Saturday, March 14, 2009


I have a question for all of you, especially the artists and writers out there. Do you believe in discipline or inspiration, or both? I tend to go where my heart leads and do what is the most fun to me in the moment. Right now that is ceramics and painting. However, I have this little book here that is almost finished that I would LOVE to finish, but can't find the inspiration to do so.
This is what happened with the book: I wrote it a couple years ago in a 9 month period. It is small and to the point, based on my spiritual practices. I thought it was finished, but while waiting for a friend to edit it, I realized it was not done, I had much more to say. Some said, just write a second book, but I felt the new stuff needed to be in this book, I also have a feeling to do illustrations with the book, which overwhelms me with the time that will take. So here I am today, picking up the book, writing a little and then walking away again to do my visual art. Should I just relax and do what my heart calls me to do, or put my nose to the grind stone (how awful that sounds) and just finish the book? Actually, the answer seems obvious, but I could use your thoughts on what works best for you. Thanks. Happy weekend! XOXO


Cheryl Cato said...

Hello Annie, Through my meandering of blogs I follow I found yours. Nice thoughts. I live next door in Texas & love any & all time spend in NM. I look forward to following your blog.

Unknown said...

Dearest Annie, follow your heart and you'll be happy. Much love and hugs for the weekend/M

Eclectic Chic Style said...

I always follow my heart!!! I have found if my heart isn't in it at the moment, whatever I'm working on seems like chore and doesn't turn out as well as I think it should. If I put it aside until my heart is in it, it always seems to turn out well.

Erin Davis said...

Following your heart is always the way to go. I have noticed from my own experience these past several months, though, that when I sit down and work regularly on something, I'm creating a channel for my own inspiration that might not have otherwise been created. Not sure if that makes sense, but there you go!
PS Just discovered your blog recently. I'm enjoying it!

Unknown said...

I'm more of a discipline kind of gal, not surprising given my background. Agree with Erin Davis on the point that if you set aside a time and place, inspiration has a way to find you.
Perhaps if the thought of illustrations is overwhelming it means it's not meant to be. Maybe it doesn't need illustrations, maybe if you completed the writing portion the illustrations would come to mind, maybe someone else in your circle could do the artwork. A joint effort might refresh you. I think it's always more exciting to start new ventures than to tie up all the loose ends. Thus...discipline. And special rewards for doing so. like hot cocoa.

sukipoet said...

I agree with those commenters who speak to the benefits of discipline and also to the fact that a disciplined time to write/paint whatever, invites inspiration to arise. The only way I finished my novel was to work at it in a routine and regular way. It is good to follow ones heart, but perhaps it is fear that moves you away from the writing when you begin to work, rather than following your heart. It sounds like your heart wants to do a number of things. I esp think writing though calls for regular working at/with the piece. and when the voice says oh no I really want to..... be painting, be jogging, be cooking that down on a piece of paper and continue on with the project at hand.

Annie Coe said...

Lizzy- Welcome!
Pink Rose-That has been true for me as well.
Erin-Your comment is very helpful, thank you! Also, Welcome!
Shiny-Why am I not surprised :-).
Your comment about the illustrations was very helpful. Thanks ever so much.
Suki-Your advise was so very helpful and I think I have discoverd something from it, I am afraid to work on the book, I did not realize that until I read your comment. When I was working on the book I found that whatever I was writing about would be mirrored in my life and some of it was not fun. New chapters I have to write are about acceptance and resistance
and I am fearful that when I write these chapters I will also have to live them and it could get scary :-). But now that I am aware of the fear, I can Be Brave and move past it.

willowtree said...

I had a comment for this post when I first read it about 20 hours ago, but got sidetracked by a phone call, so I don't know if someone else has already said this. It seems to me that for both writing and art, you need inspiration to make the object, but you need discipline to make the money.

robin laws said...

i MUST use discipline along with inspiration! i would be lost without some structure. when i was younger i didn't need it so much but now my mind wanders...and my body follows it all over the place, leaving things here and there, not complete, not finished. i have found that if i have the structure more like an hour of writing (in your case) and then the next thing can be whatever. i feel so much better completing things. they are all important to me. just because i lose momentum doesn't mean they aren't still of value. i often need to get rolling before my imagination is ignited into the process. love and blessing to you and your artful efforts!

Wildflower Studio (Michelle Dransart) said...

Hi! This is my first visit. What a sweet little blog you have going here!
I too paint, draw, write, sew, etc etc. and I can tell you for me it is a little of both. I really try and do something creative and productive each day. I am actually in the middle of illustrating a children's book that I have been lagging on lately. Today I picked it up to work on, and just didn't FEEL it. I really just wasn't inspired. So I asked myself what I was inspired to do creatively, and with DISCIPLINE, I sat down and ended up drawing a whimsical stargazing scene. This will probably go into my greeting card line. Even though its not related to my book, I was productive where I felt inspired. Maybe try starting on another creative project first, to get your creative juices flowing, and then try diving in! or put on some inspiring music, light some incense...
Best of luck! Come visit me at my blog sometime!