Small Rebellious Acts of Creativity (#SRAOC) is a weekly invitation to explore a word, or phrase, through whichever creative avenue, platform or modality the participant wishes. It is intended to be a philosophical or creative catalyst moreso than a straight up writing prompt.
This week’s prompt was: Discipline
Words, in and of themselves, are objective for the most part. It’s our experience of them which adds baggage and the word ‘discipline’ is a loaded one for me. The word discipline catapults me back into the powerlessness of being a child and a student. So when writing advice revolves around ‘the discipline of writing’ there is an immediate and visceral reaction in me to disregard everything that follows. I’m no longer the Very Good Girl I was until I turned 18, but the fear of confrontation and conflict remain. It’s taken me almost two decades to work out my own compass and to trust in knowing what is right for me.
Adam is currently in Japan, immersing himself in the culture and filling the creative well. He will be back to join us in a few weeks. The spirit of discipline has not eluded him, however, as he continues to capture the beauty of Japan in words and images.
I think we are much harder on ourselves about discipline than we might imagine. As creatives, we are, in the most beautiful ways imaginable, chaotically disciplined in expressing ourselves. Whether it is in art, music, poetry, photography, or prose, we find ways to allow our energies to form into products that did not previously exist. It’s the nature of the creative beast, though, to think otherwise. We know what we are capable of creating, and there is never an end to our ideas or projects.
How many of us have notebooks filled with story ideas, sketches, or drafts kindled by the acorns of images and interactions scattered along the paths of our lives? We know the potential of what we could do, if given uninterrupted time and an existence purely of our doing. This is laughable, at the very least, and we do the best we can.
We do the best we can.
I am no different. I beat down the negative self-speak daily, the voices of the watcher reminding me of what I have not done. And if I stop, if I put my pen down even for a moment, those voices win.
Our discipline comes in our daily routines, our channels opened, our pens and brushes moving across the blank page or canvas, despite the exhaustion of domestic living, despite the encouraging voices to resign, despite the imbalance of ideas vs. products that nag on us when we are weakest.
The JAR Collective is the very embodiment of discipline, of getting shit done. We have hectic lives, but we are committed to keeping the channels open and sharing our expressions — many of them raw — with you every week. Perhaps it is in our collective nature that we suppress the watcher, the critic, the negativity that seeks us out.
For me, it is through the pen, through the lens, and through the collaboration. I am disciplined to show up every day and write, paint, draw, sing, dance, Exist.
I am disciplined to live fully. I am.