The creativity/spiritual connection

Wednesday 14 May 2008

I feel really stuck creatively. All of a sudden, I just don't know what to do with myself. I've squeezed out a few poems recently, still writing my morning pages, did a collage last week. But I just feel so stuck!!

It's weird but I have noticed this pattern that whenever I feel unwell, I don't go in the playroom. I feel like there is a reason for that. It's some kind of not wanting to sully my space - not in a superstitious kind of way; it just feels too creative in there when I'm not feeling up to it. Whenever I want to get creative and I'm feeling unwell, you'll generally find me curled up on the couch with the blanket and a tray. I'm a big believer in trays.

So I haven't been in my playroom for a week or so. Was just getting ready to come climb into bed and be cosy. Thought, I wonder if there is a connection between how totally disorientated I am feeling spiritually and how totally disorientated I am feeling creatively? I am feeling very far away from it all, and while I wrote last week some time about how these days I have developed a confidence in knowing I can make it back there again with much more ease even when I've slipped away, there is still that unsettling feeling of not having any idea at all of actually how to get back there. The willingness to just go and sit with the nothingness and see what happens. But hey, I feel like I'm doing that anyway so I may as well be doing it in a creative space and see what happens.

Grabbed Julia Cameron's The Sound of Paper on my way past the bookcase. She is the solace I most seek when I am feeling creatively dead, the way that Richard Rohr and Madeleine L'Engle are my lifelines when I'm feeling spiritually dead.

And here is what I opened the page at, as I hunkered down in bed, crying into a tissue (standard procedure):
Try this: Often when we skid to a halt in our work, we skid to a halt in our spiritual life as well. We do not think to ask God' s help to dissolve our creative resistance, and yet such prayer is often the right answer. Take pen in hand and pray on the page. Write a letter to whatever you conceive of as the Great Creator. Complain, gripe, moan, sigh, weep, scream in sheer frustration. And ask for help. Next, pick up the phone and call an open-minded and positive friend. Explain that you need spiritual support for your creative endeavour. Ask her to pray for your restored productivity. Finally, go back to work. Your prayers have been answered, and you have achieved enough mobility to give work a try.
This definitely felt like one of those God moments. And I haven't even come bashfully with my tail between my legs about swearing at him yet. But hey, that's why I didn't even really felt like I needed to, you know? He knows I'm angry at him. He knows I still am. He knows why and he knows why I'm frustrated.

So anyway. I don't need to pick up the phone. I'll just ask you guys instead? Please pray for me for restored creativity. I seem to go a bit batty without it (battier, anyway). I'm going off to sleep and to write aggro prayers to God. And I imagine I will probably say 'fuck' in them there, too. But he can handle extended dummy spits. And I will at some point get my tail between my legs, not because I feel like I should in all due reverence, but because I know his grace and his love will compel me out of sheer beauty.

But in the meantime, Johnny Lydon was so right. Anger is an energy. I'm just not sure that I'm really expending it on anything meaningful right now but you know. Whatever.


  1. thank you for this post, sue. i really needed it...especially the prayer part. i, too, am feeling creatively stuck. i feel like i am at a crossroads and so rather than creating something, i am doing nothing. i feel like i am 'waiting' which is o.k. but then i am afraid to make a move because i don't want to waste anymore time...whatever that means?!??!?!

    so, i think i'll go write my letter to God and i will include a spot for you in it too. you got to be my julia cameron today :-)

  2. I really like what Julia Cameron said. So ring me! :) or better still, I'll ring you!! Id love to talk about how crappy we've been feeling and then colour! ;)
    Im praying my love!

  3. Praying here, in suddenly damp Dorset...

    Love & blessings


  4. Lucy - glad it was timely for you. I think what you said too about 'waiting' and that being okay - being creative isn't just this button you push and it spurts out at the same rate every day. I need sometimes to re-remind myself of that, too. Thanks for the spot in your letter to God. I hope your's is nicer than mine. I am so frustrated at the moment that mine was just full of rage. It was really good. It's nice to sit with a rage-filled letter to God and know that he doesn't mind about that.

    Andi - yes, I think it is definitely time for us to have another colouring-in episode and a chat! I'm home tonight so call me, call me now.

    Mike - thank you, you wet Woolly man for your prayers. Thanks everyone. I really appreciate them and I really need them.

  5. thanx for pointing us to this gem of a note from Ms Cameron

  6. Yes, she does have the deft turn of phrase and the knowledge of the creative life, dont she :)

  7. I've recently been on a creative upswing after a few dry months. My creative spark often seems to come back to me through real life encounters with people. Suppose it's different for others. I will pray for a creative swell to come and carry you.

    btw I have a blog which I sporadically contribute to. I'm not sure if it gives you my blog info when I type it in on a comment. Anyhow, it's

  8. Hey dude. Yes, I agree that it's inspiration from other people definitely that helps fuel that spark. Thanks for the prayers :)

    A lot of it for me is allowing myself to indulge my creativity. Even though it's the thing that brings me the most joy out of everything, and when I do it I feel like I am meant to be there, there are also parts of me that stop me from doing it and I'm still trying to work out why. What complex creatures we are.


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