Monday, April 29, 2013

Challenge #4: With A Little Help From Our Friends

From day one this website has been about keeping it real with other artists and creatives about the ups, the downs and all the in-betweens of living a creative life.  So let me just say straight out that last week was really rough for me emotionally.

I found myself feeling like everything I did was crap, like none of this “creative” stuff I do really matters and that nobody even cares that I do it at all. How could I have been foolish enough to think that anybody would really care about my work let alone want to pay me money for it!?  Basically I sat around having a pity party for myself wondering why I wasn't like a “normal” person, with a “normal” degree and a “normal” job where life would be so much much much less complicated.

But I don’t have to explain this to you guys, you know exactly what I mean I’m sure.  We’ve all been there at one time or another.

Sometimes in this creative life I lead I feel as if I am essentially drudging my way through some dark, murky and infinite abyss.  I keep flailing my arms about around me as I go, hoping to find some sort of hand rail, or wall, or defined pathway, to let me know I’m heading the right direction and not simply around in circles but all I ever seem to come up with is air.  So without any other recourse I simply keep plugging along in the darkness, hoping the direction I set out on will eventually get me to where I want to be and not into some bottomless pit, or off a cliff along the way.  Sounds enticing doesn’t it?

The beauty and the curse of a creative life is that it has no boundaries, it has no rules, it has no predecessors to simply follow along behind.  The course for everyone is their own, they get to make up their own rules, their own path and their own way to travel the distance to get to their goals.

I always find myself looking around at other creatives and thinking that their paths are so pretty, clearly labeled and that they look like they are traversing them so effortlessly.  While mine on the other hand resembles more of a swampland, combined with a mine field, and maybe a few ravenous wild zombies chasing me while I run around like a crazy person trying not to get blown up or drown in a pool of goo.

But that’s the thing, our paths never look as pretty to us as they do to others.  They never look as clear to us as others seem to perceive they are from the outside.  While we can get lost in a maze of our own making, others can look at our lives and see the beauty in the path we’ve followed.

I found myself thinking a lot about this while I was aimlessly wandering around my creative path, avoiding the ravenous zombies, this past week.

When I am lost in my head so deep that I can’t even see which way is up (like this past week), my friends are always there to offer that outside perspective and let me know which way is up again.  It’s so easy to loose track of where we are and how far we have come as creatives, that being given the gift of understanding how others see you from their perspective is one of the most amazing gifts that can be given to another artistic soul.

Creative people tend to be so insecure about their work and assume, no matter how many time you may tell them, that nobody likes what they do, or that nobody cares.  Hearing the contrary from another human being can be life altering.  It can literally mean the difference between someone throwing in the towel for good on their work or continuing to pursue their passions no matter the challenges they face.  A simple “Hey, I think what you do is amazing,” can literally be that important in the life of a creative person.

So on that note, the challenge I put to you this week is to encourage as many of your creative friends as possible!  Send them a hand written note, post a comment on their website, shoot them a message on Facebook, invite them to coffee, whatever, just let them know that you care and that you think they and their work are amazing and of great value.  You have no idea how much something that simple could change their life. If you can’t think of what to write or say, feel free to grab this weeks challenge badge to share with them!

Now, on the flip side of the coin, maybe YOU are the creative person who could really use this bit of encouragement in your life.  Maybe YOU need to hear that what you do matters, and that your work is of value and importance.  I learned a long time ago that there is nothing wrong with admitting that you need a little encouragement! (In fact, I think I pretty much told Kate point blank that I needed a pep talk last Monday at our weekly meeting) If that is the case, we have something special just for you!  Shoot us an e-mail at: with your home mailing address and get ready to receive a little something special from us to you. (We promise your info will stay secure and that you won’t get on some weird mailing list.)  Make sure you get your address to us ASAP since we have a limited number of special somethings we can send out!

So there you have it lovely people, mission encourage a creative is officially a go!

If you’ve ever been creatively lost along your own path we’d love to hear about it! Drop us a line in the comment section below to share your story!


  1. Well written, my sister. Do not despair, we all find ourselves in that abyss, whether we are creative or not. Hang in there, know that you are the bomb!!!

  2. Well Kadie I really do think that you are freakin' AWESOME and you deserve to bask in some deserved praise. You may not have chosen the straight and narrow path but your path will lead you also some unparalled heights and breathtaking vistas. Deanna