If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been a heartbroken artist too, and I’ve witnessed an epidemic of heartbroken ones out there.
If you’re like me, you’re exceptionally hard on yourself and your creations, and you feel vulnerable, sensitive, and ashamed when you write or share your writing.
Maybe the last writing class you took was full of so much critique you sadly, stopped. Or you’re a burned-out writer and you’ve forgotten that writing and creativity could actually be fun!
It has been heartbreaking and you think about it all the time but can never quite give yourself the space to have a breakthrough in your precious creative life – even though it’s deeply important to you.
Here’s a bit of my story:
I was born into a family of fast and smart talkers, though I was the shy and highly sensitive kid. I developed the soul of a writer by spending so much time in quiet observation – making up bizarre and funny subtexts. I was a stealth, closet writer, but writing felt like home.
I didn’t share my writing much, because when I did I was so hard on myself that it felt better to hide. But still, I had this longing to create and a knowing that writing would be a major part of my life path.
I eventually became tired of all the hiding. I knew it was time to confront the obstacles and vulnerability I had around writing and sharing my work.
I tried. I took classes. I attempted to write like authors I admired. I tried to be a “good” writer, and yet I felt more stifled and controlled and all of the joy just drained out of the process. And so I quit. And quit again.
Then I found myself in the most unlikely place – in a messy cafe in Seattle, around a little table with a motley crew of the most unlikely writers. I found so much acceptance there because there was no judgment or critique, and there was no such thing as a mistake. It was all process, and I felt free to experiment and explore.
And then one day it happened. I let go. I stopped the effort and struggle. I literally felt a rush of words flow down and through the top of my head. What a lucky moment for me!
As Emily Dickinson said:
“If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.”
I felt free as I watched my inner critic fall away. I was entering an ecstatic state of flow. I stopped being serious and controlling. I stopped worrying about being a “good” writer. I stopped caring and instead went along for the wild ride, and the writing that came out was completely different. It was not “of me” but rather “through me.” The joy came flooding back and I would laugh like a kid at play.
And as Dr. Seuss famously said,
“I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells.”
A book flowed out of me with a force, and Somewhere in a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere went on to become an award-winning book of short stories. I started reading in public. Even though my voice shook, I did it anyway. I saw that my life was opening up instead of closing down, and the sense of hiding was going away. My life was forever changed.
I went on to become a KaizenMuse Creativity Coach, as I began to feel a deep call to teach this process of opening up to others, as well as pass along tools from coaching so that writers and artists could form a foundation of resilience. The entire vision and design of Writing from the Top of Your Head came to me in a rush, out of the same boundless place of creativity I had discovered in that cafe in Seattle.
Though I was terrified, I taught my first local class of eight students in 2014, and they kept coming back, class after class – for many many rounds! The methodology was refined with their help, and I am forever grateful to them. It is now my great joy and passion to support creatives to embrace their inner genius and step courageously into becoming more and more of who they are. That’s all there is to do!
So, heartbroken one, if you have been suffering silently, you are invited to come to this safe haven and unlearn all the things you’ve been taught and told that have stifled your beautiful creative life. In this world of so much competition and criticism, so many of us need to heal and come home.
Nina Hart is a writer, performer, and creativity coach trained in the Kaizen-Muse method. She is also a certified Gateless Method writing teacher – “a method of teaching the art and craft of writing using creative brain science, ancient non-dual teachings and highly-effective craft tools…allowing writers to access the creative genius inside.” Her first collection of surreal short fictions called “Somewhere in a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere” was selected as a Short Stories (Adult Fiction) category finalist in Foreword Reviews’ prestigious 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards. She is the founder of a unique method of teaching writing called “Writing from the Top of your Head,” which combines group Creativity Coaching with creative writing. (Offered online, in Asheville NC, and beyond.) Nina was also an original member of the experimental dance troupe Contraband, in San Francisco and, playing a purple electric bass, has recorded and performed with numerous bands.
SOMEWHERE IN A TOWN YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED SOMEWHERE
A book that speaks directly to society’s “elephants in the living room” through kooky hooliganism and satire