Proof of Creativity

Proof of Creativity

There’s something about creativity that begs to be seen. Show me your big idea, let me read your work, play me a song, hang up your art, watch that video project.

And then the masses, they can say, “how nice, how artistic, how talented” you are at that thing. Or, of course, there’s also the risk of a negative response, or even worse, no response or acknowledgement whatsoever, leaving that creativity vulnerable and alone in the world.

But one is never enough. You need a body and collection of work. It can never be stagnant or stale. You think you’re a writer? You call yourself a musician? You want to be a videographer? You consider yourself an actress? You say you’re an artist, a dancer, a dreamer, a poet? Prove it. 

Instead of the love and the passion and the drive that once compelled such creativity, you find hustle and exhaustion and burnout. A world that says, if you don’t keep churning out more you’ll be lost and left behind by all the ones ready to chew you up and take your spot.

It places all of your worth into what you produce or your results. You’re only as good as your latest project, and it better be something recent, otherwise, what have you been doing all this time?

And not only that, but where’s the self-promotion, the curated pieces, the shows and the gigs and the countless fans along the way?

For the average creative, or maybe just for me, it’s too much. The hustle and chase and sacrifice is too great. Maybe that means I’ll never make it or never have my name in lights. I’d like to hope instead that it means that my creativity and my sense of self will still stay intact.

May the thoughts and dreams that excite me stay possibilities and perhaps even one day realities, instead of drowned out by the noise and expectations to keep the same rapid pace of someone else. May my success be simply gratitude for the ability to create and connect with others, instead of an addiction to constant adoration and attention that can never quite be fulfilled. May I find moments for creativity and inspiration but not feel it is my only or greatest legacy.

That’s not to say that hard work, dedication, and motivation have no place here. All of these make their home here, just as I welcome space, grace, rest, and relationships. It’s about finding a balance and enjoyment instead of making chores out of the things I love.

So, for the last few months the blog has been quiet. This time I don’t think I’ll try to promise a revitalization coming soon but just let it happen as it happens. As for creative side projects, our music has been getting more of my energy and effort for the time being. At work, my writing and editing has continued. At home, we’ve chosen to listen to the need for rest when it comes, to celebrate weekend afternoons relaxing on the porch or rolling on the floor with our little one.

Does my work say something? Sure, sometimes. But more importantly, I’d like my life to speak louder. Not through fame or failures, but through my faith, family, and friendships.

 

Putting it into Perspective

Putting it into Perspective

There’s this thing that we use to shape our experiences and thoughts called perspective. It’s the vantage point from which we view life, our attitudes, and opinions. Perspective often helps us see beyond ourselves–to take in more information and look at the big picture or to be sensitive to small details that make a big impact.

But sometimes, we abuse that perspective. We compare bad situations to dire ones and suddenly feel like there is no need for help or improvement. We say things like, “Because this isn’t THAT, it’s fine” or “I’ve had worse” or “His situation is really bad, so I shouldn’t mind mine.”

While usually said with good intentions and can be stated a way to lessen the blow to some bad news or issue…it can also lead to a misrepresentation of the reality in a situation.

Do we need to cry over a stubbed toe like we would for cancer? No. Should we be grateful for what we have? Absolutely. But is there still room for growth and improvement and action? Most likely.

For example, my baby cries when his diaper needs changing (you’d think the world was ending by the way he shrieks, but no, it’s just wet). If I said to him, “Don’t you know you have such a good life and are well taken care of? Not all kids are as lucky as you!“–that would be true, but wouldn’t change the fact that his diaper is dirty and needs to be addressed. Looking only at the good but ignoring the immediate issue doesn’t actually solve anything. Instead, it diminishes his cries for help and perpetuates the problem.

Perhaps, there is reason to be upset or to seek improvement, and we need to be open to that. We need to have a self-awareness about what is happening so we can best address it. Maybe that means acknowledging a loss or celebrating a win. Saying things aren’t where they should be or could be at work or in a relationship. Admitting there are areas in life that need improvement, be it health, organization, motivation, or otherwise. Maybe it means being proactive in realizing that things are good now, but they aren’t to be taken for granted or assumed.

So to put it all in perspective, could things be worse? Sure. Could they be better? Perhaps. Either way, it’s worth being realistic about the present situation in order to best address it.

 

Daily Creativity

Creativity does not run out.

When you write, sometimes it feels like writing more might mean you’ll be all out of writing. But that isn’t the case. Sure there are days when you just want to get outside and get away from a computer, but writing inspires writing. Thinking inspires thinking. Traveling sparks more travel. Music makes more music. So write like the writing will never run out. Create without fear of running out of creativity.

While I wrote the above paragraph about a month ago, it was introduced in a new way to me just last week. On Thursday, I had the privilege to attend the Creative Women’s Summit, an event put together by the Influence Network. There were so many thoughts and ideas presented there that I could write my next seven posts just on of my scribbled out notes. Perhaps in the future I will get the chance to type out more of my thoughts but for now, I want to talk briefly about this idea of creativity and how it doesn’t necessarily run out like we think it could.

Influence Network Creative Women's Summit | Moving Peaces

Hayley Morgan spoke ever so briefly during the event, but what she shared definitely stuck with me. She talked about creativity being like manna. I’d never thought about it in this way before but want remember to gather creativity day-by-day, just like manna.

If you don’t know what the heck I am talking about, let’s get a little background, okay? In the Bible (specifically, Exodus 16), there is a group of people (the Israelites) who are in between slavery and the Promised Land and unfortunately, are wandering in the desert for 40 years. During this time, God provided manna from heaven to feed them (some sort of bread-y substance). What’s interesting is that they were only take what they needed for that day. If someone took more than they needed, it would rot and go bad. Then, manna would be provided again the next day. There was no need to store up extra or hoard food because it would be available again the next day when it was needed.

