Nov 20, 2013

Experience the Creative Life

A few days ago, I was doubting myself. My writing, my stories, all the things. TRANSCEND isn't a book that fits well in a tidy little descriptor, and that has had me worried for a while. Worried enough that I was wondering if I was just a hack at this writing thing, if I would be better at just writing stories that I liked and then filing them away.

If you have been involved in anything creative for any amount of time, you've probably felt this way before. And this isn't the first time I've felt this way.

If you need motivation, watch this
Last night, I attended an event highlighting the accomplishments of girls between the ages of 12-18. One of the things we were trying to teach them was the value of the pursuit, of the experience. Several shared musical numbers (french horn duet, flute duet, cello solo), and they were done very well. They weren't perfect, there was still room for improvement, but seeing their expressions after completing their number showed the joy and satisfaction of the experience.

Because we have been planning for this event for a while, the idea of experience has been floating around in my head. Truly, when you really think about it, what we seek for most in life is experiences - the experience to love and be loved, the experience to work well at something, the experience of interacting with others, having them make a difference in our lives, hoping we made a difference in theirs.

This is what I'm choosing to reflect on when I'm frustrated with a creative life. It will have frustrations, paint that doesn't land on a canvas the way we imagined, a sour note that rings through the air, a stumble in the middle of the dance routine. But that is experience, something we can learn from, something that challenges us to get out of our routine of the comfortable, away from the padded box of security and see how much is still in the world for us to experience. If we shirk away from the possibility of pain or frustration, we are denying ourselves the essential human opportunity.

8 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The experience of doing it wrong helps us to do it right. (Or at least recognize when we are doing it right!)

Andrew Leon said...

But it's when the paint doesn't land the way we imagine that allows us to imagine new things that we hadn't thought of before.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Perseverance and practice are the most important needs to reach success. Sometimes the lumps hurt though.

Julie Luek said...

This is a lovely post and I don't think it's a message we can hear too often. Everyone feels dried up from time-to-time and for me, it's usually a signal I need to refresh my soul or nurture myself a bit. Thanks for the reminder.

Julie Luek said...

This is a lovely post and I don't think it's a message we can hear too often. Everyone feels dried up from time-to-time and for me, it's usually a signal I need to refresh my soul or nurture myself a bit. Thanks for the reminder.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I can definitely relate to this post. I think it's natural to have doubts sometimes, especially because our society focuses so much on people's accomplishments and less on how they achieved those things. As a result, it makes it seems like some people's accomplishments weren't as difficult to do as they actually were.

JeffO said...

Gaiman's commencement address is brilliant, isn't it? Hang in there, Tasha. Self-doubt seems to be going around the blogosphere in a big way right now.

Crystal Collier said...

Awesome. We really do have to make mistakes to experience life, and we should be gentle with ourselves--especially since we're all learning.

Love it!