I like to ask people why they write. Did you always dream of being a writer? In the best case scenario, their face lights up and they reply that they couldn’t imagine not writing. This is my favorite reason, but I recognize that there are others. Some might site financial gain or the thrill of seeing their name on a book cover. I’m not dismissing those reasons; but, writers, be true to yourself. Write for the sheer enjoyment that a creative endeavor can bring.
In my book, “Full Color Life: How to Live a Creative, Balanced Life,” I encourage all people to pursue a creative endeavor, not just those who are already working in the arts. I find that even accountants, lawyers, engineers, and other similar “left brain” professionals benefit from adding creativity to their lives. In fact, the notion of left or right brain has now been dispelled with modern thought leaning to the fact that everyone has the ability within themselves to be creative.
Why Pursue Creativity?
I answer this question in this excerpt from “Full Color Life.
The creative’s life is not always easy. This is especially true if you measure your success solely on monetary earnings. But it’s important to take a step back and consider what else you value. If I were to answer this I would list: family, friends, good health, and time — the one gift that nobody can buy and nobody can give you. There’s one thing that I feel enhances each one of my core values and that’s my creative endeavors, whether they are writing my own work, editing others’ work, or being physically creative in a dance or yoga studio, which helps me stay mentally focused and physically healthy, both of which fuel my spiritual creativity.
So, why did you decide to pursue your creative endeavor? Here are some other common reasons: creative control, independence at work, and the ability to make changes at a moment’s notice. In many ways, this last reason encompasses the ones before it. If you work for yourself, there are fewer surprises. You know if a big order is coming or if a client is unhappy. Both good news and bad gives you independence. If something isn’t working, you have time to spot it and change your course. That is creative independence and you can’t get that while working for someone else.
Stamina through the Tough Times
It’s not always easy, but as the adage goes, “Endeavors worth achieving are rarely easy.”
Remember why you toyed with the idea of a creative career in the first place. You dreamed of a creative life with independence, financial security and being able to call the shots. But it’s not always like that, is it? There will be moments of self-doubt when you launch your book or product line and wonder what the public response will be. Times when inspiration flees and you question if you’re cut out for a creative life. Periods when mounting bills make it seem like the daily grind of your current job will not only be your present but your future as well.
It’s the tough times that test a creative individual. When scenarios like those mentioned above crawl their way into your psyche that’s when you must have self-belief…a Full Color Mindset.
Full Color Mindset for Writers and Artists
This mindset…the willingness to pursue a creative endeavor even when it gets tough is indicative of all artists devoted to their craft. I see it in musicians, dancers, artisans.
There’s a beautiful Instagram account called BallerinaProject that showcases amazing ballet dancers striking their pose in the midst of nature’s beauty, city streets or even libraries. This account speaks to me for it’s the same principle that I stressed in the beginning of this post — these dancers can’t help but dance. It doesn’t matter where they are or who is around them. They dance. Because to not do their craft is unimaginable.
I encourage you to write for the joy of the craft and think of financial rewards as a secondary benefit. Drop me a line and let me know what you’re working on today.