You were born to create. . .
If you allow yourself to believe this statement, I promise you will live bravely and creatively. You will experience moments of complete clarity, know the exact direction you need to go, and have no doubt in your heart about your purpose.
Unfortunately, creativity hides from the best of us despite our good intentions. It hides behind self-doubt, expectation, and criticism. These little monsters guzzle our creative juices from their sippy cups because we’ve left them unattended. We’ve allowed them out of our sight for too long and left them susceptible to the critical nature of others. People are well-meaning, but most are so unaware or unsure of their own creativity that they must negate ours for survival.
Once there was a girl with a little dream . . .
When I was a teenager, for a hot moment I wanted to be a record producer. I thought nothing could be more inspiring and uplifting that sitting in a control room creating a new sound with people who were as passionate about creating as I was. When I told my parents that I thought this would a great way to live, they didn’t feel the same. While it was okay for me to enjoy music, to create stories and feed my typewriter words until the wee hours of the morning, it was not okay to attempt to make a living in this manner. Record producing, writing, or any other manner of creative living wouldn’t pay the bills. To do this I should be a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, a pilot. Basically, I should be anything other than what I wanted to be.
During the teenage years, that’s when creativity is its most vibrant, fresh, and, unfortunately, vulnerable. It’s also the time when it’s most exposed to criticism from others.
Who are these others?
Sometimes it’s your parents who don’t get it because they may have blocked their own creative flow. They also just want the best for you. They are doing their jobs, and that job is to help you find the easiest path to help you become self-sufficient and happy.
Often, it’s teachers who through the grading process inadvertently stump your ideas and cut-off your creative energy. Again, they’re just doing their jobs and have to teach the basics like punctuation, proper tense, etc. These are important lessons you need so you don’t sound uneducated. So people take you seriously as you move through life. That means, in some situations, it’s up to you to nurture your creativity and step ahead to that next level.
Then there’s your friends. During the teenage years, it’s important to feel a part of something. So what gives? Your creative spirit. And, this my young friends, is the most dangerous part of yourself that you could compromise on. Never let your creative spirit be dampened by another’s perception of YOU.
As creative beings, we are judged all the time. It’s the nature of the beast. So how do we fight this beast? We keep creating and we remind ourselves of the following as often as we need to:
What we create is for us, no one else. We can’t please everyone, only ourselves. Our creativity is a personal expression of our soul and nothing we create is wrong.
Just because our creativity is not wrong doesn’t mean it’s not going to be judged. It doesn’t mean that others will always get it. But, guess what? It’s not your responsibility to help others get it. Whether you create for a living or as a hobby, other’s perceptions are not your responsibility. Don’t let criticism keep your creativity silenced otherwise you’ll stay stagnant and never know your true potential.
Your responsibility is to your creative self. Seek out those who want the best for you, even if they don’t see things exactly as you do.
Watch for the people whose eyes light up when you talk about your dreams. Those are the people you keep.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, novelist, memoirist, and creative thinker.
I stumbled upon this quote the other day and I fell in love. Yes! This is exactly the type of people you want in your life. As creative beings, we thrive when we are accepted and loved openly and without reservation. Like I said before, that’s not always going to happen by chance. We must seek out these people in our lives and except nothing less – EVER.
My young friends, my hope for you is that you’ll continue to create opportunities, hold tight to creative expression, and remember you were born to create. No matter what you do in this world, own your creativity.
Check out more writing advice here.
Would you like to receive a weekly inspirational email? Sign up here.
Piper Punches is an author of fiction and truth, tackling topics on social justice, mindful living, creativity, and the writing life. She is the Amazon bestselling author of The Waiting Room, and the short story, Missing Girl. Her newest book, 60 Days (Missing Girl Series — Book 1) is currently available on Amazon. For a limited time, readers can sign up to get a free copy of Missing Girl here.