I met with some beautiful friends for a ‘Creative Ladies Happy Hour’ the other night, although ladies makes us sound ancient, we were all in our 20′s. All of us have a passion for creating – from writing to photography, interior design to crafting. In between bites of queso and guacamole we talked about our successes, our failures, our dreams, and our fears. It was refreshing to be around a group of people who know what it feels like to hang up your artwork for the first time, or to get rejected, or to have to go to a coffee shop to work so you don’t end up turning into a depressed couch zombie all day and get nothing accomplished.
After that night I went home and finished up Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist that I wrote about in my last post. There was just one more passage that made me gasp and then let out a huge dramatic noise and wave my arms around as I sometimes do when words pierce my soul. (See- I am dramatic! Pierce my soul? A little extreme…but still necessary)
This passage is for all you creators out there who are hiding behind fear. I hope and pray you can overcome it and have the courage to use the unique gifts God has given you- because that is where the good life lives.
I know that life is busy and hard, and that there’s crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and kahki pants and a haircut. But don’t. Please don’t. Please keep believing that life can be better,broader, because of the art you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen on paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places of your soul. Please keep making art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable. And if, for whatever reason, you’ve stopped – stopped believing in your voice, stopped fighting to find the time – start today.
Because everyone, every person was made by God, in the image of God. If he is a creator, and in fact he is, than we are creators, and no one, not a bad seventh-grade English teacher or a harsh critic or jealous competitor, can take that away from you.
-Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, p. 228 – 229
Isn’t that awesome? Don’t you see the need for making a big, grand, dramatic gesture after you read it?
Don’t keep quiet- don’t hide behind a wall of fear – don’t keep your paintings under your bed – share what God has given you with the world, if not just for yourself than for others. You never know who you will impact, whose day you may improve, and who you just may inspire.