Hey Mom, thanks for reading my blog.
The blog prompt from the long-overdue 14 days of creating your wordpress blog was to write a piece for your audience. Now, I know the point was supposed to be ‘write something that your audience wants to read’, but I’m kind of grabbing the prompt and going a slightly different way. This is a letter for my mom, as well as for Dad, Heather, Lara, Charlie and Alex. Of all the people I know who are always daftly behind my creative endeavours, you lot are always predictably there, supportive, and with valid and in-depth commentary when I need it. The best cheerleaders ever.
More than that, you are all creative rockstars too. One day I will be as cool as you lot, with your writing, teaching, caring, painting, cooking, singing, running, gardening, etc etc.
The challenge of creativity in a crisis
There’s been a lot of tension about being creative during this crazy time, and yeah, it’s hard.
Hell, creativity at the best of times is challenging.
You know why creativity is hard? It’s because it is certainly not quick and easy, and it’s pretty much impossible to turn out the thing you have in your head without practice. And sometimes, practice just sucks.
*Insert crappy Jackie Chan quote about practicing 1000 kicks or practicing one kick a thousand times.*
What about those times when you don’t even wanna practice a kick a hundred times?
Then, you drag your butt off the couch, and you practice the kick ten times. Or three.
Even though I have yet to make this blog public, I still put a lot of pressure on myself to do it perfectly. So, I did a lot of putting it off. I wrote a solitary blog post in February, and then avoided writing or even checking the blog for ten-ish weeks. I still wanted the damn blog to make me seem smart, and to make you be totally wowed by how erudite, well-read and insightful I am, and on such a regular basis too.
But the good thing about your cheerleaders is that they already think you are smart, erudite and insightful. They think you are funny, and they like having you around. Even when you struggle to do The Thing™ because you built it up to being big and scary.
Talking to you reminds me that it is okay to be gentle with myself, now and more generally. It’s not every year the world gets struck by a global pandemic, colossal insecurity, heightened anxiety and a pressure to ‘make something of your time in lockdown’.
I am making lots of my time in lockdown, with special projects including becoming a master of the Saturday-morning flapjack, running a sideline as the future host of Big Fat Quiz of the Year, (writing again,) learning new things, and becoming very creative with kitchen storage space after having bought 3kg of penne from a bulk supplier.
I like that I’m having chats with all of you as you do your work, and figure out your own projects, whether they are lifey and mundane like mine, and get you to tomorrow (e.g. making delicious bread), or creative and moving (like collaborating on intercontinental music). And I like that we all tell each other often to just give ourselves space, to vasbyt a while, because we will get there.
I’m going to try to do a weekly post called ‘the creative pursuits of lockdown’, in which I chronicle my various self-entertainment activities. This will likely end up being lots of food, due to an exciting birthday present that got unwrapped 10 days early, and a new season of inspiration from Masterchef AU 😊
I make no promises about regularity, just that I will get some words down.
Okay, that’s a start.