In the same way, consider creativity to be like manna. We can take all the creativity we need at the time we are needing it, but rest in the promise that it will come again. We don’t need to cling to our creativity and ideas as if it’s our only chance. We shouldn’t hoard ideas or possibilities, because that will leave us stuck with rotting ideas. Use those ideas when they come and take what you need when it’s there. Know that if one idea doesn’t work, there will be another one, so it’s okay to move forward without it. We also don’t do something once for the week or the month, instead we continue to find the daily provision and opportunity to be creative. The creativity will come back again.

After I write a good post or a new song or whatever it may be, it’s easy to suddenly feel like that’s it. There’s no more ideas in my head, and I’ve peaked. There’s a lot of pressure in that, which then causes doubt and fear…and ultimately, inhibits creativity. If instead, we remember that it will be there again–that we just need to faithfully take and use the creativity we need–there’s no reason for fear. It’s not our problem to solve. God created us and He will provide the creativity–we just need to use it when it’s there.

Creativity does not run out, so use it. 

 

Thursday Three

Today has been such a jam-packed day that I feel like this could be called the “Thursday Thousand”…yet I can’t even think of what to say for the three. How to sum up the week in a few paragraphs? That sounds nearly impossible. So instead I’ll just spout some basic life lessons and call it good for the day.

Me | Moving Peaces

1. Be right with your people. Those people in your life that you want to have relationships with, whether it’s your family or your friends–make sure to get right with them. There will always be something else to do and another to-do list to cross off or another idea, creative project or work responsibility to tend to. But in a week, month, year, decade, whatever–it’s those people and those relationships that you’ll care about most, so care about them now.

2. Community is both created and pursued. There are seasons in life when maybe community happens more naturally, be it in college or  during the “best summer ever.” But more often, finding and being a part of a community requires intention, thought and time. You have to seek community, even when it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to pay off. Finding community sometimes means finding a lot of rejection first. And then, once you’ve found it, you have to be willing to accept it and fully participate in that community. That takes an incredible amount of effort, transparency and perseverance, but ultimately, it’s worth it.

3. Creativity matters. We need creativity to solve problems, to find inspiration and to lift our spirits. That creativity comes in so many forms and can be absolutely amazing. It drives me crazy to think that people can put creativity solely into an artist or craft box. You have creativity in you. Don’t let the artists, musicians, writers and designers be the only ones who take ownership of the word. You are creative in some way, I’m positive, and you need to use that for the benefit of both yourself and others.

 

This Week’s Three

What a cold and dreary week it has been. Last week seems like it was so long ago, but I think it’s just that it feels like that because we’ve gone a week without actual sunshine. But today, Friday, the sun is shining and a new energy seems to here. Ahhh, what a breath of fresh air for this stuffy nose recovering from a slight cold. Let’s review my week, shall we? Is that even interesting to you? If not, then why are you still reading?! Just kidding. I’d love to hear about your week, too. This isn’t just about me, I promise.

1. Three’s company. Last week my youngest sister was here but at the end of the week both sisters stayed over for a night. We had a fun day exploring the science museum and chowing down on some of North Carolina’s famous BBQ before they each headed to their respective homes.

(pictures soon to follow…this blog can’t handle all the awesomeness of all three of us together in one place and is therefore having some difficulty uploading photos)

2. Fly away. Or bike away, rather. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to check out Flywheel, a new cycling studio in town, along with some other local bloggers. To be honest, half the time I thought I was going to pass out, but I loved every second of it. Note: Never eat famous BBQ the same day you are going to go to a spin class for the first time in years, you will regret it. That was just the way the planning worked out, but seriously it was just super fun and a great workout. They have a great space for it and turn the lights down and the music up so you can really get in the zone and push yourself.

3. Tiny desks fit best in tiny kitchens. NPR does a segment called Tiny Desk Concerts where they have musicians play original music behind their desk. Recently, they opened up a contest for unsigned and unknown musicians to submit their own “tiny desk” recording and video. We decided to go ahead and put together a video of a song we wrote together called, “We’ll Be Here”. While we don’t have any plans of winning, we definitely loved the chance to work on a project together and get creative.

Thursday Three

It’s been a long week. Nothing particularly bad or big, just lots of little things happening and stress from all those things. Work has been a little hectic lately for everybody here and sometimes it’s hard to know what will be more relaxing: tackling all the things looming over your head or blowing it all off completely. So let me bring you a super short Thursday Three that consists of the most bizarre and unrelated items possible.

1. Something about being tired brings a strange mix of emotions to the surface. You fight easier or spill over too soon. It can also bring out your comfort creativity. When you’re energized that creativity can ooze out in all sorts of wonderful ways but when you’re weary there’s something raw there. It can either sting or soothe to expose that fatigue. Somehow we keep forgetting that our comfort creativity takes very different forms. He plays music and I eat chocolate write. Even though we’ve been married for a few years now we’re constantly seeking and remembering what are strengths and joys are. The trick is figuring out both how to make them work together and when it’s okay for them to simply stand alone. 

2. I don’t want a dog right now. I was going through some sort of major puppy fever not so long ago but now that desire is buried deep once more. It’s nice to know that at least. I’d rather plan a trip and save up money. Whew. Glad that discussion’s finally over.

3. Senior photos are the best. We have a nice camera, and I decided it was time to have a decent “casual” headshot. You know, for my work email or the blog or that frame on my husband’s desk I’ll be buying this weekend. So the hubby was given the title of art director, and we spent a few minutes awkwardly walking around the neighborhood. Got a few decent ones…

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Then we got this gem.

I channeled all of my inner high school senior meets glamour shots.

Feel free to vote for your favorite.