The Creative Struggle
Finding the beauty between
I think everyone would agree we are all consumers in some way, but sometimes it is harder to see how we are also all co-creators. I talk more about this in my blog post "Creative by Nature," but essentially I believe we all create everyday, whether at work, school, at home, or in relationships. We create with our words, our actions, and through different mediums. In this way, we are all capable of creating. That is a beautiful thing. Yet, it begs the question...Why create if someone else can create better than me.
This is a question I have struggled with a lot, and it reveals my own insecurities as a broken human. It also reveals a thought I hate to admit, that is it implies I only want to create if it's going to be better than other people's creation and if other people acknowledge it as such. This is such a dangerous way to think, and I have to preach myself out of it. I have to remember that creativity is not about being the best, it's about creating something new, and something good. The idea of good has always enamored me because there seems to be a general consensus among humanity that certain things are clearly good...love, kindness, forgiveness, empathy, compassion, happiness, generosity. So that is what I strive to do when I create. I don't try to be the best, I try to do my best, and I try to create something that is good. Whether it's a moment in someone's day where they say, "that's pretty" or "wow look at those leaves," I played a part in creating that moment, and I can find meaning in that.
There is a place, a beauty between, thinking too highly of myself and thinking too lowly of myself. Rather than thinking less of myself, I need to think of myself less. To think of myself less would mean being less self conscious and concerned about how I am being perceived. Instead, I need to find a place of humility where I can simultaneously acknowledge that I have been given abilities and gifts that I am called to use for a greater purpose than myself. It is that serendipitous place--that beauty between, where I can find reason to create, but not let creating define me. If I let creating define me, I fall into this place where I am either ecstatic or devastated, dependent on something that's very much out of my control, people's opinions. That's a dangerous place to be, I'd rather be in the beauty between.
Another question I found myself asking is "How do I find joy in what I am creating?" or "Where has my joy gone?". I think these questions come to mind when I start to forget my original purpose for why I create. Why do I create? My faith compels me to use my gifts to bless others in any small or big way that I am able to. My faith compels me to steward my gifts, not bury them out of fear of failure. On instagram, I have to remember it's not about the likes or the followers or the sponsors. That cannot be the purpose, but rather a bi-product of achieving my greater purpose to create content that is uplifting, encouraging, and thought-provoking. Once I remember that my purpose for creating isn't found in other people's affirmation, then I can find joy through the mere act of creating because I know I am using the gifts that God has given me. I sense His pleasure when I create.
Inspiration: Beauty Between-King's Kaleidoscope