These past few weeks have been a bit stressful for me.
I can't even fully explain why, except that it has to do with all these questions buzzing around in my brain: "What am I going to do with my life?" and "Why am I still living in this town when I should move to the city, where there are better job opportunities?" and "Why are all my friends getting married?" and "Will I be alone FOREVER??"
Anxious Kristin is anxious.
Anyway, my go-to solution for stress is usually writing. Except that, after four years of college classes, teaching me the proper way to write, my inner editor was on a rampage - trashing whole chapters (Hulk-like) before I could even finish them.
Writing wasn't a release anymore. It wasn't even fun. It just felt like homework.
There's nothing more frustrating than wanting to create something, NEEDING to create something, but being unable to do so.
So, on my day off, I do what I usually do when I'm frustrated and stressed and confused - I went to the bookstore.
And I didn't migrate to the YA section, like I normally do. I headed for the art books. I bought some colored pencils. I bought a beginner's guide to drawing and painting. I took my purchases home, and I started to scribble.
They weren't great scribbles. They weren't even good scribbles. But it was color, pictures, art - and it felt good.
And after scribbling for a few minutes, hours, days - writing wasn't such a chore anymore.
I have this theory that art begets art. Sure, we all want to master something; we want to be the best singer / dancer / writer / painter that we can be. But creativity is all linked. The joy of scribbling on a sketchpad can translate to the joy of breathing characters to life. By learning and delighting in other forms of art, we're not taking away from another. We're only appreciating new ways of setting our creativity free.