I've been down and out for months. Every time I try to raise my head above water, something pulls the rug out and dumps another bucket all over me. Negative energy has sapped my strength and almost ended me a few times. Oh, I've had excuses, but looking back, that’s all they were – Lame – Hollow – Excuses.
You know how life always gets in the way when you make a good solid plan and set goals for yourself. There’s the weather, runs to the doctor, things that need to be fixed or built. See, my excuses are good.
1 You’ll have to agree the weather has been weird this year, hot when it should be cold, cold when it should be hot. Everyplace got snow except Alaska! What’s up with that? But the weather in Texas has been bad. Downright depressing. And it’s a proven fact that weather can affect you to the point of losing your creative bug.
[Insert BUZZ] Strike that lame excuse. The best time to write, or paint, or quilt, or whatever, is when it’s too cold, or too hot, or too rainy, or too windy, [insert your own bad weather here] to go outside.
2 Here’s a better one. The weather has been beautiful and just too perfect not to get in some gardening.
[BUZZ] The opposite of the first one is still a lame excuse. Now is the time to carry a pad and pencil to your favorite bench and let nature inspire me.
3 I have so many projects going on and I get overwhelmed. That’s a good excuse, isn't it?
[BUZZ] Duh, who laid all those problems on the table, nit-wit. Make a list, prioritize, set aside blocks of time and keep to your schedule, and try to delegate something, like maybe the dishes? Hey it works sometimes.
4 My husband has combat PTSD and is often difficult to live with.
[BUZZ a loud one this time] How can I blame my lack of whatever, or bail on someone who values the lives of others far more than he values himself? Shame on me! His courage should be enough inspiration to keep me going for the rest of my life.
5 I’m just getting old and tired and my bones ache.
[BUZZ] Don’t ever buy into that lie, for about a thousand and one reasons. Eat right, go to bed ON TIME, take your vitamins, and let the sun (Son) shine in! And take a pain pill of you really do feel sore once in a while.
6 I just don’t feel very creative today.
[BUZZ] Really? Quit whining. Get off your thumbs. And Move!
7 I have PMS and would rather throw my computer into the lake than sit here banging on the keys. I want to injure something!
[BUZZ] Still whining? Give it a break! The pity party is over! If I have enough energy to want to rip the tail off an alligator, why not add some of that energy to the draggy part of that book I've been fretting over!
8 Okay! Don’t rip my head off. Here is one nobody can argue with. It’s not an excuse. The kids are coming over and it’s going to be a busy day.
[BUZZ] Maybe so, but I can’t think of a better opportunity to encourage and inspire grandchildren than to show them what I do. Share some ideas. Give them a pad and pencil, or paints, and let them give it a try. Hmmmm, that sounds like a story in itself. Remember, the family who [insert project] together, stays together.
9 My heart has been broken – more than once. How can I be creative when the pain comes from someplace where you can’t put a Band-Aid?
[BUZZ] Hank Williams said it best in his song, but it’s been repeated by everyone in every profession on every continent in the world: You can’t really sing and make people feel what you feel inside if you've never lived through the pain. In other words: No pain, no gain. When life hands you a bucket of #!$&, first you make fertilizer and you grow something really beautiful. Then you write about it.
10 Final excuse. This one can’t be blown out of the water. I’ve been sick, really sick. It put me on my back for weeks. First one thing, then another (you can verify that with my friends). But then it became habit to just lay around wishing I had some energy – and feeling sorry for myself.
[BUZZ] I’m sure glad I didn't do that twenty some odd years ago when I had stage (not going to mention that number in mixed company) breast cancer. The doctors said it had spread and they cut all sorts of stuff off my body. Then I had to take a really horrible cocktail of chemotherapy for six months to get the rest of the nasties out. (I took my final exams with a bald head.)
Where am I going with this? Lots of folks suggested I slow down, take a break, finish school later. But I was in my final year – within sight of a degree. The first, but thankfully not the last, in my family to go to college. I couldn't quit. I couldn't quit for my new husband who stood by me through every second of it. I couldn't quit on my pre-teen kids who looked to me for strength. Most of all, I couldn't quit for myself. And how could I use that as an excuse when so many others were so much more sick than I have ever been and they had the courage to keep going?
So who tried to kill my creative bug?
Here’s the truth. If someone has squashed the life out of you or your creative side, it’s only because you let it happen. No one can truly control your life except you. No one has power over you unless you give them permission. And. That’s. Not. Okay. Not in any scenario. Give yourself permission to retake control of your soul – slay the dragon – breathe life back into that poor little creative bug, and set out a plate of cookies for your muse, should he or she decide to stop by for a chat (Invite your inspiration).
You have what it takes to revive your poor little injured bug, and she will be stronger for the experience. Trust me on that.
Try this for yourself. Write a list of your lame excuses ALL of them even if you really believe in your heart and soul they are valid. Then blow each and every one of them to smithereens And share if you dare.
Feel free to comment, share, or contact me back-channel.