The Essential Act Every Creative Must Do

May 23, 2018

I sat down to write this post and my heart sank.

What did I have to say that was worth your time?

I write to you every week because the discipline forces me to learn, to think, to grapple with the ideas I want to be a stand for in this world.

But most of all? Because the discipline helps me believe that what I create matters.

This is the essential act every creative must do: believe in your own creations. In your ideas. In your right to create. In your lived presence shared with others.

You read about school shootings in all corners of the country, madmen shoving entire countries into ruin, people who profit from human trafficking, those murdered in the streets because their skin is a different color than those in power, and you despair.

Or you create.

Or rather, you create and we despair. But by creating you turn your despair into something. You commit an act of belief in the human spirit.

In your human spirit.

To do this, you and I must take action. That’s where my weekly deadline comes in and spurs me.

The deadline says take action. Write something that matters. But to do that, I must believe what I write matters.

I sat down to write this post and my heart sank.

What could I write that was worth your precious irreplaceable time?

As soon as I asked, I felt my heart thump back, “You’ve gotta to believe. Dig deep and find what matters. And believe that it does.”

Creating is hope made visible.

While you could certainly make a strong case that to only create while our world falls apart would be selfish. I agree. Still, I would make the equally strong case that believing in the act of creating keeps you awake and staying awake makes it possible to engage in action.

I see people shrug their shoulders about the state of the world as if it’s up to someone else to do something. This mystifies me. But maybe that’s because I’ve learned to believe that what I care about, what I want to create, matters.

This is what my heart says today.

You gotta believe.

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