Do You Want to Be Creative, Or Do You Want Attention?

Recently I was scrolling on YouTube, as one does, and a suggested video popped up in my feed. The video was a TED talk by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I’m not one to sit and watch TED talks, but the title of this video intrigued me, plus it was a short talk, so I thought why not?

In the talk, Joseph chats about how craving attention, which is a natural human desire, actually makes you less creative. The reasoning behind the argument is that when you’re making something with the intent of gaining attention, you tend to be more outcome focused, rather than remaining in the open, receptive state you need to be in to create.

Joseph speaks from personal experience both from an example from childhood and how as an adult his attention seeking can interfere with how he shows up online. This talk really hit home with me because for the past year or so, I’ve been reluctant to post consistently on social media.

And it stems from not wanting to put my focus, which I believe is best served fostering my creativity, on trying to gain followers. I realize that a writer needs readers, at least in theory, but I’m not writing to gain readers. I write for me, because I’m a writer, and that’s what I do.

If you create, no matter what you create, I hope you do it just for you, because it brings you joy, peace, and a sense of fulfillment. Don’t do it to get eyes on it, because that will always lead you to a place of emptiness, turmoil, and a feeling of not being enough.

Sending loads of love and creativity your way!

Less Busy, More Nature

With so many things here in the PNW still closed I’ve spent the past several months getting outside as often as I can. Our weather is often rainy right up until July 5th or so, and some years it’s just not feasible to get out there and enjoy some early summer rays.

I’m grateful that this year we’ve had a fair amount of sunshine interspersed with our typical gloom since I’m now using the great outdoors as my gym, therapist’s office, and entertainment source.

Over the past three months I’ve learned how much nature really centers and, much like creativity, it’s also a balm for the soul.

The lush greenery of Washington is also inspiration for a new series I’m working on. Originally I’d planned to set this series in a bustling metropolis, but the past couple months getting back to nature convinced me to create my own world. One where there’s a small college city nestled in the mountains, near water, and that also boasts a burgeoning nightlife scene.

The town of Cascade Falls, Washington has captivated me and I hope it will enthrall my readers as well. Stay tuned over the next couple months, as I share more about Cascade Falls and the people you’ll meet there!

Creativity is a Balm in Tough Times

Do you have to go through dark times in order to be more effective in your creativity? I’ve had this debate with myself for years now.

While I know I don’t subscribe to the outdated thought that I have to suffer for my art, I think in tough times I turn to my writing as a way to cope. And because of that I’m more productive, and perhaps, I dig into a different place within myself and my writing just “feels” different during times of strife.

For the past few months I’ve walked this weird line with my writing. I find real solace there, when I’m creating. But also, when I’m writing I struggle so effing hard. I doubt. It’s a slog. Most of the time it feels like I’m doing a 300 lb. dead lift with my brain. I’m most definitely not what I think of as being in the flow state, yet my editors are praising the things I’m writing right now as some of my best work.

Say whaaaaat?

mug of coffee and a laptop

I’ll be the first to admit that creativity is weird, and a process that is both unique for everyone and something we can’t fully understand.

I try hard to keep this space light and fun, but it’s difficult when reality is heavy and heartbreaking. I don’t want to be tone deaf, but I do want to offer people a space that is positive and try my best to fill the world with love the only way I know how, by sharing stories about flawed people in an imperfect world finding their way to each other.

And the only way I can do that is keep going in my creative work.