Thursday, January 2, 2020

Creativity? Just Do It!

It seems that the time to write articles for my newsletter comes around every other day. I often make myself sit down. I have a commitment. I produce a newsletter that comes out every Tuesday at 9:30 AM Central Time, period! Some articles are better than others. Some are didactic while others are inspiring, yet, regardless of the quality, I do my best, in the moment, with each article. I prefer to write without interruption, but some of my greatest articles were written in the middle of mayhem. I write when life is dusty, and when the dust has settled.

Click image to see it larger.
This guitar was crafted by a farmer who was told,
in a near death experience,
to make instruments and give them to children.

Are there artists who never paint, musicians who never pick up their instruments, or bakers who never bake? Yes. I spent years imagining myself writing and being a good writer. There came a time when wishing, hoping, and visualizing had to give way to action. It was time to start writing. I sent out 2,500 hard copies of a newsletter for ten years. Some of my earlier writings were not only laughable, they were self-centered and poorly written. I usually didn’t have anyone to check for mistakes and the newsletters were riddled with dangling participles, misspellings, and nonsense. There was no spell check and the newsletter was put together by the literal cut and paste method, then taken to a printer.

Next, I went 14 years without putting out a newsletter. I did manage to write a couple of books, but I wrote less and less. Then I started another newsletter. Online newsletters were easier to manage. The first edition came out on Dec. 20, 2011. There were still plenty of mistakes, but Charles Heineke stepped in to assist, in 2012, and the quality of the newsletter vastly improved.

I’ve been putting out this rag for almost 12 years. Why do I do it? Why do I take ten hours out of my week and spend about $500.00 a year to make the newsletter happen? Because I am a writer, and if I don’t make that commitment, the song will die within me. I know me: I need something bigger than a round tuit.* My skills have improved over the years, but, lest they grow dim, I must continue to write.
The enjoyable part is rereading some of what I consider my great articles. I inspire myself. I know that if I were not committed to putting out a weekly newsletter, that they would never have been written. Often it is as simple as sitting down and listening to an inner voice, but sometimes I have to scrape my insides to find anything to say. At other times, I wake up and words come so fast I can barely write them down. It’s a rush – ideas flying through me and onto paper, and I am grateful. It’s the star moment of writing.
If we want our art flow through, we have to write it, play it, or sing it, whether anyone is listening or not. We must act when we are trudging through mud or even at a standstill. No one ever discovered me and encouraged me to write, but, fortunately, I may be my best fan – a must for artists! If we are good at something, we should do it. But, we need to live out our passions, even if we are not great performers or artists. As one can see, by the pictures I put in the newsletter, I enjoy art, but it’s not great art. I have an art section to force myself to draw on a regular basis. It may be messy and take time away from our daily lives, but the only way to participate in the depths of our creativity is to be creative.

Many people are motivated by money; they monetize their talents. But sometimes our books, our paintings, or our poetry doesn’t bring in the money we need to pay bills. Do it anyway. I don’t think how much money we make is recorded at the universal level, but how much we develop ourselves and give our gifts without expectations makes a mark in the ethers.

Here’s a question to ask every day: What can I do today to bring the brilliance within to light? Listen, then act. We don’t want to visit our talents; we want to develop them. We are the saviors of our creativity. No one is going to make us do what we want to do but fail to do. It’s not a moral issue. It’s an issue of the heart. Life doesn’t break our hearts. We break them when we fail ourselves. We can’t go with the flow when we are standing beside a dam. We all have talents, and when we use them, when we develop them, then life, for sure, gets EZier and EZier.

*Round Tuit refers to the saying  “I’m going to get around to it some day.”