Welcome to my new series titled Simply Create To Share, which will consist of weekly articles where I will be sharing the journey of my creativity, which is writing poetry. This year I am venturing into non-fiction writing in which I will be covering topics like what books, songs and creative people motivated and directed my progress from being too shy and uneducated to share my poetry with anyone to, sharing them with the world whilst enjoying the journey. I’m not famous or wealthy with money, but I am wealthy with a passion for writing poetry, and that passion drove me to learn how to overcome my shyness and self-doubt to share my creativity and encourage others to do the same.
Last week I kick-started the year by encouraging you to take the time NOW to start doing your creative ‘something’. Whether it be for the first time ever, or whether you plan to continue your creative ‘something’ during this new year. Whether it be writing, painting, craftwork, photography, drawing, singing or like me – poetry, whatever is on your heart to create, as Paul McCartney sings about in his song, DO IT NOW!
Two weeks ago I started my creativity, for the new year, by scribbling out a rough plan for the next 6 months, which is to have two novels published, that is based on my life story and written by the young author Kate Kelsen. I will be publishing the many poems that relate to both stories during the first half of this year, 2022. Next week I will share with you how I put together my ‘rough plan’. I use this method every January and whenever I start a new project.
This week I want to share with you a book that I read that changed my attitude toward my creativity. In September 2019, my daughter suggested I read Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, which became a major motion movie (by the way it is one of my favourite movies). I didn’t like the title. It sounded mystical and new age, but I was attracted to the subtitle. My daughter insisted that I would like it.
My main takeaway from the book was the author’s encouragement to start creating something and keep creating. Don’t stop at one book, one poem, one painting. Continue to create for the pure love and joy of creating. Share your creation with the world, however small or large that might be, and then start another creation and repeat the process.
The book inspired me to create the formula: Create – Share – Repeat:
Create something new – write it, make it, form it
Share your something – gift it, sell it, tell it, sing it
Repeat your something – Improve it, keep doing it or start something new
Elizabeth Gilbert encourages us to create because we love to create, share it because you love to share. If it develops into a paying profession, great. If it doesn’t, great. Follow your creative curiosity. Let the gift you have been given bubble up and out from your heart. Dig deep and enjoy discovering new depths and areas to your gift. She advises us to appreciate the value of our own joy in the creative process. I liked her suggestion to spend as much time as possible in this state of creativity as living a creative life is an amplified life, a bigger life, an expanded life, an interesting life.
Every time I wrote a poem over the years, it felt unnatural and selfish not to share them with anyone. I was convinced that it was time to learn how to share them both in book form and online and to enjoy the process. But, I felt scared. I needed time to build up the courage to share my poetry with anyone let alone the world, which was my ultimate goal. I needed the courage to face rejection and criticism of my work.
What if I never make any money from my creation? The first thing most people ask me when I share my goal with them is “Will you make any money from it?” Back then, I would fumble over my words trying to defend my goal. The voice of fear was shouting loud and clear “Why bother doing something if you can’t be successful in the world’s eyes?” Who would emotionally support me? Does anyone out there even like poetry? Would anyone like my style of poetry?
Elizabeth mentions different ways we feel fear toward our creativity. “Are you afraid”:
• You have no talent
• You will be criticized, ridiculed, or worse ignored
• There is no market for your idea and there’s no point in pursuing it
• Somebody else has already done it and better than you
• Somebody will steal your idea or content and it’s safer to keep them hidden
• You won’t be taken seriously
• Your work isn’t politically, emotionally, spiritually, artistically important enough to change anybody’s life so therefore not worth doing
• Your dreams, goals are embarrassing, seem silly to others
• You’ll look back on your creative endeavour and consider it had been a waste of time, effort, and money
• You don’t have the right discipline
• You don’t have the right workspace
• You don’t have the time to explore your creativity
• You don’t have the financial ability
• You don’t have the right education
• Of releasing your innermost demons that you don’t want to face
• Your best years are behind you
• You’ve neglected your creativity for so long it won’t come back
• You’re too old, too young
• Because nothing has gone well in your life so why should something go well for you now.
Then she says, “Don’t defend your limitations,” by explaining that fear has a boring, mundane repeating message throughout the whole journey. I word it this way – DON’T START IT, STOP DOING IT, DON’T FINISH IT. Fear is not original, it is mass-produced and available to everyone, but we have original creativity within each of us, so defend your individual creativity.
She continues “Creativity is a pathway for the brave but not for the fearless. Bravery is doing something scary. Fearlessness is not understanding what scary means. Fear will always show up when you are being creative. Fear hates realms of uncertain outcomes. Creativity asks you to enter realms of uncertain outcomes. Fear and creativity need to co-exist. Creativity does not take one step forward without fear marching beside it.”
One of the first things I did after reading the book, was to connect with a writer’s group in my local community and with other poets and poetry groups online. I find regularly meeting together keeps me accountable to my creative goal and provides a time and space to work on my creative activity. So, I encourage you to connect with a group that provides quality time, space and encouragement in your particular creative activity. Some groups meet online and some meet face-to-face. I prefer to meet in my local community face-to-face. If you can’t find a group for your creative activity, start one up. But, don’t get too busy running the meetings leaving not enough time to work on your creative goal.
So, keep it simple, create your ‘something’, share it and then repeat the process.
Beverley Joy © 2022 of Simply Create 2 Share
I joined The Queensland Writers Centre for workshops, professional help and competitions and I attend Writing Friday which is a weekly community-based event held in local libraries throughout the state. They provide a place to focus on your writing and connect with other writers.