Inspiration

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Alright, normally I avoid the so-called ‘potty’ language, but sometimes when you find something online that expresses your feelings you can’t always be picky.

I ran across this on Pinterest one day, without any context to say who gave the quote.  It instantly made me a little happier, and was something I had to share with an older brother.  (Not this one, another one who happens to be an amazing artist.  Sharing random inspirations, as well as Batman and Benedict Cumberbatch pictures, is one of the strange ways we keep in touch.)

Writing, art, fashion, photography; all of thess are, at the core, creative pursuits.  They begin with someone who has an idea, or a vision.  You see something in the world, the way it is, or the way it could be.  Shockingly, not everyone sees it as easily as you do.  So, you work to capture it somehow, taking it and sharing it with the world.

But sharing doesn’t pay the bills.

There is a lot of money to be made in sharing artistic vision.  People are fascinated with the way others see the world, and they want to be a part of it.  When you find just the right market for your creativity, it can become not only your passion, but your job.

It can be easy to get caught up in the business side of creativity.

As soon as you make the shift from hobby to business, you have an obligation to create product.  Not only product, but product that sells.  We can stay true to ourselves and always create only what we want, but lets be honest, someone needs to like our work for us to make any money.  Even if we stand by the money doesn’t matter ideals, eating does matter.

So you make little changes.  You write for the genre that sells, shaping your story to the market.  You work a few commissioned art pieces, painting what people want.  You start making alterations for other people instead of sewing your own designs.  You photograph a family portrait session.

You feel like a sell out.

And people notice.  You might be changing your work to sell better, but eventually it will catch up with you.  The passion that once drove you will disappear, because you are no longer working from your soul.  You are no longer sharing your creativity; you are working a boring job like everyone else.  Without your passion, your creative works might as well be mad libs or paint by numbers.  Sure, they are amusing, but it is hardly great art.

Choosing a life like this, you have to constantly take a moment and refuel your creative soul.  Over spring break I have kept busy with my kids.  My normal writing/homework/cleaning/workout schedule has gone to pot.  It is wonderful to have this time with my children, but I am also anxious to get back to my writing.

I love writing, not because I make loads of money doing it (which, starting out, I don’t).  When I am writing for me, telling the story that is screaming from within me to get out, I feel a release.  Those are the stories that I feel most passionate about, the stories that come from my soul.  And I hope that people will dig that.

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2 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. Your article struck a chord deep inside of me. Years ago I had very deep passions for photography, but as it became more of a “job” I felt like I was selling out, then eventually burning out. Sadly the crashing of my photography had a Hindenburg like effect on all of my creative outlets. I have been struggling over the past several months, trying to unbury the passions that are burning to get back out. Your article helped me to expose an aspect of my own torment that I had not considered as such a large part of the problem. Thanks you for writing it!

    • Last year I was writing a novel while staying at home with my daughter in her last year before Kindergarten. There were lots of time when I wanted to write and couldn’t, and times when I parked her in front of the TV because I HAD to get something down. (I know, I’m a great Mom that way.) No matter how much time I had to write, I always felt creatively stimulated. I had opened up a place for myself where I let everything flow and just went where it took me.
      Since I began attempting to enter the publishing world, I find myself constantly doubting my ability. Sometimes it is the obvious reasons, such as a rejection letter, but other times there is no real obvious stimulation for my fear. The best I can conclude is I began putting too much pressure on myself by trying to turn this into something more. What if this one doesn’t sell? Should I back off and work on something else that might have a better chance? What about all of the other stuff that goes with it? Is my blog growing fast enough? Should I be tweeting more, even if I don’t have anything clever to say? Should I self publish? There are so many questions, so much worry, it’s easy to block myself out. If I do nothing, at least I haven’t done the wrong thing. I’m hoping acknowledgement of the problem is the beginning of fixing the problem.
      I’m happy that my blog has helped you, even in the tiniest way. If I accomplish nothing else in my life, I will be happy knowing I helped others bring more beauty, and creativity into the world.

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