Fear of the New



I am afraid that I have not been diligent in writing this blog. Why not? To admit the truth is the hard part. I could choose the easy answer and say that I have been busy moving to a new city and starting a new life yet again in a new apartment since my show ended in February, but I would not be completely honest with myself if I wrote that. It’s not wrong but it’s not right. A friend who is doing the Artist’s Way programme with me encouraged me to explore deeper.

By the time I confessed my fear of writing anything new on my blog, we were already on Weeks 8 and 9 of the twelve-week programme. This is when Julia Cameron talks about blocked artists and how they sabotage themselves.  JC wrote that it was fear not procrastination that was blocking these artists. I happened to read that little insight a few seconds after I had patted myself on the back for my excellent procrastination skills. Do you think the forces that be were trying to tell me something? I had to stop for a moment and think about why I was scared to write this blog.

My friend had asked me the same question, and I very quickly told her that bad experiences with other blogging platforms resulted in me being scared of using WordPress despite several successful attempts using it. That was the easy answer. Once again it was not wrong but it was not right. Was I afraid of writing? No, I love words. Was I afraid of writing long passages? No, you cannot shut me up once I start. Was I worried that I had nothing to write about? No, I told my friend that I had many topics and experiences to write about. So what was wrong?

I think I might have overwhelmed myself with the seemingly possibilities of blog topics that I now had at my disposal since I moved to Saitama City near Tokyo. I could write about my art, my adventures in exploring continuing education at schools in Japan, my introduction to traditional nihonga painting, and the people I encountered there. I could write about the shows I went to in Kyushu, Kansai (area around Osaka and Kyoto), and Kanto (area around Tokyo). Other artists asked me to write about the problems they have working in Japan and they were flattered when I asked if i could write about their work on my blog. I could write about the various types of venues, shops, and people who I see. The list goes on and on, and that is the problem. How could I write about all of them and do them justice? I scared myself by just thinking about it!


Was that it? Was there more to my fear? Many of these proposed entires would be about my adventures in this new stage of life. Did I know what was going to happen or what was expected of me? Not really. These changes are all too new and came out of the blue last March. I no longer had a packed schedule with little free time; I had no schedule with mainly free time. The possibilities were infinite. That is terrifying!


Several other friends who are doing the Artist’s Way with me are also trailing spouses who have accompanied their husbands to new locations when employers decided it was time for a transfer. They reassured me that this fear and sometimes rejection of the new is natural and all too common. I am already much more settled than I was a few months ago so I hope I can remove this block and write many more entries. Wait! Maybe I should not promise a large number of posts. I should promise myself to start small even if it is only the occasional photograph or a few sentences. One step at a time…



6 thoughts on “Fear of the New

  1. I so resonate with this! My potters wheel has sat painfully quiet all summer and I have yet to truly dig deep to discover why. This summer I launched a line of cards at a local shop. Are they selling? Not really, but I think it had more to do with dealing with my fear factor and need to create than if they would sell or not. Looking forward to hearing more of your journey!


  2. I can relate! In fact, I recently wrote a long blog post about studying art at U of M and then my later studies – and then deleted it, becuse I decided it was too personal and who could relate? and when I read your little piece about the author (you): “Makes art that is too conservative for the artsies and too artsy for the conservatives.” That is in essence some of what I had written about.
    Personally, I think the topic of carving out your own artistic niche in Japan is an amazing topic! Looking forward to reading more (no pressure). Cheers!!


  3. Hi Michelle!
    It is wonderfully enlightening to hear how you are adjusting to your new life as an artist in the Kanto region and I can certainly relate to the waves of doubt and insecurity inherent in starting over in any new place but I am equally sure that you are already on the path of contented fulfillment because you are taking the necessary steps to achieve it! Bravo!


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