Sound of Paper: Survival: 5 Crazy Times in My Life when I Still Made Art

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Sound of Paper. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

Images from Foshay Tower and observation deck

  1. In high school, I wrote poetry and short stories at every still opportunity. Between classes, during lunch, at any fallow time in the schedule. I would clear my homework, sometimes I might read, but mostly – I wrote. None of it was material turned in for any class. I even wrote during church sermons, and I considered this some of my best writing times. It helped that it was obvious to me that only one pastor I ever listened to did NOT miss the mark when it came to bringing the spiritual to the human.
  2. During the period where J.J. dumped me, I wrote to deal with questions about my sexuality based on how he had infected me with his  questions about his sexuality, making me doubt myself. It made the time much less confusing for me; it’s only as a near middle-age adult that I realize how much of a misogynistic prick he was, so much so that he blamed me for his actions. Writing my way through it helped me recognize there were things going on that I could not grasp. I still have those writings, and plan on combining them in an essay about how to define your own sexuality when the people around you are trying to force you into their definitions of it. It especially helped since Beth was a complete jerk about what had happened to me, and joined the men in their victim-blaming of me.
  3. In graduate school, the mentality of the school was killing my creativity. I came from a journalism background and thus without the piles of reading the other students had done; from my point of view all that crawling around in classical lit actually made most of them terrible writers that were afraid to break any new ground. They were trying too hard to be “literary.” Fan fiction saved me. It saved my creative soul, it helped me play nice with the literature students, and it helped me remember where the creative part of my brain was.
  4. During my divorce I did write an entire book. While it never saw print, it did fulfill a contract.
  5. While grieving my father I did write. Not much, but I did continue to blog, and did get back to the extremely difficult book that I have on deck for publication now.