I grew up with a mother who didn’t believe she was creative. Which was somewhat confusing to me, because I remember her teaching me how to draw a 3D house. That was pretty cool to my young mind. And she helped me write stories, especially when I had procrastinated the assignments and they were due the next day. My mother is a good writer. Something I am thankful to have picked up as well. And yet, she insisted, and still insists, that she isn’t creative. Let’s not tell her that writing is inherently creative, shall we? 😉
So it never occurred to me that I might be creative. I just unconsciously adopted that same belief system. It wasn’t until I was all grown, married, and raising some littles of my own that I discovered the deep well of joy-bringing creativity within me. It started slowly, fueled by a desire to replicate beautiful things I saw. I found tremendous satisfaction in scrapbooking, which taught me the fundamentals of good layout and design. Those designs quickly outshone my decidedly lackluster photography, so naturally it was time to learn photography. My first digital point and shoot satisfied me for a few years until I overcame my intimidation of big cameras and bought my first DSLR, a canon rebel that I have since passed on to my oldest daughter who is using it to build and promote her fledgling theater company.
When my oldest girls were very small, I was under the influence of motherhood magazines, with their bright, beautiful photos of themed birthday parties. I ripped them out and saved them, fueling my desire to recreate them for my children. My first attempt at making a beautiful birthday cake was an epic disaster, resulting in a smoking oven and a cake that simply wouldn’t bake. It took real talent to accomplish those things simultaneously, let me tell you! But that is a story for another post. I was too stubborn to give up, so I started over and made another cake that was edible, but looked NOTHING like the magazine photo that had been my inspiration. Despite my less than auspicious beginnings as a party designer, I found joy in the process of planning and creating, so I stuck with it. Having five children gave me many opportunities to hone my skills.
Over the years, it became a creative outlet that led to the discovery of a myriad of other joy-bringing talents. Event photography. Graphic design. Crafting. Carpentry. (Yes, carpentry. Another story for another post.) I’ve developed a fierce DIY spirit which has most recently been put to the test by designing my own website. It was hard, and scary, and overwhelming. But I jumped in anyway and emerged victorious on the other side. I have yet to tackle SEO, but that is a mountain for another day.
My story CAN BE your story. Swap out the details and write your own successful transformation into a creative, an entrepreneur, a whatever you want to be. Let’s stop letting self-doubt and unfair comparisons rob us of creative freedom, of the unparalleled joy that can flow into our lives when we break through our self-imposed inhibitions and begin learning the skills we want to learn. It has never been easier to teach ourselves, with a tutorial, ebook, ecourse, webinar, blog, podcast, You Tube channel, Pinterest board, Instagram account, and Facebook group for every topic under the sun.
This plethora of knowledge doesn’t have to be overwhelming or discouraging to our budding identities as creatives. It can be empowering and liberating. But only if we remove our harshest critics. Ourselves. Who stops us before we even begin? Who whispers that we’re not _____ enough? Who denies potential rewards by failing to simply act? WE DO!
But I say enough is enough. I am tired of impotence and indecision. I’m tired of letting fear make my decisions. I’m tired of spinning my wheels and letting my ideas fizzle out before they even have a chance to see the light of day. I choose to act even without all the answers. I choose to jump in even if sinking is as likely as swimming. I choose to chase my dreams.
Join me on my Wildwood adventure. Escapades are so much more fun with good company!