Justifying my creativity

I had someone say to me the other day that, when they write a blog, they do extensive research into each post, that they take days to compose each post and that they don’t see the point in writing posts just to write. (This was after they in a polite way insulted my tattoo, the one that represents my family – pretty much wanted to tell this person in the most gracious possible way to eff off). This off handed comment literally stopped me in my tracks. (Literally – I haven’t written for 3 days). I have had a few people ask me why I am writing this blog, what is the point of me doing it, why waste my time on something that won’t make money, why do so much writing if it doesn’t get credited towards the degree that I am studying (writing and publishing). I feel quiet defeated, embarrassed, my heart races, my face flushes and my mind goes into fight or flight, at continually having to defend a form of creativity that I enjoy. I mean, for me even start this blog I overcame a lot of fear. Fear that my writing would not be enjoyable, fear that my terrible grammar would ruin the story that I was labouring to portray.

“Because you will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you’re entitled to at least try” Elizabeth Gilbert – Big Magic

Each time I sit down to write I have a sense of excitement, of peace, creativity, and I feel a sense of release, a craving to get the stories, thoughts, experiences out of me and into the world. This creativity and expression has me addicted, I am more observant of the world around me, I am becoming awesome at gratitude, my emotions are flowing at a higher level (some good, some pyscho), my vocabulary is increasing and really cool thoughts are rattling around in my head. Each time my fingertips tap on the keyboard, I feel energy in the action of making my thoughts into something tangible. My fingers at times trip over themselves to get the words on the screen fast enough (and I am a pretty fast touch typer). Is this enough reason to write a blog? Is it arrogant and egotistical of me to think that someone out there may be interested in my stories, thoughts or experiences? Am I being self-indulgent in wanting to share this blog? Am I being too open with sharing my authentic self and do people find that confronting? When I am writing I communicate more in depth and eloquently than any other time, do readers think that I am being fake? I mean it is not like I have a piece of paper on the wall to say that I am qualified to do this, I am not a specialist in anything.

“Creative entitlement simple means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that – merely by being here-you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.” Elizabeth Gilbert – Big Magic.

My voice and vision at the moment is full of trepidation and anxiety. My creative entitlement is a tiny bud like a lotus flower struggling to get thru the mud. It is a weird thought because I have actually had a lot of positive feedback from people that I don’t know, people out in the blogosphere. It is has been people that I interact with in the real world, that I have had to justify my creativity too. However maybe this line of questioning from people will actually give me the kick in the bum that I need. So that I continue with my creative enjoyment and pretty much give them the middle finger when they see me contented and balanced.

Womankind magazine wrote an article “A life not defined by work”, essentially saying that Australians are less beach loving larrikin and more conformist workaholic. Who often have conversations that resemble a reciting of their resume. The article penned by Alecia Simmonds goes on to say that we need to start slothing, playing, being more sociable, finding more pleasure, to be creative and throw away our clocks occasionally. Alecia makes a great point when she talks about the work/life balance. Life could mean, writing a book, long bushwalks, and dinner with friends, creating art pieces or travelling. Usually though for Australians, generally females, life means mostly unpaid work. Is this why people around me find my writing and the blog so baffling? Because it actually has no connection to my paid work, because I am not whinging or bitching or gossiping. My creative musings, instead of academic or educational writing obviously isn’t going to appeal to everybody, and may be the creative side is what some people don’t know how to embrace.

I spent time a lady a couple of days ago at the Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby, New South Wales. She picked up on my need to create and share as soon as I meet her. She advised me to embrace creativity instead of always pushing it away. That I have a fabulous ability to share beauty, and that I have a great visual mind to be able to create beauty from my imagination. She went on to say that, in my own form I have authentic messages to share with people and to embrace the authenticity and continue to be genuine, as she felt immense potential for my creative outlet. (She didn’t know that I was struggling with these exact thoughts or that I muck around with writing.)

Perhaps my plan  to bring forth hidden treasures, should be to keep shoving through the fear, the embarrassment and questioning and embrace my writing and creativity. Barbara Kingsolver, Harper lee, J.K.Rowling, and John Grisham, all highly respected and accomplished authors don’t have writing degrees either. All of these creative story tellers, embraced their passion for telling a good tale, pulled up their socks and believed in themselves, overcame rejection and opinions of “experts” and have been successful with a world of readers having engrossed themselves in the books of these authors.

“If people don’t like what you’re creating, just smile at them sweetly and tell them to go make their own fucking art”. Elizabeth Gilbert

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Fabulous piece of writing Melinda. I support you 100%, you are creative, talented and smart.
    I recently read about this obsession our culture has with authenticity as though we have only one true identity: you are many things. Keep writing, I love reading your ideas and stories.

  2. Let your creativity be your xmas present to yourself Mel! Most people will never know or appreciate the satisfaction of a carefully crafted articulation of your situation, your observations, or your pain. Keep up the good work.

  3. Hey Melinda, keep daring greatly. Read or seen any Ted Talks by Brenè Brown? She quotes Theodore Roosevelt who credits the man who is actually in the arena, who dares greatly. That’s you. Tell ’em to get stuffed. They’re talking about it, you are doing it!! Xx Pete

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