Do you yearn for connection but cannot fulfil that need? I once felt that ache, that emptiness, but the more I write, the more I immerse myself in the world of words and how to compose them, the less lonely I feel. Have I made that longed for connection? Maybe. What we long for, what is denied, what we often deny ourselves, scours our soul. When we stop denying it the hollow begins to fill.
When I write, I replenish the scoured sections of my soul.
Why is it so many people believe they aren’t creative? What if that belief was nothing more than a story we tell ourselves, a narrative we cling to? What if Virginia Woolf believed that narrative? J. K. Rowling, Margaret Attwood, Helen Garner? Maybe it’s what our parents, our lovers and our society want us to believe, because creative woman are dangerous. Creative women question the world, they challenge accepted social mores, they laugh at rules and regulations, they defy convention, they see problems and devise solutions and when those solutions don’t work they seek another solution and another and another.
Creativity is an inherent aspect of every single man, woman and child on this blighted little rock spinning in a vast, terrifying universe. I believe playing, creating, is the only way to vanquish the existential terror of being human.
I have a friend who claims she isn’t creative, but I have watched her play; I was there when she challenged herself, and others, to create innovative and meaningful solutions to a problem. She is creative, and I cannot understand why she refuses to believe it. Is, however, my inability to understand why she refuses to accept her creativity any of my business? Surely she has the right to believe what she wants and the right to put her energy into something else? Only she knows why she believes the narrative that she isn’t creative. Only she can decide to accept her creativity and what form it will take.
Maybe people baulk at claiming their creativity because creating a poem, a painting, a business or a unique piece of furniture is hard work. I didn’t realise how hard, how painfully hard, being creative is but I’d rather write than not write. Dishonouring my creativity is more harrowing than sitting for hours trying to fix a messy sentence or make a paragraph do what I want. My hard work might mean one story, one essay or one blog post will worm its way into the heart and mind of another who will read my words and think, ‘She’s right. I need to look deeper into myself, I need to change my narrative, be the creative person I am meant to be.’
If I can do that for one person I will, for a moment, be happy. And then I’ll sit down in front of my computer and try to do it again because I am, like you and every other person on the planet, creative and because, after too many years of longing, I can not be anything else.
Tell me about your creativity; have you yearned for connection or have you always honoured your creative gifts?