Sometimes it’s obvious. We’re the ones unloading 3 books, 5 journals and a packed pencil case at a coffee shop. We’re the ones with big jewellery, a blue streak in our hair and a unique sense of personal style.
Sometimes it’s more subtle. It shows up in our resourcefulness, our problem-solving, our insatiable curiosity. Maybe we notice a slight dissonance when we’re chatting with others at work or at a party, a way that we seem to be slightly off-centre.
Perhaps we just don’t feel the same sense of attachment or urgency about the machinations of a workaday life. We long for something else, something every bit as real but not nearly as accepted.
We long for a creative life.
And a creative life looks different for each of us. It might mean working a comfortable job and investing your earnings in art classes and writing retreats. It might mean getting up early to write poetry by candlelight. It might mean becoming a part of an improv troupe or learning how to temper chocolate or knitting blankets for preemies. It might mean working as a temp between acting gigs, fundraising so you can make your documentary or start your own business.
What your creative life looks like is up to you.
No one else. You.
That’s not to say that everyone won’t have an opinion. Everyone will. Everyone.
Some people just won’t get it. They’ll think you’re a bit of an odd duck. Others will think you are special and rare. Still others will think, “Oh, it’s lovely that you have a hobby, dear.” And many (many) will warn you against trying to make it more than that. Some will even deign to assess your “talent” and the viability of this path for you. Some will think it’s only worthwhile if it makes money – if you can do that, then pursue it, otherwise…let it go, sweetheart.
Don’t listen to any of them.
Not a one.
Live a creative life, follow a creative path, because it’s who you are. You’ve always known it. Even when you weren’t expressing it, when it was locked down deep inside, you’ve always had a creative heart.
You don’t have to make money at it for it to be worthwhile.
You don’t have to be labelled as ‘talented’ in order to be worthy.
You don’t have to prove, justify, explain or defend.
You just have to do it.
I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m saying it will be worth it. I’m saying it’s your birthright. I’m saying it’s for you.
Be yourself. Love your life. Create your work.
I, for one, believe in you.