Recently a wise friend told me that I had to be brave. We were having a conversation about feeling pulled in multiple directions, and she said that “Brave” was my word. She then asked me what that meant in my life. After some thought, I replied, “To write and call myself a writer.”
Quite simple really, or it looks that way when typed out in front of me, but truthfully it is much harder. Writing has been a simmering passion in me since I was ten years old. Repeatedly though, I have turned down the flame only for it to bubble back up to the surface. Whether it is fear that turns the knob or doubt or busyness or procrastination, one of these inevitably turns down the heat on my creativity. As a mother of two littles who also works outside of the home in a job that has massive homework of its own, I struggle to carve out the time to write, to surrender to that passion I love. When I do though, I feel so free. So…functioning. I then perennially wonder, “Why don’t I do this more often?”
We all can answer that question. We don’t do whatever “this” is more often because we are busy being and doing 5,000 different things! We don’t feel that our need for a creative outlet should be a priority among the whole “caring-for-our-family-making-sure-everything-gets-done” mania of the everyday. I wonder if any of you out there are like me. Maybe that simmering passion is not writing, but maybe it’s painting or yoga or fitness or crafts or photography. Whatever it is, we are creative beings, and we need to spend some time and energy in that creative space.
I know sometimes it may seem impossible. I don’t know your situation or your everyday obligations, but I do know my own though, and I can find 1,000 reasons every day to suppress that creativity. So if I am advocating for you to carve out space for creativity, why do I find excuses in my own life? Because of one little word: fear. How can such an enormous emotion be contained in just four letters? Here’s the truth: whatever our excuses are, whether it’s “not enough time” or “I’m not talented,” the root of those is fear. Why are we afraid to create? I mean, look at our awesome kids. They live to create. Give them some paper and crayons, and they will imagine incredible things. Let them play together, and they will cultivate an entire universe. Creativity is hard wired into us, but something about adulthood zaps it out of us. I see that something as fear. We may be afraid that something else in our lives will suffer if we create. We may be afraid that no one will like what we create. We may be afraid to fail. Fear can manifest in all sorts of ways, but I urge you to shake that fear off, suck it up, and dive into creativity! Be brave to create! If it’s a Pinterest craft, get after it! If it’s poetry, get to it! If it’s painting, get on that canvas! If it’s journaling, fill up those pages! Wherever your creativity hides, be brave, go seek it out, and set it loose.
Our time is precious, no doubt. Our priorities are our families, then our careers, and then maybe, when we are done with the day, ourselves, and sometimes we may feel guilt to take time out and create. I want to leave you with this thought: maybe we will be better mothers, better wives, better daughters, better friends, if we treat our creativity as necessary. Famous novelist A.S. Byatt shared in an interview that her purpose is making things, and that “because [she] does that all the time, [she] is able to love all these people.” She views her creativity as necessary in order to be whole so that she can love her people the very best she can. I love this idea. Join me in being brave to create in the midst of our mommy lives. Then maybe we can share all that we have created with one another!