Creating in Community

I have been longing for accountability and community in my creative process.

 

Not the accountability of arbitrary goals, not the accountability of accomplishment, not the accountability that asks, “Did you write your 50 pages this week?” and feeds on the guilty response of “No.” That is not the accountability I am looking for, what I’m longing for is something else entirely.

 

It’s the authentic accountability of someone deeply familiar with the changing tides of the creative process.

It’s the accountability that holds me to desire instead of to an arbitrary goal.

It’s the accountability of someone walking through their own creative process aloud with me and calling me into my own creative process though their shared struggle.

It’s the accountability that calls me to listen to my own voice and follow it.

It’s the accountability that asks questions like, “Where has your creative voice lead you this week? When did you listen to that voice and jump into creating and when did you not listen and resist the creative process? Why? How did that feel, in your body and in your soul, both when you were creating and when you were resisting? If you stepped away from creating this week, what did you gather during that ebb in the tides of the muse?”

It’s genuine accountability.

 

It has now been three weeks since I worked on the memoir I am writing. It has been months since I’ve worked on my novel or the children’s fantasy book I’m working on. I want this to change, but with each of these projects I’m in a session of resistance. And I feel the need for some input and feedback. I need some accountability. And some encouragement.

 

My motivation has suffered in direct relation to growth in my feelings of writing inadequacy. I know that this is often just another step in the creative process, this period of self doubt and questioning the worth of the project. I know in my head that this is normal, but I’m longing to hear it from someone else.

 

The creative road is such an interesting one, because creativity doesn’t really need community. It can be done quite well in isolation. But, creativity does feed on community. We may not need others to create, but having others walk the creative journey with us strengthens and broadens our creative process.

 

How are you seeking out community in your creative process? How are you inviting accountability into your creative projects? I’d love to hear.

 

Rejoicing in the journey,

Bethany Stedman

If you'd like to help with medical bills or the other expenses related to Bryan's cancer or Sage's special needs click here. Thank you! We are forever so grateful to so many who have gotten us this far and continue to carry us forward. Grace and peace.

2 thoughts on “Creating in Community

  1. Bethany I cannot tell you how crystal clear your message is for me right now. I am struggling to find my creative identity, I ebb and flow as does my writing and photo art and video. I read stories of retreats and communities and collaborative online artists who support and lift one another up to new heights. I know this is an essential ingredient for my future growth as an artist and yet I too resist the step. I am a new and avid follower here, even more so now as I hope you and I both find the community we both know we need.

    1. Karen, thank you for your comment. It’s good to know i’m not alone in that struggle. I do hope that you find a creative community that can push you forward and lift you up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *