I wish I felt like a writer right now. There are so many things happening in the world that move me, a long line of people whose stories I believe would heal your heart and open your mind, but I just can’t find the words. I think it might be the pineapple shortage.
They tell me that this is what happens with us creative types. Even typing that makes my stomach flip flop, which — now that I mention it — isn’t so much of a surprise either. “They” also tell me that, at least in the beginning, we creative types are pretty uncomfortable with even declaring ourselves creative.
The bitching part of this whole deal is that, at least it seems to me, our willingness to discover and accept our identity as creative beings directly impacts the success of our creative endeavors. If we can’t own it, we can’t rock it.
It would be so much easier to be masterful at our craft if the success came strong, early, and consistent. Of course it would, but then what kind of world would we live in? The best-seller lists would be watered down with books written by people whose lives haven’t yet helped them understand the value of digging deeper, surrendering to the story, and — for the love of all things glittery — editing.
There would be a spinoff of that Hoarders show where the experts and dump trucks descend on museums filled beyond capacity with the first photographs, drawings, and paintings of creative types who retired in the rookie season and never went on to master their craft. Already the music world is sort of upside down — if you don’t yet know about the music world outside of top 40 radio, then you’re missing out — but imagine how much worse it could get if the journey of the creative ones didn’t have this element!
So, here we are. I’m a writer who can’t write. I’ve got a student who is a painter who can’t bring herself to paint. Certainly, this confession will find its way into the hands of at least one of every imaginable flavor of artist who isn’t feeling it today. The question now becomes, “What in the heck are we going to do about this dry spell?”
You know the answer, right? Just walk away. Forget about it. I don’t care if it’s your dream, it’s not really worth it. I mean, come on, nobody really “makes it” doing what they love anyway. Go ahead and give up now and save yourself from all of the heartache and loneliness.
Oh, and the poverty! Don’t forget that oh-so-burdensome reality of being a creative creature. I think the whole thing really sucks. I mean, seriously, that’s why I don’t have pineapple this week and I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m not inspired enough to blog. If I’m too broke for pineapple, then I’m to broken to write and that almost certainly means it’s time to walk away from this whole stupid thing… the thing that haunts me… the thing I dreamed about doing when I was a little girl… the very thing that seems to make me who I am. Wait a minute…
No, that’s not what we do.
We stay true to ourselves. We write. We paint even if we are not in the mood. We pick up the guitar and play it, even if the voice in our head tells us that we sound like a fool. We dance, even when we feel awkward and off beat. We sketch the ideas and wonder aloud, “What would happen if… .” We refuse to believe that this thing is only worth doing if it feels fabulous and fruitful.
We keep showing up, again and again, and not just because it matters (or doesn’t) to the world. I’ll show up because it matters to me, and you show up because it matters to you. We are worth the investment. We are capable of living the dream. The dream is to be ourselves… no matter what. That is freedom.
To shut off from the self is not an option. Period. And I don’t care if it’s been 20 years since you last allowed yourself to remember the dream; it still lives in you. Your dream is you. You are your dream. You may not have remembered yesterday or even this morning but right now, you’re reading this article and the memory of your dream is bubbling up from deep within.
It’s time to pick up your pencil and write or sketch, find your brush and paint. It’s time to make your way back to a stage or a studio, or wherever you need to be to be who you are. It’s time to capture what your inner photographer sees when you are out and about in the world. And don’t tell me you don’t have any equipment because my beloved Canon Rebel is dead and I’m keeping the dream alive with my kid’s little point-and-shoot because right now there are about 90 items above a new camera on my financial plan.
But here’s the deal: Reality cannot be an obstacle to truth.
Go live your truth, and don’t let anyone tell you any differently (especially not the voice in your head). Instead of worrying so much about all of the reality that’s interfering with your dreams, weave your passion and purpose into your every day life.
Stop for a moment (yes, now) and decide what you can do today to bring yourself back into alignment with the dream. What do you have the resources to do — money, time, energy, etc.? It’s just a seed, nothing crazy… unless this calls for something crazy, then rock on! Either way, I want to know. What will you do today to bring your dream to life?