Monday, July 7, 2008

On Creativity and Saving the World

Sometimes it's rather easy to let one's creativity fall by the wayside. Like many "do gooders" I tend to let my worries about the world get away from me. In fact, it can feel downright frivolous to want to "waste" time painting or playing with my art supplies.

It's been months since I last had a creative project. This is in part because I was transitioning into my new career as a writer (finally, work that I love!). But it's also partly because I feel a little guilty spending time on creative stuff when there are so many more important things calling my name. Volunteer here? Donate there? Could I swing a short-term mission trip?

But I've been reminded that without replenishing my well with some creative endeavors, I will run out of steam. I just re-started reading Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" I'm not sure if I can follow her full 12-week program, but just reading the introduction this morning helped me unclench my stomach and take some deep breaths. "It's okay to play now and then," it reminded me. "It's not going to make less for someone else if you run a paintbrush through watercolors or tear some paper scraps into a collage. It's okay to do some self-nurturing."

That's a message I really needed to hear.

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