How much of your time and energy do you spend trying to justify to other people the time you spend on your creative projects?
Family, friends, colleagues. Pets. The postman. Those people you went to school with decades ago and have absolutely nothing in common with now, but still for some reason feel a need to explain the intricate details of your life to.
In fact anyone and everyone who seems to not “get” why you need to spend time on the artwork that matters to you, why you need to give life to those wonderful ideas swirling round within you.
I expect it’s far more time and energy than you want to spend.
Time and energy that you could be pouring into your work instead, and taking it to a whole other level.
So what if you could let go of this need to explain yourself, to justify your need to create?
How freeing would that be?
How much more creative could you be without constantly feeling you need to create in secret, trying to surreptitiously snatch a few moments here and there without anyone noticing?
How much better would you feel, creating without that weight of guilt and shame that you’re daring to spend time on something that actually matters to you?
Letting go of the need for everyone else to understand begins with accepting that not everyone has the capacity to understand.
You could spend the rest of your life trying to explain and it’d get you nowhere.
They’re just not going to get it.
And that’s fine, they don’t need to.
Let’s illustrate this another way.
Joshua is vegetarian, and the most vile and stomach turning meal he can imagine is liver and bacon. He cannot understand why anyone would want to eat it, or could possibly enjoy it.
Give Joshua a tasty vegetable moussaka or tagine though, and he’ll be your friend for life.
Joshua was hanging out with his friend Jamie one day, then Jamie realised he needed to be home for his evening meal. “I need to go Josh, I have a delicious dinner ready and waiting.”
“Ok Jamie, of course,” Joshua replies, imagining any number of his own favourite dishes, and feeling suddenly hungry himself.
“It’s liver and bacon, my favourite,” says Jamie.
Hearing what his friend’s dinner was, Joshua’s view instantly changes.
He can understand the need to eat, and has his own favourite meals that he greatly enjoys.
But why on earth would anyone want to eat liver and bacon? He could not comprehend this for a second. It wouldn’t matter how much Jamie, or anyone else, tried to win Joshua over to the deliciousness of liver and bacon, he would never appreciate it.
To some people you know, maybe to most people you know, the time you spend creating is like a meal of liver and bacon is to Joshua.
They cannot see the appeal, or the need for it. They never will.
This doesn’t mean they don’t have stuff in their life that is important to them, that they’re passionate about, and that they want to devote time to, in the same way that Joshua understands that everyone has the need to eat, and has his own favourite dishes.
But those people in your life that don’t get your need to create, are unlikely to ever be converted. It’s a waste of time trying to.
Once you accept this, it allows you to let go of the need to constantly try to explain yourself, and to justify your creative time and work.
It means you can redirect your time, energy and focus to creating what matters to you, in the best way you can.
Then, at a later date, you can share this work with the people who will appreciate and enjoy it, and completely relate to not only the work itself, but the need to keep showing up and creating it, today, tomorrow, and every day for the rest of your life.
Forget about the family, friends, pets, postman and ex-school friends that never have, and never will, understand why you need to create.
Create for you.
Create the important work that matters.
When you do, you create not only for you, but for all of the rest of us who do understand too.
Thank you for reading. Please share these words. Subscribe for free updates.