"For too many women, doubting the legitimacy of their inspirations chokes their creative spirit." - Gail McMeekin
This is the first letter of a word that I commissioned from Jessie. I am delighted to say that I have the word 'YES' coming in the mail!
As I read through the chapter for this week's book group, I was struck by the number of excuses and reasons that women find to not create.
I know I am an incredibly lucky girl in many ways. Supportive parents, BIG life lessons about the preciousness of life, early creative surroundings, an artistic husband and no kids of my own have all conspired together to make me quite comfortable spending time writing. In fact, in our house we often ignore things like laundry and cleaning in favour of a few more minutes making our dreams happen.
Having said that, I couldn't figure out why the chapter made me so uncomfortable until I read the quote I shared at the top of this page. I'll add it again here in case you missed it: "For too many women, doubting the legitimacy of their inspirations chokes their creative spirit." - Gail McMeekin. As I said, I have no trouble spending time writing, but whenever I pick up a paintbrush I feel like I should be doing other things. I should be writing - that is where my skills are - that is where I might have a shot at creating something worthwhile.
Last year I had a brainwave for a wonderful website. I am in love with this idea. I bought the web address, I have been scribbling about it ever since, but I haven't gotten past tinkering with page one. Why? Because it requires me to make art and because it is NOT a way of making money. The lesson? Creativity that creates even the remotest possibility of income = valid. Creativity that is just creating beauty in the world for the sake of it = something to cram in after all of the other to-dos have been taken care of.
On Friday I had a little meltdown. I was at work and was listening to something on my ipod that make me cry. Luckily I was alone, because it was one of those messy talking to the universe, God, and anyone else who might be listening cries. I wanted to know what to do to make a situation I am in better. When I was all cried out (and the universe could get a word in edgewise) I started thinking about that idea again, complete with a new and enticing angle. In fact, whenever I am feeling sorry for myself, this idea pops into my head again. I keep pushing it down, thinking that I'll do it when my other shoulds are done. I think that this time I will listen. In fact, I am going to make it a priority.
Seeing the act of creating as a legitimate use of our time makes us make time. It becomes a priority no matter how much washing needs doing or how much other people need us. The only thing stopping us from focusing on our Self is our own perception of the validity of what we are doing. We need to place value on the things that we love to do, and then we will not feel guilty doing them. The world needs our creative energy, it doesn't need more guilt!
"In order to succeed, you must create a space, commit the time, value it, and fight for it. And yes, give some things up." - Gail McMeekin