mad in pursuit notebook


Hermit Life vs. Community for the Creative Soul


This morning I held a little debate with myself (see mindmap). Which is the better choice for me: to thoroughly enjoy the hermit life or to strive harder to involve myself in an artistic community? I'm talking about my creative life here. My "real" life keeps me smiling with a variety of friends and family -- not too many, not too few, just right.

Allowing myself to be kind of an artistic hermit lets my spirit run wild. I can "follow the disturbance" and create lots of stuff without self-censoring or worrying about whether my audience will find me entertaining. It's nice to have a few playmates, however, who also like to explore creative paths and enjoy a good laugh. (Pat D. is definitely a creative playmate. My siblings might be except that they are still too busy with real life. Maybe one at a time is as good as it gets.)

The disadvantage is isolation and lack of stimulation from new sources. Joining a creative group is always good for motivation and inspiration. Very exciting... and then I'm gone. Maybe there are times when I feel like I need the discipline to churn out a series of finished products. A group or a class can be helpful and fun. But it's hard to think how any of these experiences has served as a springboard for something else. I'm always slightly out of step with other members.

Enjoying my own company was inborn in me, I think. I don't remember ever having trouble entertaining myself with dollhouses, chemistry sets, or books. My parents were more likely to chase me out of the house to find someone to play with than to send me to my room. So, there is always a measure of guilty pleasure in playing by myself. I should join a club. I should take a class.

But really, I should just be myself... and let the creative juices flow.

Jul 16, 2012