“Observe Everything. Communicate Well. Draw, Draw, Draw,” said Frank Thomas, the famous Disney animator, when asked to give advice to young animators.
Without doubt, Thomas was asking the youngsters to be creative each day of their lives.
Creativity is in fact the heart and soul of every artist, including a writer. But the truth is that doing creative work each day, over and over, is hard.
Sometimes the feeling that comes from being creative is great. This is the time when dozens of ideas are knocking at your mind’s door, waiting to be sent on a mission.
But then there are days when you just want to quit. You are at a loss of ideas while staring at the blank page.
Writing has been a great teacher for me over the years. It has taught me many things, including some that have changed my life.
From “I don’t have time to do so many things in a day” five years back, my thoughts have shifted to “I can do so many things in a day, and do them well.”
This is one of the key lessons the practice of writing each day has taught me.
Most of us complain about not having enough time. But the truth is there’s a lot of time we have to do whatever we want, but we’re not willing to make the sacrifices to do it.
What Writing Taught Me
Here are three things that writing has taught me about living life in general and creativity in particular:
1. There’s more inside of you than you think: If someone had told me in 2006 that I would be running two businesses in five years, writing daily, managing clients, while working from home, I would have laughed out loud.
Now, sometimes it happens that people ask me how I keep coming up with thoughtful ideas to write almost each day. My answer is simple, “The more I write, the more new ideas I get.”
Writing has made me realize that there’s more inside of me than what I’d have ever imagined. And this is simply because I’m passionately involved in whatever I’m writing.
Even when I’m not writing, I’ve started looking at things from new perspectives, simply because I’ve started ‘seeing’ them.
So, believe me when I say, there is more inside of you than you think. There are years of creativity in you that will only get deeper and more beautiful over time.
2. Every moment is an opportunity to learn: Life, we learn too late, is in the living…in the tissue of every day and hour. This is what writing has made me realize.
Earlier I used to just live while making plans and worrying about the future. But my practice of writing daily has forced me to look for inspiration everywhere…each hour…each day.
Every conversation, every song, every walk, every book I read now seems like an opportunity to learn.
3. Don’t fear criticism: “Is this a really nice article that I’ve written? What if nobody likes it? What if they think I’m a fool after they’ve read it?”
These were some of the thoughts I had before publishing my writing five years back. I was afraid of the negative reaction people would have. Or that they may not have a reaction at all.
I feared people would make a mockery of me and think I’m too young, shallow, or uninformed to be a writer. But as I’ve come to realize over these years is that as a creative, you can’t allow criticism to control you. Otherwise, your ideas will stay inside of you instead of spilling out.
Writing has taught me this: stop fearing criticism…just keep creating.
So there it is. I now can’t imagine a day when I won’t write. Every time I’m staring at a blank page, I say to myself, “Go do it. Someone’s awaiting your brilliance.”
If there’s one lesson I’d like you to take away from this post, it would be this…
Whenever you’re feeling low before staring at a creative task, or even while living your life, just tell yourself – “Go do it. Someone’s awaiting your brilliance.”