Let’s discuss the creative process, shall we? I was not aware of this process or that there was any real legitimacy to it. I thought it was just artists being “artsy,” so when I heard it referenced I never really paid attention to it. I had no idea this thing was legit. I am here to tell you, it is legit.

Now that we have gotten off on the wrong foot, (this is going so well), I want to say that artists are not alone in my misplaced judgments. My husband can attest. There is a story he likes to tell at dinner parties especially.

The story goes that we were watching the movie “Sideways” and got to the scene where the main characters are at a wine tasting. The more seasoned of the two starts going through a variety of seemingly calculated steps to truly take in the full experience. There was swirling and smelling and sipping and breathing – all to evaluate the body, the nose and the notes that distinguish the wine. It was at this point I turned to my husband wide-eyed and said, “I didn’t know that was a real thing! I thought you were just trying to be impressive.” This, of course, is an odd way to confess how you had basically sized up your closest loved one. Ahem. Thankfully, he found it funny, and the story does go over very well at dinner parties. Especially after I’ve just sized up the complexities of the wine we were tasting. We are coming up on 22 years of marriage.

Understanding the process of wine making as I did, you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the creative process was a real thing. Yes. A very real thing. That, compounded with the reality that the science behind it is nothing short of an individual discovery, left me feeling small, frankly. There are countless artists who have produced astounding work, and I am not just talking about paintings. My assumption was these were just born with incredible natural talent, and any movement they made at all would just naturally result in a masterpiece. From what I had seen, my movement was not creating any works of art. This left me wondering how I was I supposed to come up with a process. I wasn’t sure I was going to reach to an “aspiring” state, never mind qualify as an “artist.”

If I was going to discover, I was going to have to find my way, and so I set out. I set my face and committed to blaze that trail, machete and all. And it’s a good thing I had set my face. What you begin to unearth can bring you face to face with your past, your present, your future, which is all dumping into your lap all at once. (Thanks for that.) It’s right about here where it can seem like the right thing to do is to turn around and go back, don’t. Please don’t. Instead, think of it as an invitation to determine how you want to go forward. Because forward is worth it despite the challenges.

That said, there are several elements to this process I encountered, which I noted along the way. These ended up serving as mile markers that helped with keeping perspective. I am going to take us through these one by one, allowing us to take time for each. The process is not to be rushed so neither should we. It is process which is important and developing it can be key. Time to process.