I thought I might give blogging a rest. But in this wild world of social media, I have made connections. Irene Latham is a poet/blogger and the kind of person I will do almost anything for. She tweeted yesterday.
Here I am again because this is a subject I live with every day.
These two walk together with me as I wander this writing terrain.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert speaks to me. She writes for 272 pages about “Creative Living Beyond Fear.” The reason this book has taken on such popularity is we are all battling this dualistic problem: creativity and fear. On Goodreads, there are 333 quotes from Big Magic. I could pick any one of them to make my point here. That creativity and fear (or vulnerability) walk hand in hand.
With my students this week, I have been creating an altered book. We have taken books that were discarded from the library for repurposing as a collection of writing from this school year. For the most part, we’ve been making a mess. But in the midst of the mess, creativity is evolving.
This is the freest I have felt about painting and creating in a long time. I’m just doing it. I don’t expect anyone but me to ever care about this book, so there is no fear. And since I feel absolutely safe creating alongside my students, I am not vulnerable either.
When I write for others to read, the stakes become higher. And yet, in this blog space, I have found a safety net. I have a group of people I belong to. I’ve gotten to know you by reading your blogs. You know me, and you leave encouraging comments. I may not know your face, dear reader, but I trust you.
Vulnerability is lessened by safety, community, and camaraderie.
Creativity breeds creativity. Endeavoring to express yourself artistically whether with a paintbrush, a musical instrument, or a pen exposes you to failure. Yet creating makes us human, and creativity is meant to be shared.