Notes For Creators

cross fit for the creative soul

Show them that you mean it

Are you a yogini? A yogi? The type of person who does yoga most days a week? Everywhere you go?

When this image was snapped I lived on the road more than I lived at home. The yoga mat went with me everywhere. More importantly, I used it every day. Even in tiny hotel spaces flanked by an open closet and the bathroom door.

Now I don’t. I’m no longer yoga active. I’m a sometime yoga-er. My daily physical exertion choices have morphed. I pool walk. I swim. I pole walk. (With limbs cut from trees.) I sometimes bike. I sometimes do spurts on a pilates machine. Yoga, not so much anymore. It’s a sometimes thing.

If your dream is to become an attorney, a coder, an indie biz owner, a chef, an accountant, a doctor, a plumber, a wood worker — good — people will support you.

A writer? A cartoonist? An artist?

Not so much.

Why?

Because they love you.

Because they believe it’s a freakish odds lottery of talent, persistence and connections — that also requires a mega blast of good fortune.

In short, it’s far fetched.

Most people who don’t live in a city dominated by the creative class don’t know successful creatives. They don’t know people making a decent living from their art or writing or cartooning or humor or music.

My own Dad was dismissive of the creative life:

“The sooner you quit this writing/creativity crap the sooner you’ll be successful.”

That’s love.

I’m only being partly sarcastic. The non-sarcastic part took decades to acquire.

Because it’s also truth for most people. We all default to what is known. The easy paths are the well-trod paths. Banker, baker . . . (but no longer candlestick maker).

If you’re going to pursue your creative dream you need to push past the resistance of well-meaning people — those who care for you most. They want you to be successful in the most effective ways possible. The known ways.

How do you do this? How do you push past cultural resistance?

You show them that you mean it.

If you’re going to make yoga your living, you do it everyday. Unapologetically.

If you’re going to make tattoing your thing, you do it. In every small way you can.

You push past the love and care and mental constraints of others by doing it every day.

Show yourself you mean it.

And do it so consistently that you show others you mean it too.

Over time you become the town oddity, the one always sketching. Or the one always jotting ideas in a notebook that you carry with you all the time.

Show them that you mean it.

It’s how it works for life too. You know, the universe. You do it until life relents and opens the way for you.

Decades later people who care for you will say, “Yeah, she was always doodling.”

They will tell fond stories of you doing your creative thing when others were on the playground or at the mall or hanging out.

You will be the one people point to when some young spud speaks up, wanting a different kind of life.

They’ll say, “Why not?”

They’ll point to you and say, “Why don’t you ask him how he did it?”

 

 

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