You Do Not Have to Earn your Weirdness

Jun 15, 2010

Us creative types often feel like misfits, outsiders, weirdos. Our whole entire lives.

Because we feel this way, we might decide that unless we do something with our misfitness – preferably something brilliant – all of our suffering and not fitting in has been for naught.

There is something so beautiful about this story – that we must turn our suffering into beauty.  Into light.  Into something that break the frozen sea inside us (to paraphrase misfit Kafka). 

There is also something dangerous in this story – that we must earn our weirdness, that we must redeem it. I love a good redemption story as much as the next gal yet believing I have to redeem my basic nature through doing makes me very queasy.

After I graduated from USC film school, I worked at a very fancy LA talent agency. I rode the elevator with Madonna and flirted with Dustin Hoffman (okay, just once but still!). And on the weekends, I wrote. Every spare minute, I wrote.

Good girl, go, write, learn your craft.

Not so good. I became terribly depressed.

I did so for a number of reasons but a big one was: I had begun to believe my worth as a weirdo = producing good writing that then sold for lots of money and changed lives.

Ouch.

Plus, I was getting no play time, it was work, work, work, strive, strive, strive. Even a 23-year-old can’t do that 24-7.

You are weird. You’re human! So create because you must get that shade of turquoise onto the paper or you must tell the stories of your bizarre family or because you want to have a ticker tape parade in honor of your inventions but don’t create to earn your right to be who you are.

Consider yourself earned.

Oh, and don’t work all the time either. But you already know that. Or you wouldn’t be reading my stuff.

P.S. Need to recharge your creative ju-ju?  Need a space to be and listen to what’s what without needing to make anything happen? Two places to do that in July: my retreat at Kripalu and my retreat in Taos. For wandering, wondering, weirdos. Come join us!

P.P.S. Free totally non-pitch call with Sarah Robinson and me next Tuesday June 22nd! Register here.

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