unstable, awkward, and anything but fluid.
In those moments, I remind myself to stay on my mat.
Stay with my body.
It is in that moment that my dedication to learning the language of the body is tested.
Try the sequence again.
Try entering the pose in a different way.
Write another draft.
The journey to your own imperfectly exquisite masterpiece takes equal parts effort and ease.
It is the effort that carries one to effortlessness; to moments when all you can absorb is the expanse of your own potential. Or, at least, get a taste of that potential.
Are the hours upon hours of working at your craft - that thing that radiates radical affirmation from your core - worth those moments, as my teacher Amy Ippoliti says, "when you get a hit of your own greatness"?
I hope you and I can look back and say,
with luster in our voices,
"I worked hard to understand who I am."