The Alchemy of Creative Self-Belief

Welcome to Creative Alchemy!

This post is under construction, but will launch soon with more robust and useful content.

The gist of my graduate lecture for the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children and Young Adults Masters program is this:

As writers and artists, to make art, we need all aspects of our psyche working together. It is when we fail to attend to the challenges of each aspect of ourselves that we can run into fallow periods and writer’s/artist’s block.

Carl Jung conceived of alchemy, a proto-science, as a useful metaphor for self-transformation.

I use the 5 elements of Alchemy to talk about each aspect of the self:

  • Air – the mind and belief system, where we can revise negative beliefs and replace them with a belief system that supports us as artists
  • Fire – the passion, will, and inspiration we get from all kinds of art
  • Water – emotions and the challenge of healing fear with love for our inner child – our greatest creative ally
  • Earth – the body, and daily habits. The needs exercise, and just taking regular walks can help clear our minds and let new ideas through. Creative people benefit from doing their creative work daily, and they can greatly improve their work by targeting their weak spots using the techniques of Deliberate Practice.

By attending to all these aspects of ourselves we can shorten fallow periods in our creative productivity. Another way to say this is, we can beat writer’s block.

I’m going to post much more on how this works, including practical actions to take.

For now, below is the PDF of the lecture hand-out. More information soon!

McGlynn-Creative-Alchemy

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