Write like no one is reading: “Humor”

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Write like no one is reading:  Humor

Backstory:  Recently, I began to think about the traits necessary to keep painting when feeling lethargic about exploring my creative side.  Coincidentally, I’d read an article about the importance of writing, if not for others, than for yourself.  The phrase “dance like no one is watching” popped into my head and I decided to write a blog series exploring 10 traits that I’d identified and to put this into practice…write as if no one is reading.  I find that it’s easy to feel trapped by thinking about other’s opinions more than recognizing my own wishes.  My guess is that others may do the same.  Maybe writing with the idea that no one will read my blog will be “freeing”?  Today’s trait is #5 out of 10.

Humor:  If there is one (more) thing that I believe is important…it’s having a sense of humor.  It’s easier to maintain when things are going well…it hardly requires any effort to see the humor in every day life, let alone your art career.  However, when facing a slump or when feeling a bit unsure about your future, seeing the humor in everyday events certainly doesn’t come as easily.  However, I also have found that these are the times when having the capacity to laugh at life’s ups and downs is most important.

For one thing, if I’m too serious about painting, I find that I’m too sensitive to (perceived) other’s opinions.  I’m not as likely to find pleasure in other’s successes (embarrassing to admit this…) and quite frankly, find less pleasure in my own journey.  Other times I become so serious about painting a specific image that I lose interest in letting the intuitive process of painting be my driving force.  In truth, some of my favorite paintings are ones in which I’ve painted over an earlier version.  Here’s the bottom line:  sometimes I just have to adopt a “what the (rhymes with duck)” attitude and I swear, I have way much more fun and am much happier with the results.  Thinking too much can be a deterrent.  Laughing and a more relaxed attitude about my painting process is so much more satisfying.

I think any of my friends can verify that I enjoy laughing. I find it sometimes difficult to refrain from making sarcastic comments (while at my “other” work).  I just naturally “see” nuanced irony situations in every day experiences.  However, I am so very grateful for my ability to recognize the humor in life’s circumstances.  The phrase “someday, this will be funny” was used often by my dad. Also…he would strategically ask the question “are we having yet?” as I was in the midst of a terribly boring or arduous task (such as climbing a mountain).  To this day, I’ll ask out loud the same questions…the timing of which is not always appreciated by my own two teenagers…

So what do I watch on TV while painting?  And why does this matter?  Because it’s usually a British comedy (such as The Detectorists) and I find this to be relaxing. Lighthearted and subtle (not slap stick) comedies give me something to chuckle about and a reminder to not take life so seriously.  As a side note, I also enjoy British mysteries such as Vera and Foyle’s War (and many others), which may not be “humorous” but I do enjoy a good mystery (and scenes of British countryside).

So…humor.  I say see the lightness and humor in everyday life and while enjoying any hobby/activity that you enjoy.  Especially when life isn’t quite what you expected it to be and let yourself relax despite the circumstances you may be facing.

Next up on my list of important traits:  Gratitude

~Dawn Winter

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