How about this for a glorious irony: you are challenged to write a blog post on INACTION, to mark the end of over two years of not writing anything, and you have to turn down the challenge because an uninvited third party jumps in, sending you prompts and suggestions about INACTION.
So, would that be surrendering to inaction (er, the norm) because I don’t really want to write anything (inaction), or am I making a necessary stand against an inappropriate intervention in the (er, inactive) creative process?
I say the intervention is interfering, invasive even – an underground urge to dominance, triggered by anxiety around the effects of my imminently burgeoning creative output. My prompter/challenger says it is ebullience – a generous, warm interpretation which may even be deserved.
Whatever I do, I think to myself, to move on with the challenge, to break the block, I will not simply write the prompted blog about inaction all about the interfering prompts about inaction. But then again, blogging is most satisfying when you have a fresh experience to masticate. This one has forced me not only to break a long block in a fashion that makes me cross underneath, it gives me a chance to be cross out loud in over 500 words. Cross blogs are amongst my favourite kind.
Naturally I can see why we should embrace contributions from our nearest and dearest to our creative pursuits. A close friend even persuaded me once that it is hugely rewarding to actually allow people, even strangers, to feel that they have added to or enhanced some activity of your own, just because it makes them happy. For example, let a customer for whom you are restoring a vintage car, think that their suggestions are also their original ideas; that without their input you could surely not have done such a good job. “What?” I said, “Not insist on taking maximum credit for everything you knew already?” It was an alien idea. He had to talk me through this for quite a while, but I did get it, even though it made my poor ego-brain whine quite a lot. I have even tried it out a little tiny bit in real life. Is this related to creative input from loved ones? Are there lines that need to be drawn? Clearly my ego is ruling the day here – can’t I burn through the pseudo-obstacle and graciously embrace a few charming words, intended, FFS, to spur me into action.
My Pavlovian response to INACTION as a cue was to reflect on the reasons I have not written for so long – a picture of myself that touches and draws on all aspects of my life from the time drain of my job, to the pressures of parenting, to the importance of allowing the self-healing results of dedicated inner development work to flourish unforced, in their own sweet organic time. Instead these things pale into insignificance, overshadowed by an indignant fury that one of my closest friends, on hearing that I had been persuaded to start writing, chose to wade in and start for me. Whether he was being joyful in his offerings or unconsciously pompous, the implicit message – that maybe I needed some help with ideas to get me started – smarts beyond belief, and well beyond reason or appreciation. Therein lies the really horrible moral of the story: If you don’t get on and act, some other fucker will.