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.