It’s all fun and games until someone says you are doing what you love for a hobby, or something that you won’t make money or you should find yourself a “real” job. Believe me, I’ve heard it all before. I’ve heard that when I write I take everything and put it out there, but I’ve also heard I’m not creative enough to have people come and read my writing. I’m too much of a dreamer and too immature to think like a business, although I’m sure very few people would want to do what I do for a living. These are the negative, hateful voices, hidden in helpful advice.
What they are really saying is stop dreaming, because I have.
I’m sorry but did I just hurt someone’s feelings? Good.
Somewhere, there is probably a person who is looking at this blog and thinking, no, she doesn’t have a point, but hear me out, take a moment, grab a cup of nice warm tea and think about what you are doing with your life. Most likely, you are like me, you have an outside of the home job, and you have family responsibilities, and the reality is there are not as many people who want to see you succeed as you want to have. You might want to have a ticker tape parade for your hard work, but even Twitter doesn’t help you with that. You want to write, you need to write, but there isn’t a drive. There isn’t a push, a need or a want to make this happen.
I get it. I understand.
So what is there to do when the going gets hard? I’ve taken some time off to really think about what it means to be creative.
Let’s be creative. Let’s have fun.
Does it take the morning to start a routine? The one where you get up at six in the morning and start to write, paint, or draw? Did you used to attend creative learning centers when you were younger? Are you a creative being who works best in the middle of the night, a book and a cup of hot coffee beside you? Does the thought of doing something online scare the heck out of you because you just don’t know what to say and if you say it online will people read it? And what about fun? I’ll be honest, I certainly do not write this blog for money, because I love just the feel of the words I write. I’m hardly famous, but this is something I feel truly creative about. It makes me feel better, and it helps me see how I can build on what I have had and what I want. Blogging isn’t the way I can be creative, but it is a way I can share what I want. I also know it’s not a big “money maker” (to be honest, should people suggest this is a great means to earn income, it isn’t, because without a lot of knowledge ) but it is a way I can create something different and for different people, who don’t need to be within a hundred yards of my location. It might not make much in the way of income, but I am happy. I love the fact that sometimes I can write whatever I want, and simply enjoy it.
How do you go about being a creative person who has many other commitments but still wants to share information and show to others what you have to say is important? It’s all about timing. After dealing with writing, and with actually being creative with no set timeline or goals, I found I have to get back into a rhythm to make a blog post. More importantly I found my groove with writing and working on my books. While this may seem like a bit of a paradox, the fact there is a timeframe has helped my writing, and my outlook on writing.
I’ve set up a time when I write. At first my schedule looked a bit like this:
Wake up, check emails, do some social media, write a bit.
Have a bite of lunch
That’s all well and good, and it does give a lot of time to be creative, there was a problem. I wasn’t actually the master of my time even then. I would grab a coffee or be on the phone, or I would have to do some sort of “because you are at home and you have nothing to do right now” errands. I’m the person who can’t say no if I tried. I feel it, it hurts to let someone down, but I wasn’t taking myself, or my writing seriously. I didn’t think I was letting me down. I didn’t want to think I was until I found I couldn’t do everything and in the end I had lost the drive to write.
Think about that for a moment. I felt no desire to write. I didn’t want to look at my failings as a writer, and that hurt. In time, I learned that what was the problem was I was worried about how everyone else felt, and not enough about me. The thing that helped was being able to get a clear head, and take a bigger step back. I wanted to be creative, I wanted to blog, but I hated the computer and everything writing stood for. Fortunately, this is where a bit of help from friends came in. My partner was instrumental in this. They didn’t push and they didn’t force me to be in any way creative. They let me think and slowly realize that I needed to have writing in my life, not only for my own sanity, but for the idea that the “What” and the “Why” I was blogging and writing would be there if I let go.
I will be the first to admit I fought this idea. I cried over it. My partner, bless them, stood firm. When someone suggests that time off from being creative is the best thing, it might be time to understand that some people aren’t against your writing but rather against what the writing is doing to you now.
I can see it now, you’re probably going, but you said watch out for people who are trying to stop you from taking a hold of your dream. Yes I did say that at the beginning of this post, and I stand have the fact that there are and will always be people in your life who want you to fall and fall hard. These people are the ones that no matter how much you love something no matter how hard you care will drain the passion out of you because they want to see you fail. The “I-told-you-so” people. The ones who will say one thing, but show in action that they want something else.
I get it. It hurts. It can make you a shadow of what you can become. Then there are people, amazing powerful people who want what is best for you, and are willing to tell you that it is going to be okay, and when there is doubt in your abilities in the world of creative writing, or creative blogging, and you just want you give up, these are the guiding lights that make it worth the break.
I took the break, and it was good for my soul. I find myself doing things I’ve always dreamed I’d do. The painting I wanted to do, and now it is dusting off the old digital camera and learning to see myself as not only a creative writer, but a creative being that has value and that is worth it. It’s the message you need to hear. I can say that dreamers do win, but they need a strong guiding light to make this happen.
For myself, I am happier and more in tune with writing, but also with how I make my day work. I gave myself permission to step back and more important, I gave myself permission to love, and to say no. My partner is not one who took anything away, but rather, encouraged me to step out, step back and find out who is the creative person in me.