Creation is one of the most fundamental aspects of being human. We revere the work of artists, playrights, writers, dancers, craftsmen, speakers, poets, musicians. They have the power to touch souls, raise emotions, inspire hope, incite passion. They speak the unspoken, unveil the mysteries of consciousness and the universe. They tell tales of anger, pain, joy, peace.
You are one of those people. You have the power to express the deep mysteries of who you are, what you feel, and what you believe. In fact, you are the only with that ability. The stories you write, the songs you sing, the paint you splatter on a canvas – you are the only that can do that and fully express the range of who and what you are. The beautiful and agonizing pieces of your experience.
Don’t let comparisons with other artists deter you from this task. Ignore the mind that says “You suck at this. Go back to bed.” Let the barbs of critics pass you by and conjure the deep wells of your experience into physical form. Fall into that place where the gods speak through you – where your brush or pen or voice or whatever you are doing seems to flow. And until it flows, wade around in the muck, slogging through mediums and ideas until you find that place of inspiration – where something wells up and demands to be heard. Then let it out. Let it out!
Recently, Salon writer Cary Tennis wrote a great piece of advice to a writer sabotaging her work with distractions. He talked about what it takes to make it happen – the fears you need to wade through, the technical details, the cultural obstacles. He talks of writing – and I think he would say creating – as a call.
For that’s what it is: It is a call. It might not be clear exactly what it is yet. But something is calling you and you have to answer the call. It might be frightening to answer — it might be asking you to face certain fears about your own competence and value. It may be asking you to take up a challenge. But I believe that whatever it is you are trying to accomplish, it is best to begin with your own motivation and your own desire, and work from that place, rather than concentrate on the phenomenon of distractions and try to eliminate them. You will find more energy in focusing on your objective than in focusing on defeating the distractions.
…In other words, in order to overcome this habit of distractions, I recommend that you focus first on becoming who you are as a writer, and that you embark on a journey. I recommend that you enact a long-term plan, not just to start writing but to become a writer in the world. Join the worldwide community of writers.
In a sense, expressing yourself creatively is a deeply personal process that paradoxically allows you to enter into a broader world of creators. And if we are all fundamentally and imperatively creators, it seems that creation makes us more fully human.