Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pursuing Your Secret Dreams

Greetings, my little ones! I'm glad to see you all here today. Let me hand out your graham cracker snacks to keep your busy little hands occupied whilst I get things going.

I spent a couple hours last night learning a new Jonathan Coulton song on the guitar, so I'm a bit more random and abstract than perhaps is normal for me in this blog. But then ... yesterday was pretty out there, too, wasn't it?

It seems when I let my inner artist/inner goofball out to play, what follows is a period of lightheartedness and sometimes weirdness. Spending two hours listening to and playing a song about an evil genius who makes half-pony half-monkey monsters for his love, whom he keeps captive in his secret lair, may be partly to blame for that.

Songwriting is something I've never considered myself good at. I love to play guitar and sing, and I frequently find myself making up snippets of songs for no good reason. The Artist's Way invites the reader to list some alternate lives, lives you think might be fun to try out. Whether your secret dream is or was to become a cowboy, an opera singer, or a comic book artist, Julia Cameron asks you to pursue a tiny piece of those dreams, just to get a taste. Maybe you can't move to Texas and become an actual cowboy, but can you take a horseback riding lesson? Perhaps it's not possible for you to be a drummer in a famous rock band, but can you get your hands on some secondhand drums and play them in your basement when no one's around to hear? Indulging your secret dreams can please your inner artist and be a fun diversion from your workaday life. You might even find an opportunity to live them on a higher level, if you get the opportunity to vacation on a ranch, or bump into a couple of musicians who'd be willing to jam with you one Sunday a month.

When I indulge a passion I don't focus on, like my guitar playing, it can open up windows through which other creative juices flow. I get something different out of each of my moods. My writing style varies, as does my subject matter, depending on whether I'm feeling down or happy, pedantic or just plain weird.

Think about your secret dreams today. Can you tap into them, even just for an afternoon? You might discover a whole new side of yourself.

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