How I Rescued My True Creativity From Being Abandoned, Alone, And Crying In The Dark

Wherever You Go, My Heart Will Call You Home
image: dancoachcreative

In a recent post we talked about the many different ways you’re creative, and how most of them you just do each day without giving them a great deal of thought or acknowledgment.

The more different outlets you realise your creativity has – the more your creativity seeps out in all its colours and all its guises – the more confident and reassured you feel.

Yes, you can genuinely, proudly and completely truthfully say you’re a living artist who creates each and every day.

But let’s go deeper.

There’s creating, then there’s being creative.

Being an artist is about who you are, not just what you do.

If I could divulge a little of my own recent history for a moment. In the last year or so, the vast majority of my written output has been for A Big Creative Yes, on our creative community CCS, in ezines, in the How To Get Focused book, in private email coaching, and a few other places.

In other words, most of my writing has been with my creativity coach hat on, and has all had the underlying aim of helping you be more creative.

This is all great, I’m so enjoying how everything is evolving, and last year was my best year yet, since I started out this adventure over five years ago.

But there was – there is – something missing.

A nagging feeling, a muffled, murmuring voice, a deep itch in the belly that can’t quite be reached. A knowing that, although I’m creating plenty, I’m not putting my whole heart on the page.

Yes I write with a great passion to help you find ways to create more in your own life. And I’m proud of all I write. But I’ve not been writing what I really need to be writing.

Back to that idea of life as an artist being about who you are, not just about what you do. I photograph, I dance, I sing, I cook, I write. This is all creative stuff I do.

It wouldn’t take you very long to think about and let me know about all the various amazing way you create too.

But, let’s return to the being, rather than the doing.

I am a poet.

It’s embedded within me as a way of seeing and being and experiencing life and expressing myself. It’s not just about writing poems.

Being a poet begins with finding those moments, those small stones, those tiny polaroids that already exist around us just desperate to be noticed and captured. And then beginning the almost impossible task of trying to articulate their beauty to others.

You can pretend, you can try to hide, or placate yourself, saying: “Woo, look at all this stuff I’m creating, look how creative I am, look how prolific I am!”

But if you’re ignoring a core part of who you really are – a vital, towering, central element to the incredible artist that is you – then you’re always going to feel a little empty.

So enough talking, what can we do about it?

I’ve decided the poet in me needs to get up off his derriere and sing and shout and dance a little more. I can’t pretend he’s not there anymore. I can’t leave him in the corner, curled up in a ball and crying in the dark.

So I’ve begun writing again, creative soulful ME writing, not just putting words on the page, but channeling them from some deeper well source that will always want to pour forth faster than I can keep up with.

I’m beginning small, practicing what I preach, and have started writing a fifty word story each day. If you’re interested, you can see them here – fiftywordsthensilence.

But this is about you more than it’s ever about me.

Who are you, really?

You may have a long list of different ways you create but who and what are you? What does the real artist within you look like?

A painter? A writer? An organiser? A singer? A communicator? A storyteller?

What’s at the core of you, the thing you ARE more than anything else, rather than just another thing you DO?

If you think you don’t know the answer, try imagining your life without a few of the different ways you create. Which could you survive without?

For me it’d be dancing, singing and photography to name three.

I love them all, but I don’t need them. But writing, well that’s a different matter altogether.

I couldn’t ever give up writing.

And I can’t help but want to make my writing all sensual and pretty and sad and visceral and heartbreaking and uplifting and romantic and poignant all at the same time. It’s that poet thing that lives in me.

That thing inside that cannot – and will not – be denied. That thing that can’t ever be kept in the corner, baby.

So tell me about you, and who you really are.

But far more important than telling me about it, admit it to yourself.

No don’t just admit it, be proud of it, celebrate it, embrace it and become it all over again, let it out from the shadows and into its rightful, central place in your life.

Before you go, I have a further confession I feel I need to come clean with you about.

I’m just getting back slowly, as I said. Being utterly honest though, there are parts of me I’m still denying.

In particular, two “lost” novels that I love equally and dearly in their own ways. One is called Within Us Sleeps, the other Redemption Hymnal.

I can’t hold them off forever, so in these coming weeks and months I plan to let my poet sing louder and longer, and together I reckon we can work out a way to bring these almost forgotten works back into the daylight too, back where they need to be.

A few final words to take away:

Stop denying who you are. Tell it to yourself, then tell it the world. Loudly.

Live it. Breathe it. Be it.

And in return, it will change your life.


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8 thoughts on “How I Rescued My True Creativity From Being Abandoned, Alone, And Crying In The Dark”

  1. Dan,
    This is a beautiful and honest post… one of many such that I’ve enjoyed reading from you.
    I agree with you that writing is what ‘I am’ rather than what ‘I do’. It’s been a part of every ‘job’ I’ve ever done, and now it’s at the core of my business life. Something I feel grateful for every single day.
    But the novel…
    It’s hiding in the same drawer as yours!
    Haven’t dared look at it for 7 years.
    Time to get brave.
    Thank you Dan.
    Jody x


    1. Jody, thanks for your comments. Maybe we can take tiny steps and just take a peek at the novel in the drawer first, then read a page or two, and build from there… Definitely time to be brave… 🙂


  2. I am very, very glad to hear you are embracing the artist in you again. Expository and persuasive writing are simply not creative in that same way, though one certainly makes choices in executing such work. The analytical component of that blog sort of writing is so high relative to the imaginative component.
    Particularly as you coach artists, it will be more natural not to let this side of you idle!


  3. Thanks Fritzie, yes I’ve been creative in plenty of other ways, but writing, and especially poetic writing is probably the thing I’m more “me” at, and better at, than anything else…


  4. What made you think of coming back into your creative writing now- what you described as a call from within? Were you doing reflective thinking about your day or did the feeling intrude upon you as you were doing other things? Did an idea pop into your head that demanded a poem? Or is it the approach of Valentine’s day?
    I ask this not as a personal question but rather because there are different places we may hear her own voices.


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