Last week we made and took vows.

We committed with our whole being to our creative living and our dreams. But do we really know what we are committing to?

Because committing to a person or a dream or a child is about devoting to ALL of them. We have to love and commit to the good, the bad, and even the ugly.

That is why we say, “in sickness and in health.” We can’t just love to good parts.

And what a beautiful gift!!!
Because we learn what REAL love is.
We learn to give to another, or to our passion the type of love we want to have in return. The unconditional kind.

If it is true that we only keep what we give away, then giving unconditional devotion to our creative life means we get to be loved by ourselves the same way. Even on our bad days. We remain worthy of love and devotion.

Liz Gilbert in BIG MAGIC talks about the “psychological cycles” of the creative process. That every artist has their own rhythm and cycle.

Some of us start strong and high on our ideas and quickly get bored and tend to get disinterested during the rewrite or memorizing stages.

Some of us are more apathetic at the beginning and pick up steam at the end.

Some of us need a constant high or to always be one upping ourselves to stay motivated and interested.

All of us have our patterns.

Have you ever begged and prayed fervently to the Universe for an audition and then upon getting one gotten frustrated with the lack of time, number of pages and how you now had to completely rearrange your life to accommodate? That may be your pattern.

Liz says, “Over the years of devotional work I found out that if I just stayed with the process and didn’t panic, I could pass safely through each stage of anxiety and onto the next level.”

Once we KNOW our patterns we can change them. And that will help us love our creative living. All of it.

We will finally release the romantic notion that following a dream is full of open doors and bohemian songs.

We will admit that as romantic and whimsical as living creatively sounds, when we choose it whole heartedly we have to choose it in its true form. The days of utter and sheer joy, and the days of the “shit sandwich.”

Mark Manson is who Liz credits with this idea of the “shit sandwich” that comes along with every career, with every pursuit.

EVERY vocation comes with its own shit sandwich.
Our job is not to try to get rid of it, but to decide if it works for us.
If not, we choose another path. If so, we stop complaining about it and eat.

“Everything sucks some of the time. You just have to decide what sort of suckle you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much ‘what are you passionate about?’ The question is, ‘what are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?”

Every single job has its perks and its detriments. It’s highs and lows.

Can you love being an artist enough to eat the shit sandwich of no job security, constant rejection and an ever changing schedule? Can you love it enough to know every time you book a trip you will book and job and have to cancel? Can you love it enough to work 16 hour days on set, stuffing crafty in your mouth in crazy conditions saying the same words over and over until you want to scream????

It’s a BIG shit sandwich.
And it’s AWESOME. If you choose it. And it’s AWESOME if you don’t.

You get to decide.

“Learning how to endure your disappointment and frustration is part of the job of a creative person. Handling your frustration is a fundamental aspect of the work. Frustration is not an interruption to your process; frustration is the process. The fun part (the part that doesn’t feel like work at all) is when you’re actually creating something wonderful and everything’s going great, and everyone loves it, and you’re flying high. But such instances are rare. You don’t just get to leap from bright moment to bright moment. How you manage yourself between those bright moments, when things aren’t going so great, is a measure of how devoted you are to your vocation, and how equipped you are for the weird demands of creative living.”

Bon Appetit.


Jen Rudolph