Every time I sit down and put my fingers to the keyboard to write another book, I promise myself it’s the last one I’ll write. If I don’t tell myself this lie, then I’m too terrified to start writing. Nothing else in my life cripples me with such devastating power as writing—not public speaking, not starting or pitching businesses—nothing.
Yet, this same fear reminds me of the importance of the art of writing. The red flashing neon light is not a stop sign, but a call to what I must endeavour to explore. Through the process of art-making (of any kind), we can learn about our deepest selves. We unravel the fictitious surface layers to discover our authentic desires and the truth of what we want to say.
In this way, creating art is a method of processing one of the reasons we want to create in the first place. To converse with our soul and record its wonderings. To say only what we think and feel in the truest way it comes forth from within us is what make art so beautiful and, in a way, simple.
When we seek to perfect our art, by indulging in comparison and external validation, we lose touch with the thread within.
I have found that at the onset, and throughout, our art is a melody only we can hear. It comes to us in whispers and echoes. It pours forth loudly, disappears and comes roaring back in the moments just before sleep. It pulls us away from important emails, due taxes and responsibilities, begging, demanding interaction. It is born of the silences, evoked in the stillness and consummated in the waiting.
It is a comedy of errors crafted out in beautiful agony— of which the crafting and agony never really end. Which is why it is always a lie to say, this is the last time.
If we don’t listen to its call, we get stuck. If we don’t listen, the lie is more poisonous than saying we’ll never write another book, or ________ (you fill in the blank).
We are called to create in one way or another. I cannot think of a more honest or important way to live.
So, my friends, ignore the voice of fear inside that says you’re not good enough, or you don’t have the time, or there are better things to do. Keep creating. It is your greatest gift to yourself and the world.
Thanks for reading,