Allowing ourselves to create is the key to opening a door that can be exhilarating. It means we believe in ourselves. The necessity for validation falls away, and we are left with a confidence in our talent(s).
Over the years I have submitted my work to literary publications and contests. I nervously fumbled over word placement, rewriting my work for the occasion. Looking back, the practice of trying to be perfect infuriates me. Why am I trying to impress someone with something I’m not? I felt as though I had to fit a specific mold in order to appeal to those that hold my future in their hands. I thought there was a formula to getting “in”. Of course my plan never worked.
The bottom line is this…why do I need someone who really doesn’t know much more than I do, validate me through publication? All of us who write seek publication, because in our minds, it is what makes us a “writer”. For other artists, it may be showcasing your work in trade magazines, or getting an important role in a dream production. Whatever your craft is, it is yours. You have unique experiences that give you a fresh voice or perspective. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a real artist. Getting away from the lie of – you have to be XXX – is hard to do, but it’s necessary to succeed as an artist.
What I found is this – when I try to write, I fail. When I write for myself or for my own enjoyment, the words I have written I fall in love all over again. I get to fully release the pent up inspiration instead of making myself anxious and sick over the thought that I am a failure. I’ve wasted so many years playing that out and it almost made me give up.
If we can allow ourselves to create without following rules or form, and just love it for the gift it is, our creations can become organic again. We then can move to a level in our talent we may not have experienced before. We get to find the sweet spot in our hearts that make our art worthwhile for ourselves.
I like the thought of being an amateur. I find freedom in this. I hope you will too!