5 Questions to Ask Your Creative Intentions
When I first started this crazy wonderful writing journey several weeks ago, my new friend and inspiration coach (the very same one I met here) supplied our group with a surprisingly poignant writing prompt. The surprise was not in her doing it, but in the fact that these seemingly simple questions dug up some deeply personal responses.
I was green to all of this, and I was closed. Being open is something that comes painfully slowly as a writer, and with each shedding of the skin we find that we can yet stand to expose more.
But on that first morning, anything using the first-person felt too vulnerable, and so these questions undoubtedly poked and tormented me, until as honestly and openly as I could, I answered them.
My friend, called this prompt The 5 Questions. And I now pass them on to you, to answer if you dare.
1. Who are you?
(Don’t break into a sweat yet — answer this with your name.)
2. What do you love to do and what are you supremely* qualified to teach others? (*not just qualified, but supremely qualified.)
3. Who do you do it for — or who do you want to do it for?
4. What do they want or need?
5. How do they change or transform as a result of what you give them?
Now dear reader, I will not peel back all of my layers and expose the nitty-gritty of my answers. However, I will tell you this: my answers both shocked me, and felt as though they were something I had always known.
The main ticket item in this prompt for me, was to admit that I wanted to be an artist for my (someday) children.
I had a great friend in college who’s mother is an artist. He is one of the most free-spirited people I have ever met. He frequently tries new things, changes life plans, and switches jobs, and if any of these things don’t work, he quickly abandons them and tries something else.
And while some might frown upon this, I think his fearlessness of trying and starting fresh is remarkable; because we’re all holding onto things we’d be better off without — are we not? And I partly attribute this side of him to having grown up with a creative parent.
Artists (and writers) must be fearless to try things, otherwise we would all hover over drafts that never get seen or published.
And so we make what me make, and we release it, hoping it will find its carrier pigeon and ultimately, find someone ready to receive it.
Elizabeth Gilbert once said that,
“If your mother was a martyr then you will be a martyr, and if your mother was an artist then you will be an artist.”
In answering these 5 questions, I felt this truth in my response. I was not just choosing to be creative for selfish reasons (although this is admittedly part of it) but being creative can also be thought of as a legacy.
While I would like to leave my someday children with money and stability, what I would like even more is to leave them with the scrappy skills they’ll need to be someone in this world.
To be the inventive, brave person who tries things endlessly, without tiring and without fear of failure. Because while money and stability may run out, this strength for living is bottomless.