Unfeeling It

Today’s was the first post in a long time I didn’t feel like writing when it popped up as any kind of obligation or to-do item in my mind. That happens on any long-term project, from time to time, so it’s not surprising. But since my usual bent is to think of some way out of that reluctance, I’m just going to do the opposite and leave it.

It feels a little ugly. There are plenty of moments in your creative life where some spiraling emotion or other takes over for a while. We’re taught to resist them. We’re told to replace them with positive ones. We’re expected to overcome them with nice thoughts about ourselves and the potential of our work. Because . . . why?

I think the thinking goes that since depression is bad, and despair is bad, and disappointment is awful, we should do all we can to crush them like a Marvel™┬ávillain, lest they drag us to our dooms with them.

But they’re just feelings.

That’s weird, I know, and not a little paradoxical. Our feelings are the foundation of why we work hard at a creative life in the first place, and we risk making things without heart or spirit without them.

Giving too much power to their influence over us, on the other hand, especially when so-called negative emotions are looming, is a path to overindulgence and, eventually, empty work or worse: no work.

And feeling sullen or down about your work is fine. Really. So long as you keep doing it and being honest in it. They’re just feelings and it’s only human to feel them all.