The pain of creativity is something I spend countless hours mustering courage to fathom.
A friend of mine seldom speaks of his work kindly both during and post creation, he goes through an internal struggle to piece each part together and then when it all fits his eyes cringe to watch it.
I asked him why he does it, why after the seemingly tumultuous process he then bends to make more time to fulfil another idea that will no doubt put him through the paces of that familiar stress.
He laughs without an answer and we nod on the phone giggling at how stupid we must seem.
His work is always beautiful, whether it be comedic or sentimental, it's always beautiful.
I don't know if his modesty blocks his perception or if he truly doesn't see it- but he still seems compelled to return to it week in week out.
I understand it with great compassion both because I observe a huge chunk of my friends go through the same cycle constantly and because I find myself peddling in it too.
I've always said I love writing but I curse it more often than I praise it, lying on the sofa mid afternoon forcing myself to let my fingers tickle the keyboard uninspired and unsure.
I feel angry at writing, unsettled by language, furious that I can't sing or paint or film - which is silly as I'm sure I'd only feel the same frustration if I could.
It's this kind of angst that sometimes makes me feel untalented but what it should be telling me is that I've not yet earned the right to unlock it all yet.
I'm pulling out saplings that haven't had time to understand their purpose and instruction.
As unstable and as unreliable as a method could be, I've stopped forcing myself to make, which means for now it's not my living. That' s okay. It doesn't feel oaky, it feels lazy, but it is more than perfectly okay.
We are often foolish in that we let our obsession with creation, following the force of sizzling anxiety and adrenaline to put the intangible into a product, take over the bare materials we need to do it well: living. Taking stock and thinking. Reading, watching, crying, eating.
Our brains don't just stop because we're not wrist deep in paint or late night loomed in stanzas.
They're preparing for the next project.
They're recuperating, tidying tiny pieces into their boxes to make enough room to lay out the new ones.
Stop watching the blue line on an empty document dance, put the lens cap back on, let something real bother you.
Let the rain piss you off and Loose Women irritate you, let a boy make you dizzy and your mother feel warm.
Read a book you should've studied or a film you never quite understood.
Hell, go out until three in the morning until life throws something at you that makes you feel something mad.
You'll create when it's right, push yourself when you feel, but don't forget it's okay not to live it all the time.
Stop sprinting for the exhibition, you'll run straight past it.