Yoga for Writers - Part Two
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If you’ve decided to participate in something like National Novel Writing Month or even if you set your own 30 Days to A Novel deadline, you’re practicing part of the yoga life. The additional component here is probably where creative people probably have a difficult time — doing your daily spiritual practice/routine without your ego being in the way.
When it comes to art, we are literally pouring ourselves into our work. How can ego be removed from such work?
Wassily Kandinsky said, “In each picture is a whole lifetime imprisoned, a whole lifetime of fears, doubts, hopes, and joys. Whither is this lifetime tending? What is the message of the competent artist? … To harmonize the whole is the task of art.”
Personally, I’m not much of a fan of modern art, but I like what Kandinsky was getting at with his philosophy. He was notable for authoring the modern practice of art creation being spiritual. His book was called, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art,” so quite literally, he was sharing his path of artistic enlightenment.
The top creators will tell you that artists should be paid for their work. I agree completely. Where one has to watch is when the ego transforms into a large creature clawing its way out of your boundaries and trying to make the rules for you. Ego would hold out for six-figure book deals that may never come. Being paid for your work could therefore mean accepting less but receiving what people can afford to pay right now. This is why I love the teachers and artists who don’t mind offering some of their services/work as “pay what you can” even if that is zero dollars that day.
Kandinsky said, “In each picture is a whole lifetime imprisoned, a whole lifetime of fears, doubts, hopes, and joys. Whither is this lifetime tending? What is the message of the competent artist? … To harmonize the whole is the task of art.”
Can you commit to the NaNoWriMo or other 30-40 day time frame of writing daily to achieve a goal? Can you do that without ego being in the way? Can you separate commercialism from your desire to write?
People far better versed in translating Kandinsky’s poetic lengthy paragraphs can explain it more succinctly. The quotes above came from Brain Picking’s 2014 article by the brilliant Maria Popova, https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/06/02/kandinsky-concerning-the-spiritual-in-art/
If you think of art as your nourishment, your spiritual food, then dedicating time every day to make it is part of your spiritual practice. Creating is part of your Sadhana.