We all have art wounds. Many art wounds stem from our childhood and we have been carrying them deep in our creative souls ever since. It could be something someone said carelessly once, or even a look they gave.
As adults, I believe a part of the creative process is to recover from these art wounds. An effective way is to journal about how you sustained that art wound, and then focus our attention on what would’ve helped rather than hurt you in that situation.
This is a tough set of journaling prompts to get through. It will dig deep into your wounds that you’ve been nursing for so many years. However, by the time you are done with these three questions, you will have new tools to help you recover from them so it is totally worth sticking with it. Just remember to be gentle, but firm, and bust through them.
Journaling Prompts to Beat Your Art Wounds
1. Write about a time in your childhood when you felt a strong calling to do something creative, but then was wounded by someone.
Think back to a time when a creative interest or a project felt like you were destined to do it. You were super excited that you found this thing, and you were raring to go. But then someone said or did something that wounded you and you never picked it up again.
2. What art wound did you sustain from this interaction?
Write a list of wounding messages you received from this event about your creativity. Be gentle, these are not the truth. These were just the messages you got from this one person who was most likely acting out of fear or their own art wounds.
3. What would’ve been a more helpful action the said person could’ve taken? What would’ve been a positive message? What would’ve helped you?
Write about an alternate reaction this person could’ve given you if they were acting from a place of genuine love to you. What would’ve showed you that your creativity was important and should be cherished? What would’ve told you that what you create is amazing and unique without any correction or advice needed?
If you struggle imagining them being that kind to you, try this alternate exercise. Think back to a time when you have said or done the same thing to someone you care about. As much as we don’t want to and even to those we care about the most, we subconsciously pass on our art wounds to others. Please try not to judge yourself that you have passed on this art wound. Just focus on that particular time. Now, coming from a place of love and compassion for your loved one, what do you think would’ve helped them more? What could you have said to them that would’ve been encouraging rather than wounding?
We can’t take back art wounds. We can’t just forget them. But we can write new endings to old stories. Although those people who wounded us are not here to apologise or take back what they said, we can replace them with ourselves and guide each art wound into healing.
Next time you hear this particular art wound rearing its head again, remember what you wrote on prompt number 3. What would be helpful to your creativity? What loving, encouraging message could you say to yourself? What action could you take that would show how important your creativity is? Then do or say that thing, to yourself, for yourself.