In last week’s blog post I recommended Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, a short book of advice from one established artist to another at the beginning of his journey. There are many threads within his letters, but Rilke, in particular, seems to advocate cultivating inner strength and a sense of purpose that can only come from yourself, not from others:
Perhaps it will turn out that you are called to be an artist. Then assume this fate and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking after the rewards that may come from outside. For he who creates must be a world of his own and find everything within himself and in the natural world that he has elected to follow.
I have been thinking about this notion, of gaining inner strength and through that reconnecting with the purpose to your creativity. I don’t think I know any creative person who does not have doubts about what they do. Sometimes it is only in small ways, when a particular piece of work isn’t working, other times it can be far-reaching when a crossroads is reached and the inevitable ‘what am I doing with my life?’ question appears. These doubts are natural. So, if we accept that, what can be done when we feel them? How do we find a way through the worries and out of the other side, to a place where we can continue?Read More