Let It Out

Writing and creating are so hard for me. I feel in my bones that I’m a creative person, but I always struggle to translate my thoughts and feelings into something beautiful. I wrestle with cliches and wonder if what I’m creating will mean anything to anyone else. For a long time I thought maybe I was just insecure about sharing my work with others and needed to grow thicker skin. But I think I just have a criteria in my head for what I want to create, and I don’t always feel like I have the mind to do it.

Maybe I’m just using the wrong medium. Maybe I should have been a dancer, a singer or a painter. But how am I supposed to know? What is the balance between trying out all sorts of creative outlets to express your feelings and buckling down on one to practice, learn and grow your talent in that one thing?

I also have to consider what inspires me. Am I just living in a dull place? Do I need to watch different shows, less shows, read more, read this genre or that genre? Is there a formula? Or do you just let it out?

So many of my friends who create things tell me that: “Just let it out.” But let’s be honest — that doesn’t always make sense. Let out what I’m feeling? Put it onto a page? Sometimes I think the stuff I could let out is too cynical or not refined. I want to refine it before I show it to the world. I want to know that I’m creating good art.

And then I remember conversations I had in my high school art classes about what makes art good. I remember my classmates saying they thought modern art was pointless because it didn’t “look like anything.” For some reason, that hit a personal note with me and I told them just because they didn’t understand it didn’t mean it wasn’t art. Good art is true expression of self. It’s a way for people to process, and sometimes public processing helps the listener process as well. And processing is almost never refined.

Today I told myself I’d sit down and write. I had a great thought about the power of vision, but couldn’t figure out a way to put it into words. It didn’t make sense for a blog post. So I got frustrated and started to let voices get into my head that I wasn’t a good creator and that I had no future as a writer. But I’m starting to believe as I write this now that those voices only hold power over me when I give up. Just because it isn’t what I thought it would be at first doesn’t make it bad. It just makes it different. And different is sometimes what we all need.

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