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

writingBethany Stedman