In a lot of respects, it feels like the world is currently holding its breath.
Almost everything has come to a standstill as we wait out the flattening of the curve. Some are coping with this better than others. That majority are making wise choices, continuing their social-distancing, and practicing self-isolation.
Some, not so much. It’s becoming increasingly clear President Trump is going crazier trapped in the White House. The Governor of Georgia is reopening businesses despite the warnings or public-health officials.
You and I can’t do jack shit for these people and their doings. All we can do is to take care of ourselves and be there for our loved ones, family, and friends.
If you are an artist of any kind, you are probably feeling pressure to do your art. Hell, being in self-quarantine is arguably the perfect time to do art, whether it’s your full-time gig, part-time employment, or hobby.
By the same token, there is a lot of distress just now. The world is overflowing with uncertainty about nearly everything. The present moment is full of ambiguity, let alone the perplexity of what the future could hold. This is causing depression, anxiety, and various forms of fear along with it.
This is likely causing you to have some mixed feelings along the way.
Don’t feel guilty for creating or not creating
As a writer, I feel obligated to write. This is not out of duty to anyone but me.
For the most part, I have been writing. Not as much in the sci-fi series as I should like to be — but my articles are being written and published daily. I have maintained some momentum.
I am two weeks away from publishing the first novel in my new sci-fi series. The Void Incursion. Opening Gambit is available for pre-order for the Kindle now and will be out May 8 th, along with the paperback.
This is only the beginning of this series! I have the second — Critical Position — out to the editor. It will be coming out sometime in November.
Further, the third book in The Void Incursion — Strategic Crush — is complete, and I intend to publish it in May 2021.
One of the best ways to get the momentum going as a published author nowadays is to publish frequently. Some authors, to that end, put out a new 200–300 page book every 3–4 months.
I am working on the unnamed 4 thbook of The Void Incursion, and also very, very slowly editing Harbinger, the 3 rdnovel of The Source Chronicles fantasy series. It would be great to get that done and edited — but I have a lot of work to do with it, still, before sending it off to a professional.
I stopped working somewhere in the middle of the 4 thSource Chronicles novel, Guardians, somewhere around 2012 or 2013.
Do I have the momentum to complete the 4 thbook in The Void Incursion to maintain a 6-month publishing window? Yes. To keep publishing EVERY six months? Possibly. To publish a new novel every 4 months? I just don’t know. That’s just how I am doing things.
Momentum is your choice
Any momentum at all is up to you. That means if you are doing a shit-ton of art right now in this shutdown, more power to you. If you are finding it impossible to create, do you desire to?
Do you have the desire, the passion, to create? Whatever medium that is in — words, paint, clay, wood, food, music, or whatever your art is — deep down, do you desire to make art?
If the answer is no — and it might be — is that a result of internal or external factors? Do you simply not feel it — or are outside forces causing you to question it?
This is where a little practical mindfulness can be super useful. Becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions can help you see if you are reacting of your own accord — or due to some outside influences.
If you find that your lack of desire to do your art is external, and you would like to reignite your passion, how do you build momentum?
Start small. Do one thing related to your art. It need not be grand and glorious. There is no need to do something truly amazing, or even for public consumption. Just art.
Write some words. Draw something. Cook something. Sing in the shower. Just do something.
Tomorrow — do it again. And over time, in a few days, do two things. Then whatever you can, any little bit, every day to develop the momentum you need.
This doesn’t have to be a refined and finished piece. Just art. Even a little bit can snowball into more.
Care to try something new? Go for it!
How do you do anything creative and gain any momentum in the midst of a shut-down? One small step after another.
Are you practicing art on one kind or another?
You are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter — as does your any momentum in your art.
Originally published at http://www.mjblehart.com on April 24, 2020.