Hi there, remember me? The girl who hasn’t written a stitch over here in two months’ time? If you’ve stopped by Literary Inklings you’ll known I’ve still very much been around and writing, but from this little corner of the web I needed a siesta. I didn’t make a to-do about it because I’m not that fond of talking about bloggery on my blog (a perfectly contradictory choice, I know). Anyway, when you’ve spent a certain number of years with one creative outlet I think it can sometimes be easy to fall into a rut or two from time to time. When I did, though, I found myself looking in the wrong places for a way out; and when you do that, it’s like a Band-Aid on your discontent. I often looked at what others were doing, how they were making it work; but other people aren’t me, and pleasing ideas aren’t always the big inspiration you think they are. The creative spirit has to keep trying, and when you pay attention and work hard eventually, someday, you’ll hit on just the right thing. But part of the process is stepping back and getting reacquainted with yourself, your ideas, and rediscovering what it is you want to achieve.
This wonderfully true observation from Matisse explains very well what I’ve struggled with. I so often look outside of myself for the answers – I think a lot of people can probably relate to this. I’m constantly seeking validation from others, and I doubt that will ever fully change as it’s so fully ingrained in my personality. But the thing to work on is the attention I pay to myself, because in most cases the time I really find clarity is when I stop and reflect, when I spend time getting back to myself and remembering what’s most important to me. Going back to the roots always has a way of comforting the discontented or conflicted mind. As probably a lot of people are, I’m quick to look at myself and listen to myself in a completely different way than I look at and listen to others. I put so much value on the opinions of others, but then I do nothing but doubt the thoughts and ideas born within me. We’re such strange characters, those of us who do that. We have a way of devaluing the one person we will quite literally spend our entire lives with: ourselves. Shouldn’t that be the person we try our hardest to please? I don’t mean at the expense of others, obviously, but just in the most basic sense.
Anyway, it proved to be some excellent food for thought on my end and maybe it will be equally thought-provoking to anyone reading. Enjoy your week, and thanks as ever for taking the time to stop by!
And because apparently I’m focusing on him today, two of my favorite Matisse pieces currently on my inspiration board (Self-Portrait in a Striped Shirt, 1906 and Woman with a Hat, 1905). His top notch use of color is a needed pick-me-up for any Monday. (Even one that happens to be St. Patrick’s Day!)