Many fellow writers and artists have been posting about the distractions we face in our creative lives, and how we can overcome them. One of those pieces was by an artist I just started following, Debbie McClure., thanks to another writer, ML Swift, who reblogged her post. McClure writes,
At some point, the rubber must hit the road for the car to move forward even one inch. It doesn’t matter what challenges you’re faced with, to move forward means doing something.
That’s pretty good advice for all of us. Here’s where I take it in my own writing life.
We know ourselves better than anyone. We are aware of what gives us energy, and what pulls it away. We know where we are strong, and we know when we are vulnerable. Our understanding of these forces, both around us and within us, grants us the opportunity to live our lives in greater control of how we exert our energy, utilize our experiences, and convert them into creative products.
This is our reality as Creatives.
I don’t pretend to keep everything in balance, all the time. Quite the contrary, and that’s what motivated me to write last night’s piece about being more authentic in my posts. The truth is, I struggle with this balance all the time, and for a number of reasons.
First, I have many interests, and I like to pursue all of them. Writing, reading, photography, music, nature immersion, abstract drawing, teaching, and journalism, to name a few. I’m also happily married and the proud papa of three beautiful children. I don’t like to slight any of these things. I am passionate about all of them. I have learned how to integrate these loves into my writing.
Second, I am, by my very nature, a people pleaser and helper. Now, knowing this has allowed me to be better about how I manage this. I get caught up in some pretty emotional issues that are close to me (depression awareness and suicide prevention, to name a few). But what I’ve learned is that, even though I care deeply about these issues, it isn’t my calling. There are ways for me to help, through my writing, that are in many ways more powerful.
Third, I am empathetic about global issues that can really pull me away from my work. Again — awareness of my empathy allows me to break away consciously and, in my writing, find a way to contribute to healing in some way.
I think Creatives are just like this. We are open to receive the world emotionally and spiritually; and through the relationship with have with the world — through that absorption of ideas and emotions, we churn out products that help us better understand what we experience. Through poetry, prose, artwork, or photography, we exhale what we absorb, doing our best to communicate effectively with our audience.
So, let’s stay aware. Let’s remember that our reality as Creatives is as fluid as our breathing. We take in everything, and we touch what we experience with insight, love, and wisdom.
This is our reality as Creatives. Embrace it, and keep doing the work. The world needs to hear, read, experience what we have to share.