Have you ever been lost? I mean, truly lost? Wondering around a new city alone, you suddenly realise you have no idea where you are or how to return to familiar ground? I'm sure you simply asked a passing stranger for directions (they'll know what to do) and that panic feeling dispersed quickly. Now imagine you're not lost in a city, but a forest... or out at sea where no one is on hand. You are alone. No one can answer your burning question, "where do I go from here?" That black-hole feeling of lost hope grows at such a terrifying rate you fear you'll never escape it.
That's how I felt when I decided to quit screenwriting. (You can read some blog posts here)
It was a dream I'd pursued for so long, it felt as though I didn't know how to do anything else.
But it was hurting me. Over the course of the last year, my self-belief had been gradually chipped away until nothing was left.
I sat down at my desk one morning and realised that I didn't have the desire to pursue it any more. I was done.
For those around me, this came as a bolt out of the blue as I'd had a relatively successful year; I was on my way to 'making it'! Yet, to me, I saw failure and it was destroying me.
I had to stop.
So, I found myself in that dark, lonely place, lost. If I'm not a writer, who am I? The question taunted me, constantly.
I felt I had nothing to give. I was spent. I needed replenishing.
It was suggested to me gently that I should return to my art. I'd been practising a form of meditation and prayer through art for some years and more recently had been teaching it at my church. I'd found a true sense of peace and communion with God through my canvases; a kind of secret door to communicating with Him. However, as my current depressive state had caused a disconnect between me and my faith, I was resistant to the idea. It took some effort to organise my studio space, but I won't deny there was a sense of 'homecoming' once I'd cracked open the first jar of acrylic medium.
The above image was my first piece.
The first of many.
The beginning of a new journey.