Artists and Writers: Never Give Up on Your Light

Dont Stop Believing

Don’t Stop Believing

Every human being carries a light within. Every single one of us. If we’re still breathing, we have a light that burns inside of us and shines out into the world. But writers and artists have a very particular kind of light. Our light appears ephemeral but it has the potential to be long lasting, due to our tendency to record our creative efforts and distribute them to the larger population. It can also be very emotionally nourishing to others as it usually manifests through archetypal images and stories.

When artists and writers are divided from our authentic selves our light flickers and dims.

This can happen when we don’t stand up for a cause we believe in, or we don’t honor our personal needs for alone time or quiet space. Or when we don’t feel we have a community of other creatives who “get” us. Or enough room in our life to play and have fun.

It happens most especially when we are not immersed in a regular cycle of creating things.

When your light is flickering you will feel more tired than usual, depressed, and irritable. Envious, judgmental thoughts about others will creep in. The world will feel bleak, narrow, and kind of boring. When you’re in this state it can be incredibly difficult to see beyond it. Starting a new story sounds seriously daunting. Finishing your novel? Impossible.

But you’ve got to hang in there. As long as you’re still alive, so is your light. Its potential never lessens, whether you’re eight years old or eighty. Its true power never dims. That means that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t written anything in years, you can always start again. Or if you haven’t written anything ever, you can start now. If you’ve painted a hundred pictures you ended up hating, there is still a chance that the next one you paint will be the one that you love.

But to bring life back into your light, you absolutely cannot give up on it.

As a writer and artist, YOU cannot give up on your light.

When you feel your light flickering, you’ve got to throw yourself into making things even if it’s difficult and uncomfortable at first. If you can’t even think about finishing your novel right now, cook an elegant meal instead. If you’re terrified to pick up the paintbrush, take a stab at writing a poem. Feel free to cross-pollinate with your creativity. As long as you are creating something with the hope of attaining grace, and beauty, then you are feeding your light.

When you finish reading this post sit quietly if you can. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Feel your creative light warming you from within. Put your mental fingertips on it and feel the strength of its breath. Is it flickering? Or is it pulsing strong? Ask it what it needs. Feel where its desire flows.

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10 Comments

  • Reply AR Neal 10 February, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Needed this, especially today. Thank you!

  • Reply Kara 10 February, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Yes, needed this. I am a new writer and often feel beneath the writing of others or not as smart or creative as “them”. I just have to keep putting my thoughts down. Thanks.

  • Reply hilarycustancegreen 11 February, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    A good post. I am all for cross-pollination, it feels like playing away, but it always enriches your real work.

  • Reply ThatDizzyChick 12 February, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Very inspiring. I took, what I thought to be, a short break from writing. That was 8 years ago. Don’t ever stop writing, even if you are just writing one or two paragraphs aday.

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 12 February, 2014 at 10:08 am

      I completely agree! I also took a “short break” from writing after college, and my short break turned into 6 years. I totally get where you’re coming from…

  • Reply Beth Ellyn (@BethEllynSummer) 12 February, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Needed this today more than ever! great post!

  • Reply Robyn LaRue 12 February, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Cross-pollinating is so helpful and most of us have more than one creative area. For Kara…I still feel that way after five or six novels. 🙂

  • Reply Jon 14 February, 2014 at 3:47 am

    So very true – if I don’t write (even just a blog post) regularly I get grumpy and twitchy and out-of-sorts.

    I like your concept of doing something else creative when you’re struggling with your first love. I find making cakes helps fix writer’s block. But then, cake helps with most things!

    • Reply Lauren Sapala 14 February, 2014 at 9:42 am

      “Grumpy and twitchy” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

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