Me: “How do we record the Grammy’s because I have to teach tomorrow night… I still want to watch them?”
My Iron Man: “They were last night.”
The only televised award show that I actually watch every year, and I missed it. I even entered it as an event in my GoogleCal on the wrong day! For some reason, I my days were completely mixed up. I even started off my Monday night class welcome with an enthusiastic, “Happy Wednesday!” (Maybe I was still on island time after a Hawaiian vacation with my family…)
But the fact remained: I missed the Grammy Awards and would have to scour the internet for clips of my favorite music artists performing live. (The ‘awards’ part… I could live without that. I just love live music and the fact that the Grammy’s hold a free concert in my living room.)
I started my on-line search and was sucked in to the after-award news. So many artists (I mean, hundreds!) made inspiring, pioneering, fantastic music last year. So many artists were nominated for awards. So many artists weren’t nominated for awards. So many artists will never be nominated for a Grammy, despite their tireless commitment to the craft of music.
What I love is that these musicians still create.
They dare. They pour their souls into their music and their hearts into their lyrics. Their albums are either wildly popular or completely ignored. Their songs are either critically acclaimed or mocked on Saturday Night Live. But, despite the risk, these musicians trust their passion: they create.
Elizabeth Gilbert writes that, “creativity is the hallmark of our species.” She suggests that every human being is a creative being, simply because we come from a long line of evolved thinkers, tinkerers, storytellers, makers, builders, farmers and problem solvers. The urge to create is primal and innate. The urge to win a Grammy is hollow at best.
Gilbert explains: “We make things because we like making things. We pursue the interesting and the novel because we like the interesting and the novel. If you are alive, you’re a creative person.”
Not a musician? (Me neither, despite my karaoke-in-the-car-skills.) Create something anyway. Crochet a baby blanket. Build a bird feeder. Sketch a picture for your daughter. Make an iTunes playlist. Refurbish an old stool. Write a poem. Hang a picture. Paint your mailbox. Take a walk in the woods and do an impromptu photoshoot (remember my advice for a micro-adventure?). Bake cupcakes and change two ingredients in the recipe. (Or try my pumpkin bread recipe.) Choreograph your own yoga sequence. It doesn’t matter if your finished product is perfect. It matters the process of letting your creativity flow naturally and freely transpires. What materializes is perhaps irrelevant. You probably won’t win a Grammy for it. But do it anyway. Create, just for the feeling of creating.
This, Gilbert explains, is what it means to develop fierce trust in creativity. “You were born to create, regardless of the outcome,” she writes in Big Magic. “Anyhow, what else are you going to do with your time here on earth—not make things? Not do interesting stuff? Not follow your love and your curiosity?” That sounds like a really, really, boring life.
Creating sounds so much more fun. Despite the risk of being laughed at, or ridiculed, or ignored, or judged, or failing, I’m still going to create. Even if I never create anything completely novel, or completely perfect, or up to par with Taylor Swift, I’m still going to trust in creativity and keep creating. I hope you do to.
What will you create today? What are you curious about? What is interesting to you? How will you trust in the creative process and dare to create?