Why do you create? Why do you snap a photo, write a poem, paint a picture, or do any of the hundreds of things you can do? The reasons are as numerous as the creative acts themselves, I’m sure.
Here’s a reason that seems to keep popping up for me in the strangest places.
Have you watched Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris, starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams? If you’re an artist, you should give it a try. You’ll really get to know some greats of the past like Picasso, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway and others. What is striking about this film is the notion that, though these greats are no longer with us, their work remains. It’s easy to pick up a copy of their work anywhere – maybe not as easy to actually get through the writing, depending on your genre preference – and the fact of the matter is, they’ve made an impact: a creative footprint on this planet. How cool is that?
This made me think of my own writing projects. Without my realizing it, this is what has motivated many of them. Letters to my daughter, my work in Heartmind Wisdom and Tending Your Inner Garden, my poetry collection, this blog…I want them in the hands of generations to come. I’m not coming from an egotistical place, but from the sheer joy of my message being read by countless people. A gazillion bonus points if these words heal and inspire others.
The other day my dad brought over a couple cardboard boxes stuffed with dusty books. “Keep what you want,” he said. “There are some great biographies in here.” And there, in those boxes, I found Grace Kelly, Hillary Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Jackie Onassis, Amelia Earhart…and other people I’d never heard of before! This was another awesome example of leaving an impression on the world, leaving something behind that says “Hey, I existed and I did some cool things here on this planet!”
The other place I found immortality in words was at a celebration of life for a young girl who passed away last month. During her breath-taking and tear-jerking ceremony, a slide show displayed tweets from her Twitter account. She was gone, but there were her words for all of us to read and be inspired. She wrote about God, joy, family and her love of life. The energy in them was undeniably hers and it was continuing to do its magic for her family and friends the way she had done in life.
Why do you create? What plunks you down in front of the computer, at the easel, or at your desk? What prompts you to pick up your camera, your guitar or your child?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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