Hiding out in your art
Photo of Baby Turtle by FotoDawg / Wikimedia CC BY 2.0
The greatest risk for creative people is the temptation hide out in your art. So, instead of pouring energy into living, like going out and doing new things, meeting new people, bushwalking, getting married and having kids, you spend all of your time working on your ‘projects’.
You make excuses for yourself why not to do certain things: you have a deadline to meet, a book to finish, a song to record; a few social media posts you would like to make. You bury yourself in some kind of all-encompassing activity, engaging in the same kind of impulse as the workaholic, the alcoholic, drug addict and gambler: that desperate need to find something that will absorb you completely and take your mind away from the kind of mental obsessions that eat up your spirit.
Anyway, I am no expert at participating in life; I always thought that I was an outgoing person, however, I have seen on many occasions how I have tried to avoid things, to distract myself, and not face up to whatever it is I have to face; whether it’s the truth of a relationship, going forward into a new job, or being realistic about my opportunities, instead of ending up in a self-determined dead-end.
I would say one danger in life is pursuing worldly things, without nurturing any kind of creative outlet.
But the other danger is what I’ve just described — hiding in your art, as a way of avoiding life’s hardships.
All of us have traps on our path through life, unique only in the kind of terrain we are going through, but universal in our need to dodge them the best way we can.