The bi-weekly Book Club for Freelancers I am a part of (run by Aura McKay, Business of Creativity), has exposed me to books I might not have read otherwise, books that have had a great impact on how I look at my writing and how I want to move forward with it. Such is the case with Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (best known for Eat Pray Love). In it she talks about ideas, creativity and the magic of it all. Yes she firmly believes in the magic of creativity. I'm reading the ebook version and find myself marking page after page with an idea I want to go back and review.
I think this hit me more because of a talk I had about a month ago with a friend from high school. She shared a very profound moment in an art class where she kept asking questions, the teacher became annoyed and verbally berated her, and then told her she had no talent. In front of the whole class! She carried that belief for years. Now retired, she decided to prove that teacher wrong and has been exploring, among other things, making stained glass. While she downplayed her abilities, I was so impressed with the work she has finished so far. The teacher WAS wrong.
Another idea shared by the author is the need to explore creativity for yourself. For example, write the book you need to write to process your life, or one that is the kind you want to read. Don't your writing about someone else, just write from the heart without expectation. Paint the picture you want to see. Dance to moves you want to feel. Sew the garment you want to wear. More than anything, be authentic.
Remember, there is no limit to the ways you can express your artistry. What brings you joy? What have you always wanted to do? The list is endless - sewing, dancing, writing, refinishing furniture, painting, stained glass, mosaics, playing piano, singing, sewing, building things with your hands, writing computer code, decorating your home, learning to do makeup, gardening, and so on, and so on. It's not about being fabulous, it's about embracing the joy of creation. Let go of all worry about being good as best you can and grab tight to the wonders of creating something that makes you smile.
Give yourself full and unapologetic permission. Struggling to do that? Well, if you can't, like Gilbert did in her book, I am more than happy to give it for you. You have my permission to be creativity no matter what your skill level or talent. You have my permission to explore whatever puts a smile on your face. You have my permission to experience the joy of just doing what you love.
Done! Now go out there and take a leap of faith into the immense ocean of possibilities. Keep leaping as high, as far, and as long as you can. Do it for yourself.