“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” ~Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury had it right. When it comes to being creative, you do. You don’t think, you show up and move with whatever is brewing in your heart. You’ve probably read my words a few times in this 31 day creative practice series on why I create. To know, grow, understand, discover, edify, to remember, and to enjoy. Yes, those are all reasons I create. I make to make. And maybe that is always the first invitation. You do it for yourself, for the process. You do it because you want to. You do it because you need or or can’t not do it (pardon my double negatives). Maybe one day you find people will compensate you for personalized works you create, and that’s okay too. Today I’m reflecting on my own practices and how much they help me navigate life.
I want to remember why I began creating and why I keep going. For me it can’t be solely tied to a monetary goal as though my life depended on it. It must do more than net income, bring fame, or other attention. I want the work I do to make a difference. I want my creative bodies of work to express my why and how I engage the world and my surroundings. I want the work to be a way to make connections with people, to give them a way to see themselves differently or to spark a bit of hope. I want my works to unearth light amid the darkness. I believe a creative practice can do that – unveil the hidden things, point out beauty in unforeseen places, and remind us that we are made for good things and sacred purpose.
As I reflect on this 31 day writing series, I can’t help but think of how all that really matters is that I keep showing up. No one benefits from my work if I don’t sit down to make it. Whether someone notices or not, I’m in it for me. All the rest is overflow from that place – the place of my genesis (why I do what I do and that fuels me). If there are no accolades, no awards, no rewards, I am still a creative force. My value and worth don’t diminish just because others can’t see it. I have to see it for myself first. I must call my work good first and for myself. This keeps my heart out of your hands where it shouldn’t be any way, and keeps it ever so close to mine. It’s good heart and soul tending. It’s good boundary keeping. It’s me being accountable for what I am called to be and do. After all the beholder is not my responsible for affirming my humanity, worth, or value. These are things I can and must do for myself so that who I am is not enmeshed what other people think about me or my work. That is creative independence.
A creative practice engages every part of us. It informs us and gives us a different way of seeing. It gives us another way to find and refine our true voice. We all have something unique to offer, something unique to say. Our words and our work do matter. Today I encourage you to look the landscape of your creative endeavors and call them good. Every rise, every fall, every miss-step, and forward fail into success is good because you say it is. I believe this bolsters our faith and our confidence. We are worth this inward recognition. Now go on and create. It’s who you are, who you be, and we can’t wait to see what more you have to offer.
How do you reflect on your creative practices. 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.