Often when I write about myself, as in a biography, or when I explain the “writer’s life” as it pertains to me, I discuss three components that contribute to the completion of my creative cycle. Not everything in freeing the creative spirit involves locking yourself away so you can produce a work of art without distraction from the world around you. True, this is one of the components I speak of, but I find it to be the last one in the cycle for me, if we were to loosely order them.
The first thing to do in order to free your own creative spirit is study – learn the rules, mimic the techniques others use, read or watch or peruse or gaze at every piece of written work, movie, gallery, or photograph that made the masters who they are (of course, this is within reason, for to gaze upon “every” piece would be a feat unto itself). Their spirit resides in their work and learning what you can of their influences and nuances, makes you realize that: a) you choose to be in the company of greatness, b) you will never be who they are or do what they do, and c) you have your own spirit no one else can replicate even if they choose to study you sometime in the future when you are the one someone seeks out to emulate. And they will, if you are true to yourself and your own artistic soul. If you feel you have learned all you can learn, you are missing the rest of your life. The most important thing to remember is… there is no end to learning.
Secondly, enjoy the company of those around you who share your passion and are akin to your creative outlets; they understand your need for solitude because they can relate to the way of the writing life. Share your knowledge, for in sharing there is further learning and confirmation of the things you choose to study. Go to workshops, listen to presentations, join a writers circle or an artist’s guild – practice, live, and expand your horizons. Put your learning to good use, for in sharing you may happen upon reason. You may discover the path of your journey.
Seek out new, give of yourself, and then pull back. Go create in your own world – the one that keeps you safe, inspires you, engulfs you as you breathe life into a young project and watch it grow in your loving hands. It will be full and beautiful because it is borne of you and your creativity. If you choose to hide it or shield it from view, bask in its greatness, for it is yours. If you choose to share it, present it modestly and humbly – for those who look, hear, or feel upon it will understand all that goes into its creation, they will know of the blood, sweat, and tears, they will have experienced the growth, and know its greatness. In that writer’s universality, they can appreciate its beauty.
Learn. Share. Create.