Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — How do I stop being afraid of my creativity? I only feel total joy when I’m creating my art but I’m afraid of what other people think about me being so “artsy” and not traditionally employed, and I’m 30. — Know It When I Feel It
Dear Know It When I Feel It,
Are you making enough money to live? Are you taking care of your bills and responsibilities? If you answered yes to these questions, all I can say is, “Who cares what anyone else thinks about you being artsy?”
What other people think about how you make your living, find your joy and live your life doesn’t matter. They do not have to live your life. They will not suffer with you in a fluorescent-lighted cubicle with you making entries into a database. They will not experience the joy and health-benefiting satisfaction you get from creating. So, if you live the highs and lows all by yourself, why do you care what outside lookers think?
The question of to create or not to create is obvious. You’ve already answered it. You love to create and find joy through your work. The real question is why are you living your life for the acceptance and approval of other people. It’s your life. Decide to live it for yourself. No one else can live it for you.
Keep on creating,
Dear Know it When I Feel It,
Picassolita, it sounds like you already know how to create (e.g., your non-traditional employment, your engagement and connection with yourself when you are creating) — now go the next step and own it, flaunt it, gulp!…jump out of the bushes, throw open your tightly buttoned up raincoat and flash it with all the pride of the mama from whom it flowed.
Definitions are important. When I think of creativity or the creative process I don’t automatically or exclusively associate it with artists like painters or writers, nor do I think of crazy, sexy, cool exhibitionist types who seemingly always have to show the world their artsiness and “different” out-of-the-box nature in the most obvious (and often paradoxically non-) creative ways. Nope, in the world I create daily, “creativity” is innate in everyone, but tamped down to varying degrees in most people in order to gain (or maintain) acceptability from and inclusion in our mostly dogmatic society. Creativity is a built-in part of our nature, as we ourselves are the very extension of…creativity. Creativity comes in all shapes and forms (from the museum-exhibited kinds, to knitting groups, and feverishly common business to paradigm-shifting stuff expressed via Powerpoint presentations). It’s standard not after-market equipment, but can be tuned up if the driver is willing to do the work that is true creating. Talent schmalent. In the words of the great philosopher (and one of my favorite sherms) Ru Paul, “You better work!” Snap!
I must admit, when I hear the words “afraid of (your) creativity,” it makes me cringe for you but mostly because I have known your plight firsthand. Other people’s insecurities about their “talent” (see what I mean about working it?), America’s obsession with getting paid before bestowing grand titles of “artist” and “creative” only go to our deeply imprinted suspicion and disempowerment of all things internally generated/created/gestated… There’s a lot of superiority and patronizing and most of all — fear — in our authoritarian society. And that’s why this is a time of such deep polarization of our nation. We creative beings, all of us, are changing. Deeply held and revered notions are being smashed and change is happening as hard as it is being resisted. So, go Inward, Young Creative, and land ho!, show yourself for all you are for us to behold. The sooner you recognize and honor your creative core, second chakra, nature, the happier you’ll be, so…
Do the work of creating daily, even if it looks mundane,
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