Excuses, art and giving your baby to a troll

Everyone has a valid excuse for not creating.

I could list mine here and trust me it would be a compelling argument. We could all sit back sipping our tea and nodding “oh yes, you should never create anything. You are much too busy and unprepared and undereducated and…”.

Yes, well, I love to create. Doesn’t everyone? Something in us longs for it.

If you’re thinking of arts and crafts right now and having a mini panic attack, relax…creation is not just arts and crafts. I really hate arts and crafts myself and am familiar with said panic attack. When my children were smaller I went to a moms get together which consisted of eating, listening to a speaker, then doing a craft. I would sit and drink coffee while my crafty friend would do my craft for me. It was a beautiful system.

Creativity is in us all. It might be in business or mechanics or engineering or it might be in the arts, but it is there. I am frustrated to see how many people bow to their excuses and fear in this area.

The excuse I hear the most is that what they create is not good enough.

First, I doubt there are many artists who can look at a masterpiece they have created and not point out some flaws (flaws that only the creator would notice).

Second, if you wait until you become really good…then you never will. The act of creating art that isn’t “good enough” is the path to creating something of value.

The ticket price for becoming a “real” artist is being brave. I don’t mean being brave enough to make art, although that is the first step. I mean being brave enough to put your art out there for the world to love and enjoy and criticize and tear apart. That is terrifying.
It stretches you in a way that makes you feel as though your skin may never fit on your body again, but it is a good stretch albeit painful.

Your excuses are valid, but so what. There are thousands of other people out there with more valid excuses than you who are doing it.

Pick one, excuses or creation. If you pick excuses, own it. Cuddle up with them, pet them, love them. You will have an easier life in many ways and the crazies or resistance or whatever you want to call it will leave you alone. But, that other thing won’t. That thing in the back of your mind that says “what if…what if I had had the courage, what if I had become an inspirational story that would light the fire for other artists, what if I had let the world see who I really am?”

If you choose creation over excuses you will still have to continue to fight off excuses, they won’t leave you alone. The crazies will come to tell you that you can’t do it and you aren’t worthy and that you are wasting your time. Then you present your art to the world and it feels a little like handing your newborn to a troll to babysit. Sounds appealing doesn’t it?

But, there are moments. Moments where you can feel another piece of you coming to life. When you can feel how much you have grown and changed. When you touch someone deeply and a long dormant emotion seeps out of their eyes and yours too. The tiny moments of absolute certainty that THIS is what you should be doing…THIS is what you were created for. It’s a little like the moment when you see your baby for the first time. You don’t forget the pain of childbirth, but you realize why it was worth it.

It is worth it.

  • http://Aaronmchugh.com/ Aaron McHugh

    Well said Amy “good enough” ……”choose creation over excuses”. Good words.

    • amydale

      Thanks Aaron!

  • Barb Sheehan

    I am right there with ya Amy, hate arts and crafts! I am over educated and am doing well to match the colors of my clothes! Forget decorating the house. I chose many years ago to rebel against the mommy and me type classes and do my own thing with my kids like going out and seeing a full moon at midnight. And playing with caterpillars. My creative gifts lie somewhere other than construction paper and a glue stick! Oh well! So proud of you for writing that book. You are a very creative ( in your own gifted way) mom. I can’t wait to read it.

    • amydale

      Thanks Barb! Shae is an arts and crafts kid for sure…she LOVES it! I avoid it like the plague!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-A-Johnson/634781100 Nathan A. Johnson

    Great stuff. I think of creating so many things so I get stuck thinking about them. It is helpful I am writing a book now and have motivation to do that- yet the excuse for me is time. How do you do the time thing with creativity and not feel like you are not being “efficient” enough?

    Thanks for your thoughts…good…really good!

    • amydale

      First off, I think any thought that says I am not being (fill in the blank) enough…is not very constructive. If it is a life-giving and worthwhile endeavor you will make time. Sometimes I only have a couple hours a week for creativity, but I make use of it if at all possible.

      I think everybody has their own method for making it work. I have heard a lot of writers say that you need to write a couple hours everyday. That would be fantastic, but I am assuming those writer’s probably don’t homeschool and that is not an option for me. You might just have 20 minutes a day or a week. Just really utilize the time you do have and make sure that when you don’t have time that you aren’t using that as a weapon against yourself. For some reason I find that if I am hard on myself about not doing something (exercising, eating right, writing, you name it) that I am more resistant to wanting to do it at all!

      I’m so excited that you are writing and can’t wait to see the final product! You can do it!!

  • Kjersten

    “The ticket price for becoming a “real” artist is being brave.” So true. Thank you for your bravery; these words are life-giving.

    • amydale

      Thank you so much!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamiejones10 Jamie Jones Scammahorn

    What a perfect analogy…it feels just exactly like handing your baby over to a troll! So much fear in that…but with that comes growth – I have to keep reminding myself of this. Thanks for the encouragement! Btw, I’ve got your back in the arts and crafts whenever you need me!

    • amydale

      Thanks, Jamie! Glad it encouraged you! And…I need all the help I can get with arts and crafts!!