Monday, July 16, 2012

Just Play the Game

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Pablo Picasso

Doesn't that quote make you want to pick up a paintbrush? Or set up the sewing machine?  Or write a novel?

It's easy these days to deny our own creativity. There's a comfort in conformity that's hard to resist.

We all want to fit in. Some of us are terrified of drawing attention to ourselves. Even small doses of creativity can become trying for our psyche when we put it out there for all to see. I've always been the kind of person that was more comfortable hiding in the dugout than waving a flag saying, "Here I am. Look at me! Look at what I wrote!" That's probably why I still don't post most of what I write to my personal Facebook page. It's one thing if strangers read my work. It's something different entirely when people I know read my writing. I'm not good at letting people in. Writing is so personal. When I crack open the veneer and let my soul spill out on the page in front of people I know, I feel like I'm standing in front of a crowded room in my underwear. 

The truth is, it's easy for creativity to dry up when we're adults because we become afraid of what others are going to think. There are no coaches telling us to swing for the outfield. The urge to create gets trampled over in the rush to pay the bills and put food on the table.

But, I think most of us need creativity in our lives. I know I do. I need to write. I need to breathe. Same difference. 

Still, I had to learn that just because I'm writing, doesn't mean I'm hitting it out of the park every time. It took me awhile to get my own expectations in line with my ability. I'd get frustrated. The words weren't saying what I wanted them to. I'd use that as another excuse to stop writing and stop being creative. I've learned to push through those times. The only thing that helps is more practice. Blogging continues to be my spring training.

There's not much sadder than a repressed creative person. I wasn't entirely happy all those years when I denied to myself that I was a writer. It was my secret dream that I didn't share with anyone from about second grade through my entire school career, including college.  No one should be scared to wave their creative flag.

If you've got some craft you enjoy that you are moderately good at, then why not go for it? You've only got one ticket to ride in this lifetime. Use it to go after your dreams. Who knows, maybe you'll hit a home run? 

1 comment:

  1. To be creative is to be vulnerable. Yet our vulnerability is was endears us to people.