“The paradox that you need to comfortably inhabit, if you wish to live a contented creative life, goes something like this: ‘My creative expression must be the most important thing in the world to me (if I am to live artistically), and it also must not matter at all (if I am to live sanely).’”
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
I have to laugh at life’s irony. Like, everyday.
What we do (or choose to create) is so important. And, at the
same time its not important.
What I mean is: the show you are about to sing is a big deal, right? There could be producers and promoters there looking for someone just like you! You could meet your future husband tonight because of your siren song! Anything could happen, and everything is riding on this gig! And it’s all very exciting and wonderful, truly!
Then, the gig is over. And then – there’s another gig! And it never ends. You continue having new experiences, and meeting new people, and hopefully creating new things over and over.
So, after awhile you realize that this thing you’re creating is simultaneously a BIG deal, and no big deal at all. It’s really cool, and it’s also just what you are doing . . . now. Does that make sense? I personally cannot put so much pressure on something I’m creating that I’ll just die if it doesn’t [work out, make me famous, ping instant billionaire status, cause the world’s sorrows to end, reet, reet, reet — ugh]. That feels awful!
I think this perspective – of our creativity being important and not important simultaneously – allows us to have more fun. It allows us to be more lighthearted about our mischief, and stop trying to be so damn perfect or amazing all the time. Yes, what we’re creating is important, but it’s also not!
And so, in the end, we all get to decide on the motivation for creating – because we like doing it, or because of something else.
So, you want to play a show, or paint a mural, or make a record, or write a book? Yay, go do it, but please consider that as important as it is, it’s also not important. Maybe then, self included, we can all have a little more fun creating for the sake of creating. And like Liz Gilbert points out, live a little more sanely.