Lady Gaga said her life was lonely. Danielle Steel said she started writing because she was lonely. And Dana Deaney said she never married or had children because she felt she could not do that and ply her craft. I wondered if loneliness is a natural part of creativity.
Are creatives different?
If you are passionate about an idea you are focused on being it and doing it and sharing it to the exclusion of a lot of other things. For instance, my choices, my interests and the way I spend my time are all influenced by my massive need to learn and teach. It takes the form of writing and coaching. If you are heavily in touch with your creative side for most of your life you may have felt that you are noticeably different or outside the main stream. And the truth is, if you are going to respond to your creativity and inner passion you have to spend time alone. You have to listen to your inner wisdom and you have to be true to yourself. As you stand firm in your individuality some people will be drawn to you and others will not. There is definitely alone-ness in following the beat of your own drummer.
What happens when you answer the creative muse?
When the idea for this article hit me I was watching The View where all three guests indicated there was loneliness in their lives. Danielle Steel writes all the time and has four or five books going at once. She has been married five times, has raised nine children and has still managed to write nearly 120 books. Lady Gaga writes her own music and designs her incredibly imaginative costumes and sets and of course performs on tour and records. There is no question that creativity requires devotion and commitment.
I definitely identified with their loneliness so I leaped over to my computer to see what I could discover about the relationship between creativity and loneliness. And that very drop-everything-and-go-write choice is a perfect example of answering the muse to the exclusion of all else. I was excited about the idea, I needed to explore and see what I could discover about the topic of loneliness and I needed to write it right now. So I did. I am sometimes even pulled out of my daily meditation by a thought that calls me to action right that minute. I have been casually reading articles that posed a question I wanted to answer for myself and immediately began to explore it by writing down my thoughts and responses. When the urge to create comes upon you nothing else matters. You answer the muse.
Creatives keep open to inspiration
As a creative you are open to new ideas. You are not looking for anything in particular you are just tuning into that powerful internal response that says “I need to explore that idea.” When I read I write down phrases that inspire me. Sometimes an idea presents itself that one of my coaching clients can use so I sit down and develop it in a form to share with them. Today when a bird was having breakfast at the bird feeder outside my window I wondered about how its day was going and how could I write a bird story as a teaching example. Or how could I look at the freedom of a bird’s life and apply that to my own? Creatives see opportunities everywhere, all the time.
You gotta love the excitement of your thought process
Creative people are passionate. They love to explore and examine and contemplate. And they have a very strong desire to share what they know and learn with others. My highest moments are when I’m creating a new teaching product, writing down something I know that I want to share with others. That discovery process, those decisions I must make, the results I know I can accomplish and the product I uncover are a natural high that I cherish. In fact, as I’ve watched my mind work to uncover a new idea and turn it into a valuable information product I’ve created my own content development system around the process that I can teach others. Our minds are amazing and using it to discover, uncover and create is totally satisfying.
And then there is the great joy of creating something from nothing!
I took a painting class. It had been a long time since I’d tried to paint and I was never very good at it but I craved creativity. The class began with a blank canvas and when I finished there was a pastoral scene that had not existed before! Not a great one, but from nothing had come something. It was totally satisfying. My mind, my imagination had visualized a scene and turned it into a tangible picture that allowed me to share my vision. That’s what creativity is all about – pulling your ideas from within and putting them in a form to share with others.
Rejoice in the amazing things you learn
If you want to learn more about something write about it. Whether it is an article like this that explores an idea that interests me or the contemplation of a new personal development course I have yet to create, the mere holding of an idea in my consciousness brings answers and resources from every corner. If you want to learn – teach.
You must bring your ideas to others
If you are inspired by something, if you are passionate about a topic, if you have ideas on how to help others get excited too, then you need to bring your ideas to those people. Whether you write or teach or make a video or give a talk, as a creative you need to share your ideas and thoughts.
And you do not have to be alone in your creativity. The internet is the great connector. I can find like-minded people all over the world. I can read what they say or connect with them in person. I can talk to people in England and Egypt and Australia and it makes the world seem smaller and friendlier. I can share my ideas to a much larger audience and have a greater chance of connecting with people who share my interests. The world is our creative connection. But first you have to put your ideas out there so others can find you.
Are we lonely?
We are alone that’s for certain. We are alone when we write our article. We are alone when we plan our telecourse. We are alone when we create time to go within and listen. We constantly make choices that honor and nourish our creativity. I’d much rather spend the morning exploring a new idea than visiting with a neighbor. I’d much rather read something that inspires me and makes me want to go teach that idea to others than work at something confining and repeatable. I cannot be in groups where the conversations are stories of the past. I want to talk about what you are thinking and doing right now to make your world interesting and vital and meaningful. Not everyone can do that. So yes, by the very nature of my creativity I choose to be alone – alone with my thoughts, my ideas and my self-expression. As far as I’m concerned that is simply hanging out with an interesting me. I’m not lonely but I am often alone. Are you lonely in your creativity?