Creative solitude vs. creative community

Remember a few weeks ago when I was like "woo hoo!  I'm starting my arts-based research project! Yeah!" 

Now, picture Eeyore. "Ho hum. I'm working on my research. No one cares. Poor me." 

Which isn't true at all. I know I am supported.  But after years of learning and creating as part of various communities, I am realizing that doing expressive arts in solitude...kinda sucks.

It is also hard to be self directed. When I was setting up my research project, one of my advisors offered to be the one to give me the prompts. I loved this idea. I think in expressive arts it is easier to let go and dive in if there is a bit of mystery about what you will be doing. My advisor was right about this. But I decided I wanted to be in charge of my prompts, to see if I was any good at coming up with them.

It is hard for me to carve out time for solitude, and once I have it, I often squander it. It can be hard to create.  Resistance is ever present, and when working alone it is hard to overcome.  For me, it is hard for me to go deeper, to get to that deeper level of expression. I stay on the surface. 

Yesterday I attended an advanced training.  I observed my resistance.  It is tired, bored and unengaged.  But being in a group, and having paid money, I wasn't going to just walk away from it like I could at home.  Once I got started, it flowed a little better. The group setting helped me get over my resistance.

When I am in an expressive arts group setting, I give myself permission to make art that isn't great, but is more healing. When I am alone, my own personal desire to make something I like gets stronger, and the work is not as healing, but it is often - and this is important - more meaningful to me. It is more connected to the bigger river of my creative story. It is part of a body of work, not just a series of disconnected exercises. 

How does all of this come together? Right now, my research, my art, my thoughts are all very scattered. This blog, and my research blog are a lifeline. Thank you for reading.