“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
— Pablo Picasso
Did you know when you fall in love with a great book, a delicious meal, a beautiful painting, or see a movie you’ll never forget, you’re falling in love with someone’s idea… born from creativity?
Several years ago, I started to become envious, even jealous of other people’s work. I recognized I was frustrated because I was not fulfilling my own creative potential. I pushed away my desire to write when I began a new career. My sole focus was my job, and I didn’t see any way I could do both.
But my feelings changed when I realized creativity is deeply embedded in everything we do, from working out problems, building relationships, starting an entrepreneurial venture… or anything really.
Everyone is born with a creative destiny.
And we are all unique. What you have as your creative potential has never been done before by anyone, ever. How could they? They couldn’t see the world through your eyes.
We try to deny it because it’s so damn hard to commit, so we say things like, “I’m not a creative person,” or “I don’t have time for creativity.”
But look at your childhood. You made time every day to let your creative spirit soar. You used your young hands to craft animals from clay; you made magical castles rise up from the sand on the beach. Your dolls and action figures came alive in stories YOU created. Everything had a song, or a poem, easily remembered in your young mind.
We are all creative. We were born that way.
It’s time to restore faith in your ability to create and lead an inspired life.
Your creative calling is asking for your attention now!
All of us dream of what we want to be doing in life, and we hope the opportunity will present itself. But, while we’re busy dreaming and unsure of what to do, the opportunity often passes us by.
But there’s one thing creatively fulfilled people have that others don’t…
What is a commitment? It’s telling your mind you WILL do something. It is trusting yourself to finally follow through with what you say you want. It’s making an irrevocable contract with yourself and the universe.
But, how can you commit to something when you’re not sure?
So much focus has been on finding that one thing you do well, that often people lose their courage because they’re afraid it might not be the right one.
That’s just too much pressure.
From the list below, allow your mind to wander with possibility. See if you feel a spark of excitement when you think of…
The list above suggests just a handful of ideas in the arts, but there are so many more!
Did the list nudge anything inside of you? Just choose one thing to get you started. Your creativity is a magical force that guides you in the direction you need to go.
I did many things while avoiding writing. I did calligraphy, ceramic painting, and jewelry, but there was always one thing running in the background of my creative mind… writing.
For 15 years, I was content to hide my desire to write behind my husband’s career as a writer and producer for television and film. All those years I was an essential part of his script development. I always dreamed of someday writing on my own. But I didn’t.
Was I a writer or just a contributor? I withheld my passionate desire to write because I was terrified to find out if I could even do it without my husband’s help. So I didn’t even try.
Then one day, my need to write was greater than my fear.
My daughter was born with a facial defect, and I wanted to give her the gift of her own fairy tale. Fairy tales have long been a way of gently approaching subjects children struggle to learn. I wanted my sweet child to feel powerful and strong.
We were fortunate. Her birth defect was fixable through years of surgery. But helping her through the critical early years in school was important to my daughter’s self-esteem.
It surprised me to discover how my book was received and went on to be used in schools, hospitals, and clinics, and raised awareness for children with facial defects.
As successful as my book was, I was still afraid to call myself a writer. It meant people might ask me what I was working on next.
I wrote three more books after that, but only when I felt like it.
Life doesn’t stop at just one challenge, though.
Years later I suddenly lost my 16-year-old son to a deadly form of bacterial meningitis. It was the hardest damn thing I’ve ever been through.
I thought I was immune to bad things happening. I already paid my dues when my daughter was born… didn’t I?
I kept a journal of my recovery. I knew if I could survive, I could share it with others who struggle with such a tragic loss.
It was time to commit to writing in a way I never had. I committed to carrying on his legacy by giving his life meaning.
I wrote practically every day for six months, from 4:00–7:00 pm, right after I got home from the office.
It was my son’s legacy. I had to show up and do the work.
In 2014 I published my fourth book, How to Survive the Worst that Can Happen, a parent’s step-by-step guide to healing after the loss of a child. It’s my proudest creative accomplishment… but it didn’t come without a commitment.
Make a commitment now… Today is the only shot you’ve got.
If you commit to the discovery process, one thing will lead to another and another. Then, one day you’ll wake up knowing what your art is. You’ll recognize the flutter of excitement when the sun rises, and it’s the joy you feel when you realize you get to spend another day doing what you were meant to do all along… meet your creative destiny.
Being resistant to a creative commitment is normal, says author, Steven Pressfield (in his book The War of Art). He calls resistance a force of nature. It can exist forever until you are willing to say yes to your creative endeavor.
That’s what a commitment is. It’s laying the groundwork for defining your next step… and taking it.
I tell you, without a doubt, you will not regret taking the next step. It’s like going to the gym. You know you will feel better about yourself when you’re done.
Inspiration lies dormant until it just doesn’t suit you to deny it anymore.
You’ll know when that happens. You’ll feel a nudge, an uncomfortable yearning that makes itself known in many ways.
For me, it happened when I read other people’s work, people just like me, sharing bits and pieces of themselves in books and articles.
The ordinary person has more potential than ever because the Internet makes it possible to learn from others, and offers platforms to get your work out there to millions of people.
But none of it happens without forming a creative partnership with yourself.
In the years that followed my first book, I wrote three more books and still couldn’t call myself a writer until I figured out the secret…
I was waiting for inspiration, but I discovered inspiration was actually waiting for me.
I had to form a relationship, an actual partnership with my creative self.
Your creative stirrings are there inside of you. It lurks around in the form of a whisper, a nudge, even jealousy when you see other people doing what you wish you could do.
There is creativity inside of you, just bursting to get out. It’s calling you.
Turn it on now.
If you’ve got creativity on your mind… I have a complimentary sample for you. A short ebook on how to establish some simple habits to set your creativity on fire: How to Develop the Creative Mindset.
**Previously published on Thrive Global**