I've been reading James Hollis' Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life. He can be a bit wordy at times, but then he's a Jungian depth psychologist and that seems to always to involve a rather discursive, somewhat poetical method of expression. But god, the wisdom there. This book is packed with insights, the kind that make you go, 'ahhh.... I've often wondered about that, and this finally explains it'. Those lovely eureka moments.
There are many ideas in Finding Meaning that I intend to digest over time, but I particularly like this line:
"Each morning the twin gremlins of fear and lethargy sit at the end of our bed and smirk."
I think any one of us that doesn't have a standard nine-to-five job must be able to relate to what Hollis is saying here. Or am I the only one who wakes up in the morning with the best of intentions, only to watch them wither away as apprehension, laziness and sheer lack of energy take their toll?
Nowhere do these two gremlins have more impact than in our creative lives. I so often don't really want to do what I really want to do. I want to write fiction. But most of the time it is the very, very last thing I feel like doing. Honestly, I've found myself actually willing to fill in my tax return or clean out the oven rather than sit down and face the blank screen. Why, why, why, I ask myself? Fear and lethargy, fear and lethargy is the best response I've had yet.
Trouble is, it's one thing to diagnose the problem, quite another to cure it. I'm still searching for an antidote. I've read a number of books about overcoming your creative blocks. However, reading about overcoming your creative blocks is a lot easier than actually overcoming them. The best of the bunch, however, has to be The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, a kind of boot camp for those whose inner gremlins definitely have the upper hand.
I definitely must re-read it.