Not sure if anyone will read this... but I figured I would share anyway.
For anyone who has been struggling with artist's block I highly recommend reading this book:
"The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron
'A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity'
It is a 12 week course in discovering and recovering your creative self.
**An Important Note**
Just as a heads up, you really need to read the preface first. She often makes references to "god", but not in the organized religion way. She explains that she uses the term to describe an all encompassing creative force. A spiritual creative muse more than anything. I just don't want anyone to be offended and turned away from the book because of the language she uses.
~ This part is more of my own story and personal experience with this book. You really don't have to read it you don't want to!~
I personally never had the confidence to even try being an artist. I never felt like I was good enough, since I didn't have "natural" talent. Reading this book has had a huge impact on my life. I am finally opening up to my own creativity, and (hopefully soon) I will be able to post something up here for the first time in like forever.
This book has also helped me work through a very difficult time in my life. For over a decade now (I can't believe it has been so long) I have been struggling with depression. I quite literally worked myself to death studying in high school and college, only to have "the real world" slap me in the face. Grades, all of my passion for learning, none of it really meant anything. So I ended up taking 7 years to graduate college, all for a worthless piece of paper that doesn't even begin to reflect everything I put into it. And, since I spent virtually all of my time at school studying, in a desperate attempt to overcompensate for my learning disability, I came out with absolutely no actual work experience and couldn't get a job.
So that was where I was stuck for the longest time. I put everything into math and science only to find out that my heart wasn't really in it at the end. It all sounded so glamorous, well to me anyway, lock myself away in a lab and find a cure for neurodegenerative autoimmune diseases (and yes, that was actually my goal). But in reality, you have to sell your soul to the pharmaceutical companies. Even if you found a cure, it would belong to them so they could bottle it up and sell it off to the highest bidder. Drug companies quite literally put a price on life! In fact, they would rather find a treatment than a cure so they can keep making a profit. Long gone are the days of Jonas Salk, who discovered the cure for Polio. Back in my great grandparent's time, being diagnosed with Polio was a death sentence. The Polio vaccine was Salk's gift to the world, "There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
I used to view science as the pure pursuit of knowledge. As it turns out, scientists are just as easily corrupted as the rest of this world. But without that goal, that direction in my life, I had become completely lost. I had thought of myself as a scientist for so long, without it I had no sense of identity. Who was I? What was I going to do with the rest of my life?
I ended up going to the career center and taking those personality tests, the stereotypical career aptitude tests and what not. I wasn't expecting much, but I discovered something that really surprised me. My primary and secondary traits were conventional and investigative, which went hand in hand with science, but my tertiary trait was artistic. Looking back at my childhood, I remembered that the first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was an artist.
Since then, I was introduced to a family friend, who in turn introduced me to "The Artist's Way". It really has changed my life. I have hope for the first time in years and I am finally tapering off my antidepressants. I still haven't found my "calling", a solid career, or even a steady job yet; but for once in my life I am not afraid. I have found a freedom, a trust that is opening doors for me.
I hope that everyone who reads this book can experience this kind of enlightenment.
Thank you for actually reading this whole thing. I really hope my story can help at least one person through their own journey.
Listening to: my heart
Reading: The Artists Way by Julia Cameron