To create. To make something out of nothing. “Everyone is obligated to claim their creative heritage. It fulfills us.” Dord Fitz* We are all made in our creator’s image, it is what drives us to write, make music, paint, sculpt, act, etc. The act of creation is very satisfying to the soul. The finished product gives us a feeling of accomplishment like no other. Whether it is a book, short story, article or a piece of visual art, it urges us on to do more and better works.
Subject matter? Makes no difference, JUST DO IT! Famous artist Robert Dash once told me, “It doesn’t make any difference what your subject matter is when you paint. Just paint and your style will find you.” The same is true in writing. Set your imagination free and just write; the words will come. Will it be perfect? Probably not. But the more we create the better we get at it, and the more we will grow. The more we grow the happier we will be, and everyone we know wants to be happy.
Writing and painting are very similar. We start with a blank page or canvas and begin writing or painting. Do we have a plan? Well that is nice, but sometimes it’s fun to just put on the page or canvas what pops into our minds or comes spilling out of our brains. That is how Abstract Expressionism, Cubism and Surrealism came to be. Does it have to be realistic? Heck no.
Can we fit a square peg into a round hole? Sure if we round off the corners. That is something we have to do sometimes because it is easy–the words just flow out of us. And sometimes it is hard–the words will just not come. The difficult times are what makes us grow. They challenge us to think better, do more research, and take another tack. Speaking of tack, sailing a boat downwind is easy but you cannot sail downwind forever. One cannot sail directly into the wind, but by adjusting the sails it is easy to tack and sail against the wind. The same is true when writing. We just have to find a different approach.
My dear friend and mentor MICHAEL WALLIS**, who gave voice to the sheriff of Radiator Springs in the animated movie “Cars” says; “Life begins on the off ramp.” He urges everyone to get off the super slab and travel those old two-lane blue highways where one is able to observe life and meet people. No one learns anything or meets anyone while travelling on the interstate. So learn to meander the back roads where life is happening. You will be happy you did. It will kindle that fire of creativity within you!
What inspires your creativity?
Bob “Crocodile” Lile
* Dord Fitz was an artist, philosopher, creator, and genius who died in 1989. He taught thousands of people to claim their creative heritage through art.