What's the next word in that starter sentence? Well, it's BEYOND, of course. At least it is to those familiar with the movie Toy Story. Which I learned tonight is celebrating a 20 year anniversary.
I learned this because I turned on the TV at random, and there was a special, with the animators and other creatives discussing their creative process. I was sucked in to hear of their FOUR YEAR journey from idea to final film. (Here's info on the TV special.)
The discussion that truly caught my ears (and went by too quickly for me to quote it directly so I will paraphrase) was that those involved in the creative process of the movie decided very early on, when hit with a creative block, that their best solution was to simply make the movie that they wanted to see. To disregard whether it would be good enough, or would sell. To become so involved in the process of creation that the end result didn't really matter. (And yes, I am aware that those are incomplete sentences but it's my blog so I'll write however I want to, thank you.)
And in that very idea - to make the movie they wanted to see - or in my case, to write the story I wanted to read - is the WHY behind the writing of my novel PAINTING LILY.
Creativity is a difficult process to grasp unless one is actively engaged in it.
I recently came under personal attack from a few people who assumed they knew my WHY behind writing my novel. They accused me of ill intent.
Initially, I felt hurt by the accusations.. Then of course that hurt turned to anger, which was my pain turned inside out. Then, beautifully, after a great deal of prayer and soul searching, the hurt turned to... laughter. Yes. I said laughter.
Because I realized how ridiculous it was for someone to assume they knew my intentions. And even more so for me to allow it to overshadow what I KNOW is the truth behind my why. Which is about as polar opposite from ill intent as can be. But that, too, is another longer discussion for another blog post.
For now, my message is simply to say this.
Your CREATIVITY is a gift from God. Value it. Protect it. Hold it dearly, close to your heart. Honor it.
If you are reading this, and there is a story in you that is bubbling to come out, write it. Not because it will ever be read by anyone else, but because you need to give it voice, for yourself, and the pen and paper in your hands.
If you are reading this and there are things you want to draw, or paintings you want to paint, then grab a pencil, or a brush, and allow them to live. Simply for the engagement in the process of watching the ideas come to life. Whether anyone else ever sees them, or not.
If you want to sing, or dance, or weave, or sculpt - DO IT. Not because Nike said so. But because you have been gifted with an idea, and those ideas deserve to live, SIMPLY BECAUSE.
If someone judges you harshly, so be it. If someone tells you they think you did it wrong, just smile, and say thank you for their input. What truly matters is for you to know in your heart that you did it just right, just for you. Just like the creatives behind TOY STORY did. And whether it rockets you to financial success, or is never shared with another single person, it simply does not matter.
I wish you blessings of creative joy, and peace, today and every day.