For a while now, I've been dabbling with the idea of creative living. In a way, it's a way I have been living my life fro the past 34 years, but I've done it without really being aware of it. Now, I want to be aware of creative living, and push myself to do more of it.
I've been reading a lot of books on this topic lately to fully understand the concept. It isn't necessarily being a starving and struggling artist, but more about going and "making stuff" because that is what you want to do. I firmly believe that it is possible to live a financially secure life while creating, in fact, that's what all businesses are doing on some level. My struggle has been which direction to continually show up in.
I've dabbled in everything artistic and I suppose this is why I am so hesitant to give up my current job, despite only getting 16 hours a week, to pursue a new job. Upholstery and cooking are the only jobs I have ever had that have fulfilled my creative habits and desires while getting a paycheck. But creative living is beyond a job and a paycheck, it's about being authentic especially with your creativity.
And to be honest, I've been rather lazy with my creativity. I get ideas all the time but instead of doing something with these fun ideas, I sit down and watch a movie because I don't feel like sitting down and writing after a long day, or I don't want to pull out my art supplies because I finished cleaning my apartment. I find myself making more excuses to avoid being creative and then complain because I'm not feeling like myself.
I love to create. Though I'm no where close to being a Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, or even a Bob Ross, I have a different kind of calm when I am painting, letting my hands move in a steady motion while trying to paint what is in my head on a canvas. And when I cook, I throw in spices, or whip something together without a recipe because it feels natural to mix certain foods together. When I write, I lose track of time because my mind is more concerned about picking the right words than tracking the time. And when I go on a walk, I can take 300 pictures without even knowing it. I am a natural creator and though I'm not at a professional level of any of these artistic outlets, it is when I am doing these things that I feel like I am at home in my own skin. I hear a different voice in my head, one that is optimistic, one that is hopeful, one that tells me that tells me the dream is real, I just have to do something about it.
Once a project is finished, I know that it is an authentic one of a kind and it is up to me to put it into the public's eyes, so they can praise or criticize what my inner most being created. This is the process that keeps most people from sharing their creative living because people are...people. There are those who take the fine comb over the creation to point out all the flaws, there are those who murmur meh's and shrug their shoulders, saying "I don't see what the big deal is..." and there are a few people out there who simply appreciate the creation because it is a creation.
One of the reasons I stopped writing was because of the noise that came after I released my first book. Actually, it was the lack of noise. Other than a handful of people I gifted the book to, in exchange for a review, I hadn't gotten any reviews of my most vulnerable writing. No one cared I had released a book, and even though I sold a handful, only two people told me they read the book, and only one said they liked it. As a new writer, I wanted the validation that I had written something worth reading, that my story had some impact, and that I was worthy of writing another book. The silence haunted me so much that I stopped writing. I convinced myself my writing was unworthy of being read. I stopped creating for years and my life felt stale.
And then a few months ago, the writing bug bit me again, and I jotted down a few notes. Then, a friend suggested I read a book, and then another book, and then another book. I found myself telling her that I could have written these books if I would sit down and write.
If I would sit down and write.
With it being a new month, I am committing to writing 500 words a day, via blog, via prompt, via working on that novel I've been wanting to write for 7 years, and I am going to live creatively and artistically. It's not about writing something to sell or publish right now, it's about simply getting back into my creative habits and doing the work.
When is the last time you got in tune with your creative side? Do you find yourself feeling differently when you are in the creative zone?