I haven’t posted in so long but I have so many things I want to write about! I’m jotting them down, even in bits, so I don’t forget ideas, but my list of drafts is becoming like a Christmas wish list…longer and longer…One of my dear friends has been gently nudging me to publish more of them. Of course, as soon as I start writing this, one of my little girls comes running out of the bathroom to tell me a big blue-eyed story and pee on my bedroom floor. Looks like I’ll need to make it sparkle before I can get on with my story about finding my sparkle…
Anyway, back to writing. I’m really loving having a blog. It is challenging to find the time for it, but it’s so good to have a creative outlet, and I think it’s important. Sometimes I need a CIA badge in covert operations to sneak the writing in between dishes and diapers, but it’s worth it. As my buddy said of herself, “I have things to say.” I think we all do, but sometimes we’re afraid to do it. What if I sound funny, vain, stupid, crazy, or even worse, boring?! Well, so what? We can hide in a shell of “at least I didn’t fail, because I never tried,” but it’s a miserable place to be. Better to go out on a limb and try, come what may.
So after many years as a closet writer, I’m trying this blog, and my Mum gave me the nicest compliment about it, “I’m so glad you’ve found your sparkle!” Thanks, Mum! I want to encourage everyone who reads this to find what it is that brings them joy, and to go for it. Don’t think you’re not worth it or don’t have time or are being silly. Every person is a unique and unrepeatable creation, so really the only unreasonable attitude is the one that we have nothing to offer the world, nothing new, nothing distinctly us. Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
I’m reading an amazing book by Julia Cameron called “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.” She writes about overcoming our fears to unleash our creativity, and fighting our inner censor who can be such a perfectionist: “Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner.” Like any important journey, this one begins with humility and hope.
She continues, “By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one. When I make this point in teaching, I am met with an instant, defensive hostility: “But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano/act/paint/ write a decent play?” Yes…the same age you will be if you don’t. So let’s start.”
So whatever makes you sparkle, whether painting or music, making soufflés or repairing old cars, do it! Do it with joy and abandon, with the simplicity of a child who does it just because it makes her happy. Chances are no one else writes quite the way you do, and certainly no one else can tell your story. Chances are no one can make tiny steam trains that really chug along with your distinct artistry, so if you don’t do it, you will have missed your unique chance to make the world a little more beautiful. All of us want to do that; what we need to believe is that we CAN.