Thursday, March 15, 2012

Derailed... and Getting Back on the Track

Late again! my mind screams at me. You missed your blog post and you can't draw?! You're better than this! You're supposed to stay on track, keep your eye on the prize, keep your head in the game!

It's hard to do that when you've been derailed!

Recently I've been dealing with a little personal matter. It's a problem that made my anxiety level skyrocket, my nails 'magically' disappear and my stomach curl into knots. I tried drawing through it, tried my Zen music and green tea combo, played a few games on the tablet to get my mind off things... even tried sleeping more (if I could find the time for it.) But the problem was still there, much as I tried to get over it.

The Problem became a Bigger Problem, when I tried to sit down and draw and didn't have the heart to do it. I just didn't feel like drawing. Or painting. Or  doodling, even.

But when there are deadlines and books to be illustrated, this is an even bigger Bigger Problem!

How was I going to get back on track? To get my head in the game? To stop biting my nails down to bloody stumps? I had to remember that anything worth having is worth working for. I had to address the original Problem. Of course, this takes time away from my art and blogging, and my usual work pattern. But the Problem needed work so I could get some actual work done. Otherwise, I was just wasting my own precious time. My Preciousssss!

So instead of trying to drive around the Problem, my little train drove right through and attacked it! I did everything I could in my own power to make amends and right things. I did it honestly, and without trickery or cutting corners (honesty has always been my policy.) And I felt so much better when I was done! Even though the Problem was one of those Out of My Own Control sorts of things, I changed what I could control to the best of my ability. And though things didn't turn out hunky-dory, or the way I had hoped, at least I know I did my best to try and fix it. I can accept the things I cannot change, or at least learn to.

Then I winded down a bit and needed some inspiration... a little comfort. So I picked up a book, told myself not to feel bad about this guilty pleasure when my schedule doesn't usually allow for this tomfoolery, and I read for the fun of it. For the fun of it!

So I'm filling up the train with some fresh coal right now. And I'll start chugging along and speeding ahead at my usual speed. And I'm learning sometimes it's best to sit back and watch the landscape go by for a while, to enjoy the ride a little bit more, so I don't burn out. And to address problems right away when they come up, so I don't fly off the tracks.

And I think I'm going to go paint, in a little bit. :)


  1. Thanks for this post. I am on a similar journey and have a temporary mountain to climb while meeting deadlines. I feel SO burned out. I can see the other side of this mountain. Fortunately for me it is at least do-able and not the situation you had to deal with. I had a fantasy of taking off to a remote retreated ALONE to refresh when I end up on the other side. I may have to settle for a quiet walk on the beach but that will do too.

  2. Hi Laurie, I'm glad it helped!

    Too often I think we artists and writers forget that it's okay to be plain 'ol human every once in a while. We strive and push and exert ourselves to the max, because we need to be doing everything we can to get ahead.

    I'm hoping to get others to share how they handle falling off the track, so we can all learn from one another, and find comfort in it too!

    Thanks for reading, Laurie! It means a lot! :)

  3. Great post, and one that resonates so strongly right now. I like to think of it as spring cleaning, which I'm doing right now, both in my house and in my life.

    There's nothing like shrugging off millstones to get you back on track and choofing ahead. Who needs to carry all that extra weight?

    So, good for you! And good for you also for taking a little peaceful time to debrief yourself, too. Again, it's so much like my week, I can't tell you. :)

    Now...Onwards! Choof-choof, choof-choof, woo-oo-OOOO!

  4. Haha! Thanks, Marlo!

    I've received a few other responses via email from those who have been feeling the same way this week! So it is encouraging to know we're all going through the same stuff. It certainly helps to know you're not alone!