~ Guest Post by Abi Partridge ~
As I write this I am in the middle of a month where I have committed to write every day on simple creativity. This daily challenge, is motivating me to write because I can sit around thinking that I don’t have something to say, but just the act of putting fingers to keyboard is enough to prompt me to write something. To write something, anything, and most of it – some of it- will be helpful, encouraging to someone else – I hope! But it’s not easy, almost every day I battle with getting something down in words, and the truth of it is that I know some of it will resonate, some of it will hit blank ears. There may be some gems, there will be some duff posts. There will be some words that help someone, some that may hinder. But it is a process and I know that I will learn more about myself and my reader through putting the words out there. I write because I can’t not write, and I write that it may help someone else, because I can’t only write to get my words out. I write because my heart is to share what I know because I know we read to know we are not alone.
You can’t do this
I know some of you think: “it’s all right for you” – “you have days of time with your children in school, you don’t have a job, you have time and space to be creative”. How do I know this? Because I’ve thought it too. I’ve done comparison and thoughts of “it’s all right for them but… I couldn’t, I can’t.” But do you want to know a secret? It’s not easy for me either. I do have children in school but if I don’t have the writing done by the time they are home then I lose out on the computer, my eldest son has an important school year and usually needs the laptop for homework. My husband also is currently between jobs and needs our only laptop for job applications and freelance work. I am also juggling applying for jobs – (writing doesn’t pay the bills yet), the stress of a life-changing situation that has caused much heartache, disappointment and doubt, and a home that we are never sure quite how long we are to be in it.
Behind every story, every creative’s work, there is a life going on. Sometimes it’s just regular life but other times it’s very rocky, yet all we see as a viewer or engager is the creative work. Creators are putting their emotions into their creativity, the work is a battle. The work is so much more than what shows on the surface. The creative work is also the spiritual embodiment of everything that the artist is living through at the time of creation. We can’t help but pour our souls and emotions into our work, because they are everything that makes us us, so what you see at the end may not visually tell the whole story, but it can’t but help embody the story of our lives in the spirit of the thing.
You can do this
So all this to say that if life is hard, press on through to create, don’t let your mental blocks keep you from making your art. You are not alone in this battle. It doesn’t come easy for any of us. We’ve all pressed through the imposter syndrome and the limited circumstances and the doubt. Don’t let your circumstances bully you from your creativity. And those that do what you wish you could? They’ve done it for you. Every art, every creation that is finished is an act of generosity. The art you see – it’s drawn outside of a person to say something, to speak of something, to challenge, to bless, to provoke. It was never meant to be solely for the creator. It is a gift.
Press on through, I know it is hard but this is what the world needs. We need your voice and courage and you to share the things you know to be truest. If we are not in this together for the good of all then what are we here for?
We are with you
For those of you who have faced critics, critics who have questioned who you are, who have mocked and scorned the things close to your heart, pay them no attention. Follow the voice that calls you forward, be kind to yourself, if you need an apology let me give you one: I’m sorry for when the world wasn’t kind to you, for when you looked for encouragement and you found scorn. I’m sorry that we are the ones who do so much damage to each other. Pay no attention to the harsh hearts, for their hearts are speaking from their own pain. You are a kind heart, a soft heart, a true heart. You do not wish to cause others pain, you wish to bring light and life and love and healing. Keep your heart soft, don’t let it harden. There are more of us who are for you than those who are against.
And I’m not talking just to writers and artists and dancers and designers, I’m talking to mothers, to those who cook or who clean or who serve, who enter numbers into spreadsheets, who write emails, those who frank the office mail and answer phones. Those who care for bodies, and souls and spirits. Those who bless with a smile, a kind word, a notice of another’s pain. This is art. This is creative work. Paying attention to the small ways we can show up. You warriors who daily press through the challenges, limitations and discouragement. You show up, you cast off your restraints and the gift that you bring with your voice and your mind and your hands is what you were meant to do. We were meant to live for others.
Press on through, dear artist heart, we need you.
Abi designs, creates and writes in Oxfordshire in the UK where she lives with her husband and three children. She is often found pottering around the Cotswolds taking photos or staring at the sea in Cornwall! She writes at abipartridge.com to encourage busy women to be creative because she knows personally how healing and beneficial it can be.”