Even after formally studying creative writing, photography, and graphic design – I still just couldn’t see myself as a real artist. I don’t seem to fit what an artist should be. I don’t paint. I don’t know poetry. I can’t quote a word of Shakespeare (actually this was the first time I’ve ever spelled “Shakespeare” correctly without spell-check), and the only thing I’ve ever drawn in my whole life was a terrible self-portrait and a sketch of my left shoe.
It seems like I’m not alone in this. Quite a few people struggle to see themselves as creative. I’m more of a left-brained person. I study linguistics, analyze everything, make plans rather than just wing it. How could someone like me be a real artist?
Maybe we don’t need to change who we are. Maybe we just need a bigger definition of what it means to be an artist.
Jeff Goins wrote a great blog post for writers who struggle with knowing what to write about. Jeff says, “Most writers believe that what they write about is more important than how they write. And they are wrong.” I agree. Good writers aren’t good because they pick the right topic. They’re good because they can create something that connects with universal truths and core values: Grace. Injustice. Love. Internal conflict. The dignity of humanity.
Maybe you don’t think you can write a novel or a screenplay, but if you can create anything that touches me on a foundational level, you can consider yourself an artist.
What can you do that can touch someone on a foundational level?
Even if you don’t plan on being a full time artist, you can still let the beauty from your life show in what you do and what you create. And you should – because we need to see what you see.
You have permission to be an artist. You are included. You can create something that moves people. And you already have everything you need – you’re life and what you’ve been through.
So what can you do that will touch someone? What can you create that will show us what you see?
Leave me a comment and tell me what you’ve been creating lately. If you liked this article, retweet it, post it on Facebook, or email it to someone who needs it. And be sure to check back on Monday for another article on my blog.