My year-long journey for discovering the abundant life of creativity is winding down and I’m already planning an exciting new challenge for 2018. As a result of my 2017 challenge, I opened my mind to new possibilities, took some risks, stepped outside my comfort zone and viewed the world around me through fresh eyes. The result? I DID discover a more abundant life. Ideas gushed in a torrent from all directions, filling notebooks with enough projects to keep me going for at least a decade!
The real prize, surprisingly, is not the ideas. The real reward is the satisfaction, or rather, the joy that fills all those empty spaces where self-loathing likes to take up residence. The magic of the creative life is available to everyone. It’s just waiting for us to seize the opportunity. Instead of focusing on a project not going as quickly as I would like, I saw opportunity. Travel points became a gift to immerse myself in art, culture and oodles of creativity in Seattle. There was so much to explore and discover and inspiration sprung out from around every corner. In addition to travel, the muse reached out through well-written novels, I was now making time to read beyond the novels written in my preferred genre, to listen to music, and to soak up research on the brain and creativity. My narrow little world exploded into splashes of colour, like a Chihuly glass installation. It reminds me of the time when I was a kid and our family replaced the ancient black and white television set with a coloured one. (Finally!) Wow! What a difference!
Writing a novel is a marathon. There is no point in getting frustrated, beating yourself up that it’s not going as well as you had anticipated or lamenting that the middle sags despite your best efforts. That’s precisely what I had done in the past. This time was different. This time, when I felt as though I was spinning my wheels, II dropped my manuscript and began work on something different. What a relief! I had a great sense of accomplishment and got the mental break I needed from my current manuscript.
Here’s the thing about creativity. Once you open your mind and your life to it, the possibilities become endless. At a young age I was told I couldn’t draw and so from that moment on, I never tried. I believed the teacher’s words. I went on to tell anyone and everyone that I was not artistic. Art was not my thing. But now, alongside my creative, artistic daughter, we’re learning to create interesting, beautiful cookies, cakes and well, lots of edible delights! (And we also write stories!)
For me, creativity will still mostly be about my writing. It’s my passion, the thing I can’t quit, no matter how frustrated I become at times. But I have learned that in the abundant life, there is immense satisfaction in imagining and creating in all areas of life, just as there is inspiration in immersing oneself in the beautiful arts of other creators. Music. Stories. Food. Fine Art. Anything. Everything.
Open yourself up to a world of possibility. You’ll like what you find!