Do It for the Process

In the world of creativity there is no competition, and there’s room for you at the table. This is why I keep showing up. I’m in it to win it because there’s no competition. The winning I do is mind over matter, denying my doubts, and walking in my own innovative power. There’s no one I’m trying to impress. I’m here for me, and to be honest, I do it for the process.

The process of a creative practice is another way to know yourself, to find your voice, to share your heart, and maybe even rediscover lost dreams or untapped potential. When you do it for the process, you fight off the goons of criticism. You slay your fear monsters. You excise fear, and ward off laziness. At least that’s the case for me, and I keep showing up.

What matters isn’t the length of time I spend. It’s the showing up and being constant that matters the most. The more I show up, the more progress I make, the more I refine my skill and creative viewpoint. Isn’t that good news? Blank page, empty canvas – all waiting to see what I can do. You can think of it as a creative adventure in which you don’t know where you’re going till you’re there because you gave yourself room to explore. Much of art is the exploration of a thought, a notion, an idea, an image fleshed out in whatever creative vein you choose.

I mostly write, but there are many times I cannot access what I am trying to say. When I sit to make art of any kind, I find another way to express ideas – another way to reroute and capture my thinking. More often than not the process speaks to me of things I couldn’t wrap into words. The actions and steps I take help me get to where I want to be – more creative, less stressed, more expressive, and more joyful. The goal is not perfection, but another way to embrace and communicate living a full and abundant life. Something of progression and development produces tenacity, grace, and skill. It’s like you’re building yourself up, flexing your originality muscles. How will you know if you don’t try? Do it for the process.

We have nothing to lose, really, when you think about it. You create your own imaginative haven as you delve into the routine, and approach it with grace. There’s no fear in getting it wrong. There’s only watching with wide-eyed wonder as the greatness that is already in you begins to awaken and reveal itself. That’s why we must keep showing up. When we do it for the process, we give ourselves permission to know ourselves more deeply, hear our voices in a different way, clarify our hearts, and express more of who we are. When we know who we truly are, we are far less likely to stage our lives, we are less likely to pretend less to be what we’re not, and we make room for others to be their whole selves too. I think we need a lot more of that in our world – men and women willing to make room for other people’s stories.

A routine practice engages us in the beauty of our own work and purpose. You create more room because you’re less concerned about what other people are busy doing. You become gently nestled in the glorious messiness of your own progress. This personal heart and soul tending, I think, helps us manage our selves and our own lives in ways that create space for other people to do the same. Competition ceases to be about crowding the world our our flimsy one upmanship, and it becomes more about seeing the beauty and dignity of those around us. The process gives us a new perspective.

I want to encourage you to keep showing up. These moments are about you, yourself, and your connection to your heart and soul. It’s about you getting to know more of you, your design, and all the things that make you all you. This may seem like a crazy tangent, but I have found this to be true: our creative practices are more about us than they’ll ever be about anyone else. The end products, hits and misses, and beginnings reveal our potential and reason for being. For such a thing there can be no competition. There can only be the fine art of you growing you and you giving the world the best you have to offer. How will you process today?

Tell me your stories. I’d love to hear them.

In the month of October, I’m participating in the #Write31Days challenge. I’m focusing creative practice in the ordinary everyday mundane. Each day (or whenever I write) for the series I will post the link on my page for my #31DaysOfCreativePractice. Come along and read.

Share your thoughts.