So many people live in a netherworld of good intentions and unrealised hopes. It is a terrible place torn between two irreconcilable realms – potential and procrastination.
I do get it. It takes courage to step out and create. Creativity is a dare to become something more than you already are. A call to step beyond your limitations and bring something new into existence. Almost 200 years ago Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” This reality seems more true today than ever before!
It has also been said that until the pain of staying the same becomes more unbearable than the pain of change we too often opt for the status quo. We settle rather than strive to break the bonds of mediocrity from our hands and the shackles of normality from our feet.
The Creativity Escape Plan
As romantic creative types we often want some tragic or melodramatic answer to our most pressing needs, but the solution to the stunned deer dilemma of inactivity and lack of progress is actually so very ordinary and unimpressive most pass it by.
The key factors involved are much deeper than we will touch in this article, but here’s a quick tour of the escape route.
Get Your Why Firmly Established.
I have written about this several times, but it is something I come back to again and again. It never grows old because if you lose a handle on why you do what you do, the pathway becomes very foggy.
Why create? More importantly, why do you create?
It is of no consequence that someone else has tackled their why. Somebody else’s reason for getting out of bed in the morning is not going to spark your engine. You need to give honest consideration to your own why because it is this that will fuel your creative endeavours when the road gets tough, and keep you focussed when things go well and you want to strut before your fall. Keeping an even keel through the ups and downs of exercising your art is really important I think. This does not mean we cannot celebrate our successes, or feel and learn from our ‘failures’, just that we have the long play in sight.
For me, and without wanting to sound religious (although I really do not care how you hear this), I want to imperfectly glorify God in my years on earth. I say imperfectly because I can expect nothing more than my frailty to be clothed with His perfection. I know I will fail, falter and misrepresent the Father’s fabulous love at times (daily most likely), but my determination is to allow Him as much room to be Himself in and through me as I possibly can.
The ways in which I do this are not the ways others might approach them, I am not some hotshot preacher, or mass evangelist. I will not have the ministry or calling that other’s may carry. And that’s fine with me. Finally, after 46 years of striving and whining, I want to just be myself and let God shape the direction He wants me to go in.
I know one thing.
I love to write.
I believe if I follow that call, and allow Him to clothe it, it will reach the right people who love to read.
2. Make Micro Commitments
I spoke about this in my very practical book for publishers, Productivity For Indie Authors . Don’t make the mistake of creating unattainable goals that dwarf your ability to actually DO something toward them.
Encourage yourself with a daily win. For me, one article per day on this blog is my daily win as a writer. Not a novel, or a twenty five book series (although I have ideas for these for sure). Just a 300+ word creative article designed to help others in some way reach their goal and realise their dream.
One small thing each day in pursuit of becoming who you are and want to be, will go much further than a grand goal set somewhere in the impossible future.
Listen! You will never have enough time. The environment and conditions will never be perfect. Uninhibited and unhindered inspiration is probably never going to drop in your lap.
If change is going to happen it is going to happen because first, you align with what you know to be your calling, and secondly you actually start living like it is so.
3. Start Small, but Start Today
Living like it is so does not necessarily mean leaving all and jumping from the plane without a parachute.
Take it step by step. Get real and very practical.
Eliminate all that you can that prevents you doing what you know you need to do to become the artist you want to be.
But don’t stop there. Elimination is an important and essential step, but now the rubber meets the road.
Bake into your daily routine habits that will build your new identity. The process of becoming who you know you are called to be is a result of your daily activities. A life is made up of moments, and today is packed full of moments where you can choose who you are and what you do. I choose to write. What do you do?
You may be a novelist, a musician, and playwright, a singer, a sculptor, painter, candle stick maker, a florist, teacher, coach or dancer. Whatever your passion we have this one thing in common – we CREATE!
It is this creative urge, placed and planted by our Papa in Heaven Himself, that spurs us on.
Let that spark ignite the energy necessary to make whatever changes need to be made to be true to yourself.
Quit messing around and talking about it.
Do something today toward making it a reality.
OK, rant over. With no apology. I’m passionate to break out of the valley between vision and reality, and start scaling whatever mountain I need to to reach the summit. And honestly, part of that process for me is to be a creativity sherpa pulling on the ropes and helping others take that next daily step toward their destiny.
Heaps of love from a fiery heart that finally said enough is enough!