The magic of creating is part of the #WBOYC link party, a regular link up for bloggers discussing their word of the year or what has been on their calendar for the month.
The Magic of Creating
As you may recall one of my words of the year is CREATE.
Each month, I’m exploring what creativity means to me and how I can incorporate more creativity into my life.
One of my recent realisations is that I don’t have to limit myself to just one creative outlet.
As children, we are repeatedly told that being a ‘Jack of all Trades’ is a negative attribute. We are encouraged to focus on becoming an expert at just one thing.
But I don’t want that.
I want the freedom to flit from one project to another, to explore as many different ways of being creative as possible.
I have a curious mind that gets bored with just one idea.
According to popular journalism I want to become a ‘slashy’!
This is the term given to people whose bio might read something like model/author/presenter/mother.
I think I currently want mine to be mother/wife/food taster/artist/writer/explorer!
What would your slashy title be?
Creative Book – Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I have just finished reading the non-fiction book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame).
The book is an exploration of how humans need and should be creative despite our fears, how ideas work and come into our lives, where creativity comes from, and how to allow creativity to flow freely in your life.
In her book, Gilbert discusses how limiting beliefs about our creativity (or any aspect of our abilities) can develop from an early age.
School encourages us to take part in a subject/activity, but then we are immediately judged on whether we are any good at that activity. Each child is categorised into whether they are gifted or show potential. If they aren’t, then they are discouraged from continuing with the activity.
We are constantly fed the idea by society that if we aren’t proficient at something, then we shouldn’t continue to pursue it, even if it interests us or brings enjoyment. We are made to believe we should only pursue something that we can become a success or expert in it.
I remember my English teacher at parent’s evening telling my parents and I, that I would be lucky to pass my English O’level exams as I lacked imagination.
This has locked in a limiting belief in me that I’m no good at English or writing!.
Thankfully my mum found a lovely family friend who gave me some after school tutoring and I easily passed my English exams. But even though I passed, that teacher’s negative words have stuck. I’m still reluctant to pursue writing as an outlet even though I have discovered I love blogging.
Similarly, a friend’s art teacher told them that they were useless at drawing and it was a waste of paper them even trying! They were assigned to cleaning up the art room instead. My friend has gone through life believing that they can’t draw.
Anyone can draw – it just takes practice and finding a style that suits you.
As Gilbert states “you don’t need permission to be creative”. No matter what someone else says, just do it anyway!
Find the things that make you feel joyful, free and full of life. It might be dancing, painting, writing, exercise. You are allowed to do these things even if you aren’t an expert. Don’t let fear and limiting beliefs hold you back.
One of the other barriers to being creative is that it is a very personal process. It can make us feel vulnerable, exposing our emotions and thoughts. We fear that we will be judge on what we produce. Again this links back to holding limiting beliefs about our abilities but also our need to fit in society.
Being creative sometimes requires us to be brave.
To find our creativity we may need to delve deep within ourselves, revealing the layers that have made us who we are.
Midlife brings with it an accumulation of knowledge and life skills that we often overlook and dismiss. We believe that we have nothing to offer when in reality we have so much we can share with others. We shouldn’t be afraid of sharing our experience through creative outlets.
Overall Gilbert’s book is a manual on how to allow creativity into your life. To listen to the inner voice that wants you to express your knowledge and desires. Often creativity will come knocking loud and clear at your door. If you don’t answer the call and allow the magic of creativity into your life, it will move on to the next person.
She also advocates being the ‘weirdo’ who expresses their love of life/work/creativity/parenting, instead of complaining about life. She endorses pushing back against the constant negativity in society.
Be proud of having a go. Yes you might fail, yes you might not be that good at it, but it doesn’t matter.
By allowing the magic of creativity into your life you can discover something that provides you with joy and freedom.
The new mantra I have taken for myself from her book is “I enjoy my creativity”. I am going to allow myself to see creativity as my new super power.
I am also going to become a slashy!
Don’t forget to check out the other posts in this link party HERE . Thanks to my fellow bloggers for setting up this link party.