Some days we stumble across words that leak into our souls and feel like a breeze on a sweltering, hot August day.
They give us some relief, sweet redemption and allow us to exhale festered artistic torment we didn’t even know existed.
As an artist, and a writer we essentially drop our soul’s briefs each day. We let our souls bleed. Our hearts open and our words and love fills the edges of paper with our vulnerability. We get naked each time we publish an article. It’s liberating and terrifying. We give quietly and tremendously to the world.
One of the most valuable things I have learned while learning to stand in my power with my writing voice is that we mustn’t create for anyone other than ourselves.
People may read the words we release and devour them, starved. They may go viral and a woman will approach you in a coffee shop with stars in her eyes and make you feel like a pen baring Rock Star for a few minutes. Or it will flop around like a dead fish and people will walk by unamused and uninterested.
You must be a writer to write. When we give we must give without expectation to receive. We must throw our creative children into the deep end and let them fend, battle, have nose bleeds and make it on their own. Whether they are teased or welcomed with open arms is out of our control.
Half of art is not in the hands of the creator. We can burn with desire and intent and write furiously to communicate a message to our readers, but half of it will be how they choose to absorb it.
You are only accountable for half the creative process. You have zero control on what happens after you press the “submit” button. You must just give and then let go. Hear the affection and animosity and pick up a pen and create anyway.
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
~ Anne Lamott
“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”
~ Alan Watts
“If a writer is so cautious that he never writes anything that cannot be criticized, he will never write anything that can be read. If you want to help other people you have got to make up your mind to write things that some men will condemn.”
~ Thomas Merton
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Author’s Own; Sloane Smith/Unsplash