Has a creative project ever mattered so much to you that you simply did…nothing? Or next to nothing in its pursuit? Has it ever mattered so much that what you did in every other creative area in your life—and maybe even every other area in your life in general—didn’t register as “counting” for anything at all? It’s the “I’m moving forward in my BIG project or I am a total nonproductive, lazy slob” mode of life.
My life for the past few years. I’ve been trying to write a book, based on research done in grad school, about how stigma gets internalized as punishment for people who are bipolar (I happen to be one of them) and how that distorts their relationships with themselves and others. I’ve had my bumps along the way conceptually and in terms of life’s surprises (a bout of cancer being one of them), but really, the problem is that I made the project so very BIG in my mind. That was a sure road to paralysis for me.
Of course I’m only now realizing this—and the toll I paid in not honoring the other creative projects I was working on. So, no more BIG projects in 2015. I have the book, and, because it will take quite a bit of my energy, it is a “big” project (but not BIG). And the other projects—my digital art, photography, mobile photography, and now video—will also share honor, as they should. And all my creative work will enjoy space on this blog, which is a new thing I’m beginning in an effort to keep “big” in lower case letters. It just might work.
Have you ever given so much importance to one creative pursuit that your efforts in any other area weren’t respected? Did you ever find yourself paralyzed? What were your coping strategies?