Creative transformations are something that all artists are familiar with. Sometimes they are painful. Other times, a welcome alternative to stagnation, but always inevitable, the only constant is change. As writers, artists, and makers, we must learn how to roll with the punches. But, boy, is it hard sometimes. Other times when the timing is right, things snap into place and opportunities seem to fall into your lap.
I have been ruminating a lot on this topic lately, especially over the New Year.
Looking back at all the creative transformations I have made in my life…there have been many.
First of all, I went pro at the beginning of this year.
I left my teaching position at Academy of Art University in order to finish my long awaited novel, Persephone Stolen and send it out into the world and also finish up a poetry collection that has been materializing in my computer in fits starts over the past several years.
Making this transformation, I felt like I was leaping into the abyss. It was a strange feeling-both palatable and invisible. I had been wanting to do this forever, but never found the right time and suddenly, the moment was upon me and I didn’t know what to do. I was a bird in a gilded cage with the door flung open, peering out sheepishly at the world. Would I step out toe-by-toe or would I emerge in full armor like Athena, ready for battle?
I’m talking about my own experience here because I feel it relates to the general artistic struggle. Sometimes teachers act so omnipotent. It’s hard to see that we, too, were once beginners, or that we make changes just like our students do. But for me, using writing to turn my transitions into transformations has been key to my survival as an artist over the years. Making our transitions into transformations is what it’s all about.
To that end, I have put up a shingle of “editor” and I am now working with private clients on writing projects, continuing to teach the Jack Grapes METHOD WRITING Program and expanding into new creative enterprises and collaborations which I will be announcing later in this newsletter and in the coming months.
Here I am, transformed: A writer who teaches and edits made from the fibers of a teacher who writes.
It only took me years of blood, sweat and tears to figure it out. These transformations affect all of us and the energy around them can fuel our creative work or paralyze us with fear of the next step.
We can reframe our transitions into transformations. Writing is all about spinning flax into gold; it’s about the creative alchemy of staring at the blank page and then at the point when a new story, poem or scene materializes, being able to seize it and stick with it.
No matter where you are in your artistic or writing life, may 2015 bring you abundance, dear writers. If you are looking for a safe and supportive environment that challenges you artistically to produce your very best work, we’re right here.