Resistance

After a very long tie away, I'm back! "About time," you may well say. I agree. I have all of these visions of blogging about my art process, chatting about all things arty, and life just got in the way. So I am back and will try much, much harder this time. 

Today, day one of ten weeks of manic clay building as I prepare for the 2016 Warrandyte Pottery Expo. Resistance is one of those things I battle with, particularly in the beginning of a project. I'm not sure why, but it is a heavy feeling that makes me feel tired and lifeless. I know that many artists struggle with this in one form or another and call it by many other names.

Steven Pressfield writes in The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles that resistance can be "felt" and that "we experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work."

Yep... All true. 'Tis what it does. I have a long list of things that have to be done first, before I can make my art, before I can sit down to begin, and, when I have checked off my list, I'll add more! But I have come to recognize its tricks.

I have come to expect Resistance. It's a bit like an old friend, quite familiar now. It used to paralyze me, and can again if I let it, but I have learned to welcome it as part of my creative process... Resistance for me is like the gatekeeper between doing and not doing. I find that I have to just push through and begin.

I usually begin by saying 'Hello', acknowledging Resistance and its presence. This tends to reduce the power Resistance has over me, or on the flip side, 'Hello' enables me to move past the moment, to push again and begin.

Some days are tougher than others, I'll admit. Today was particularly tricky. Resistance nagged and told me how tired I  was and I agreed. So I sat about, had a cuppa, watched some telly. But I had a preempted plan of attack...

You see,  I have set up this routine, at least I am in the process of... I take my boys off to work, walk myself around the lake, come home, have a shower, have breakfast and have a set time that I must start my art. This is so I am not distracted by the things I have to do, and the things I should be doing You know, the things Resistance says. Yes, Resistance did natter in my ear, and did keep me one hour later that I had hoped, but, I made it to my studio! 

I sat at my table for quite some time. The heavy, tired feeling persisted, so I wrote about it in my journal and when I had had enough of that, I set a goal for 20 houses. I made 30! Whoo Hoo! Do you know what I have learned? As soon as I begin, Resistance goes! I'm really not sure where, but it goes. About time!

The break-though! It starts with one. My first house!

Then there were more...

Then there were thirty! What a champion!