Why I write: Find or reignite your creative fire

creativityThis is for anyone who creates, used to create, wants to be more creative, or wants to start creating something new or different. We all create things. Some of us make art, new recipes, or clothing. Some of us build businesses. Raise children. Creativity takes many forms. But life and time takes its toll. Our creative pursuits often fall to the wayside or we get burnt out, especially if we have to be creative for a living.

I once worked with a group of senior citizens in an assisted living center as a volunteer to help them write their stories. In the first session, there was a lot of silence until one woman finally said, the only thing I’ve ever written is a grocery list! The others laughed. I said – that counts! Because it does. (And yes, we got to their stories.) The ways we share our words and stories may have changed with social media. But any effort to capture our ideas, thoughts, plans and vision matter. That’s why we should do everything we can to make time to create and stay fired up about our creative passions.

One way to do this is to explore why you want to create. I am going to share why writing matters to me in the hope that it inspires you to find or rediscover your creative spark. Simply insert your creative pursuit in place of mine as a prompt and see where it takes you.

I write to…

Understand. Myself. Others. The world. Life.

I write to try to make sense of the insensible.

I write to uncover secrets. To unravel my feelings. To uncover the truth. To find my own truth. To show what I cannot tell. To give me a quiet, mindful space behind the incessant waterfall of my chattering thoughts and busy life. To figure out what I think when I don’t know what to think.

I write to help others think differently. To make a difference in a world that celebrates ‘same.’

I write to capture what others may feel but can’t say. To reflect what I see. To highlight the wrongs and praise the rights. To share what I’ve learned and learn from others. To inspire. To be inspired.

I write to figure out what I really want to say.

I write to stay sane. I write because I love the feel of my special brand of pen in my hand as it runs across my special brand of notebook as I sit in my special rocking chair where I nursed my kids back in the day in a different house a lifetime ago, the chair that now sits in the little nook of a writing space on the third floor of a house I rent today.

I write to remember where I came from.

I write because it makes me happy. I love to explore ideas, shape words, craft sentences, play with concepts, start a dialog. I love to get lost in the art of finding the exact way to capture a moment, a feeling, a person, a gesture, with words. Arranging the words and paragraphs to best tell the story at hand. Looking for the right open, middle and close. Reading my work aloud and seeing the audience reaction. Seeing the impact. Giving structure to chaotic thoughts and feelings. Organizing experiences in a way that makes more sense to me and resonates with others. I get lost in translating my thoughts into stories that people just might care about.

I write because I like thinking. I am curious.

I write because I think we are all characters in our own right. We all have stories that deserve to be heard.

I write because it makes me slow down. Listen harder. Be more observant. Patient. Empathetic. I hear between the lines of what is said and what is meant.

I write when I want to show someone how I feel. Talking always feels like a rough draft to me.

I write because I get depressed when I don’t.

I write because it is one of the few things that puts me in a zen state of flow where I forget time, life, problems and unfortunately, when it is time to eat or be somewhere <insert blanket apology here>. 🙂

I write because it is how I make meaning and without meaning, I don’t see the point of any of this.

I write to connect with others and something bigger than myself. To not feel so alone in a world that feels too big, noisy, crowded, busy and connected yet – disconnected in some way I can’t quite pinpoint. (Hmm, maybe I will write about that next.)

I write to connect with myself. To heal. To forgive.To move forward.

I write to understand who I was. Who I am now. Who I want to become. Where I’ve been and where I want to go. And who I want to come with me. 🙂

I write because it is who I am.

 

Okay. Now it’s your turn. Go!

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3 thoughts on “Why I write: Find or reignite your creative fire

  1. As I prepare to sell my home and move closer to work I’ve been reflecting on the places I’ve lived in my life.

    Where is home?

    Webster’s describes home as (1) one’s place of residence, (2) the social unit formed by a family living together, (3) a familiar or usual setting. I have a residence in Western Springs, but I do not spend that much time there other than to crash at the end of the day. The first definition applies, but it does not give me the warmth I expect to feel when I think of the word “home”. Since I live alone I am no longer a part of a family living together so #2 doesn’t apply. I spend more waking hours at work. It is very familiar yet I never consider it home so #3 is out. There has to be something more.

    They say you can never go home. Literally, I’ve always thought that meant once you move away from your hometown you change and no longer have things in common with those you left behind. It may be true, but I still consider myself a Hoosier even though I’ve lived more than half of my life in Illinois. My kids were born and raised here, yet I still have a soft spot for Hobart, Indiana – when I am elsewhere. When I am back in town I realize it isn’t my home anymore even though my brothers and old friends are still there. My parents lived there for 40 year and passed away many years ago as they were called back “home”. I still go back and cruise past the old homestead wondering about the people who live there now.

    To me home is where the heart is. The time my home felt truly warm and cozy was when I was surrounded by my kids when they were young. Two of them are in their middle 20’s and living on their own. I am very proud of them. They have their own lives and I appreciate the time they make to spend with their old man. My youngest turns 21 shortly and is a junior in college. He has his own life too. My kids were subjected to two homes for parts of their lives. I guess their definition is even more complicated.

    The homes of my life have served me well. They gave me what I needed when I needed it – be it as a kid, adult or father. It is simply now the place you can find me. If I’m not there, leave a message and I’ll get back to you when I return.

  2. I tell my kids that home is not a building – it’s the people in it. It’s a feeling. And it can happen anywhere – you can feel at completely at home in a group of trusted friends out at an event or in the quiet of your ‘place of residence.’ You can feel alone in both of those situations, too. It’s the people, the relationships, the energy. Home is whatever you make it, wherever it may be at any given time. My favorite objects enhance that – my rocking chair, my artwork, my books. All that said, I’m always happiest when my kids are home. 🙂

    Good luck with your move, Al.

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