Monthly Archives

November 2016

Life

Trusting the Process (But wait…what’s the process?)

It’s been a while since I’ve opened up this little blog editor…

It’s not that I haven’t tried to write. I’ve tried a lot. I’ve tried writing songs, blog posts, even Facebook status updates…and the same thing tends to happen every time lately. It goes a little something like this:

Think, sort, write. Delete, write half, write another half, delete half, go back and forth, end. Delete it all or leave it all alone and don’t finish it…

I’ve felt like I just don’t know what to write about or how to write about it….but it’s not that I don’t HAVE anything to write about.

My soul, ever since I was little, has had to write to function and feel. I remember when 9/11 happened and I was in elementary school, I wrote a ton of heavy poems about it. I read them aloud to my parents one night, and they were shocked that I had felt so much depth and pain in something that seemed far too big for me to understand at such a young age.

I’ve always needed to get it on paper to begin to process. Sometimes it takes me a while before I can form the right words through the emotions to write them, but for me, closure is always found in writing…even if it takes years. I look back now on some of my old journal entries (which I have written in pretty much ever since I learned how to use a pencil), and I see prayers answered in the pages. Even prayers I hadn’t even prayed yet…I see things now through those pages that I could’ve never seen at the time. I love reading my writing about falling in love with a boy I met from Florida who became my husband. I love reading about my college years and all the emotions I experienced (every single one you could imagine), and my entries from high school dreaming about where I would end up…who I would marry, if and where I’d go to college, feeling like a misunderstood teen, the moment my brother got married, the moment heartbreak consumed me in a way I thought I’d never recover, the moment I was accepted into college, the moment I met people as my freshman roommates who are now my best friends in the world, the moment I became an aunt, a college graduate, a wife, had my first job, left Nashville, moved to Florida, moved back to Nashville; the moments I struggled, loved, lived.

I am filled with so much sometimes that I don’t know what to do with it. It’s the strangest feeling, having so much in you that you want to let out into the world…but not having any idea how to do it. It’s kind of like feeling stuck in a glass box.

I sit down to write songs and end up putting down the guitar after feeling absolutely unable to focus enough on one single moment, one single idea to form a song out of it. I’ve had ideas for posts but felt like, “Where do I even begin…how can I even possibly figure out where to start with this?” So I just do nothing.

I also get lost in the comparison game….and buy into the lie that I am insignificant and not good, relevant, connected or driven enough to create great art…

I guess, how to start is just to start. People have told me that before and I probably say something like, “But you don’t understand!”, but it’s just the truth. I usually view my one line songs and scratch blog post ideas as trash, but they aren’t…they are beginnings. They may morph, change, mature, or end up getting deleted…but that does not make them less of a start.

I once heard someone say something like, “Creativity is feeling that spark of inspiration…and then having the discipline and the hard work to go through with it.”

Art is art, and it takes time. It is vulnerable. It is unique to each individual. And it’s not an easy thing to search deep within your heart and soul to organize your emotions in such a way that you create something tangible out of it. It takes discipline just like anything; and while it comes easier to some people than others, its still a process full of hard, worth it work.

“In music, one doesn’t make the end of a composition the point of the composition.  If that were so the best conductors would be those who played fastest, and there would be composers who wrote only finales. People would go to concerts just to hear one crashing chord; because that’s the end!” -Alan Watts

And so, trust the process even when it’s scattered. Be honest and vulnerable in your art, whatever the medium, AND in the process it takes to trudge through it. Thats what I’ll be trying to do, too, and I’m cheering for you.

Love to you,

Caitlin