Take Steps Back to Move Forward

I don’t generally listen to classical music. Not because I don’t like it or anything, I do enjoy it. It’s just that there’s so much amazing stuff out there that I have trouble wading my way through the groovy, bluesy, rocking, and jazzy forest to arrive at the peaceful, timeless oasis of classical. The other day, I’d been in the car running all over town and managed to complete that journey by turning on the local classical radio station.

As the timeless strains filled the vehicle, I was transported back about 28 years to my early childhood. A family friend was a fan of classical music and I would occasionally ride in his car. Each time I had the chance to ride with him I would get really excited because he would play classical music and tell fantastic stories that followed the mood of the music. As it would peak in intensity and drive, he would bring the story to a climax. Calm, peaceful portions would bring the story to a resolution or comedic relief. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was enjoying a front row seat in a masterclass on storytelling. I can’t say for certain, but it very well could have been those moments that ignited my passion for telling stories.

So, I drove the rest of the way home thinking about those moments and marveling at the impact they had on me. I was struck with a sense of urgency and reignited passion to encourage all of my fellow creatives out there to continue pursuing your art.

As creatives, writers, artists, and storytellers, I don’t think we realize just how important it is that we continue to do what we do. Frequently, we get bogged down in the daily grind of the work. We spend so much time close to the process that all we can see is the next story, post, brushstroke, sculpture, song, or photograph. We forget to step back and, as a result, we miss out on so much!

Everyone and their brother is aware that 2017 is winding down. If you weren't sure, that’s why you’re seeing countless resolution posts, eleventy million “things” to do to make 2018 more or less “something” along with countdowns galore. It’s that time of year! Rather than approaching this post from that same angle, I want to simply encourage you to remember your passion and your purpose. I’m convinced that if you can remember exactly why you do what it is you’re doing, success and enjoyment will follow. So, just take a deep breath and step back!

Step Back a Little

You started this journey for a reason. Maybe you were stressed and needed an outlet of some sort. Maybe you’ve always had an affinity for a particular creative outlet and you struggle pinpointing when you “started.” Regardless, remind yourself why you continue. I’d imagine it’s because you find a level of fulfillment and enjoyment from it. Remember that! (And, if you don’t, why are you forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do? Stop it!)

Step Back a Lot

You never know who is paying attention. I’d imagine my parent’s friend, Bob, (Yes, that’s really his name.) had no idea that his storytelling would stick with me for the rest of my life. Keep writing, keep telling the stories you share through your art, music, sculpture, cinematography, or whatever else you create. You never know what impact your story is going to have. You might just give someone the gift of storytelling and art that sustains, shapes, and enhances the rest of their life.

Step Back a Lot More

I know it doesn’t feel like it, but the creatives and the art of the world NEED you! Every single person that has the courage to be vulnerable and share an intimate piece of themselves through artistic expression has the power to change the world. We live in a world that is closer than ever before. With social media, the internet, and all the technology surrounding us, we might inspire someone on the other side of the world that we will never have the opportunity to hear from. Every single piece of art is powerful and necessary. Share your art with the world!

Are you passionate enough to be ignored?

Yes, you might share and share with no apparent results. Are you okay with that? If you are, you’ll join the ranks of the artistic masters from years past. Many incredible artists lived creative lives simply for the sake of pursuing their passion. Many of them received no encouragement, no platform, no audience, and no opportunity to pursue their passion full time. But they didn’t let that stop them, and their art fills galleries and hearts to this day.

Are you okay engaging your artistic expression simply because you have a passion for it? If not, what’s holding you back or what are you hoping to accomplish? If you wouldn’t continue to create even if you never get paid for it, can you truly say you are passionate about it?

Just some things to think about as we wind down this year and march into next. I hope that it is one filled with creativity, passion, and fulfillment!

Call to Action

I wrote an eBook about how to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of your success. Everyone has creativity deep inside and dreams to match. If you want to start or reinvigorate your Creative Journey, check out my free eBook: The Creative Journey — A Starter’s Guide.

Click here to get it for free!