Monday, August 25, 2014

Manic Monday: Martha Graham and Averting a Crisis of Confidence

Last week I jammed on revisions to my current work in progress, H.A.L.F. Friday afternoon I felt great. I've done revisions and rewrites to the first half of the book and sent the first chapters off to a few select beta readers for feedback. I felt confident with the work so far and happy with my progress. I even felt a bit disappointed when the weekend started because it meant two days away from my work. But I left my writing office Friday evening feeling that all was well with my creative life.

Natalie Wright, Author
Crisis of Confidence
But I awoke this morning to a crisis of confidence. Perhaps you, too, know this particularly heinous beast and foe of creatives everywhere. The insidious monster, once it takes root, can quickly supplant all feeling of worth and reduce a writer (or painter, dancer, sculptor, etc.) into a shell of a person bereft of a single articulate new idea.

Rather than allow myself to wallow in it (been there, done that), I decided to reach for inspiration from other creatives much wiser than myself. I didn't have to look any father than my vision board where I had posted this quote from Martha Graham:
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares to other expressions. It is your business to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that activate you.
Keep the channel open. - Martha Graham
Whenever I'm having a crisis of confidence, I usually trace it to my mental habit of comparing myself to others. And that is, of course, the death knell of creativity. This observation by Martha Graham always rights me and sets me back on the path of artistic well being.

Natalie Wright, Author
Crisis Averted
It really is simpler than we make it out to be. We need only "keep the channel open."

What quotes, beliefs, thoughts, or words of wisdom - of your own or someone else's - helps you through times of crisis of confidence? 

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