Permission To Indulge In Creativity


I’m starting to see more and more in small ways why my writing time is something that I need so badly.  Something that is important for me.

We’ve moved into a new house at the beginning of the month.  March has been a whirlwind of moving, painting, organizing, a thousand little projects here and there.  We’re settling into a new place in a new neighborhood and finding a new rhythm of life.

Each day when I sit down with my coffee, in the early morning silence to read and pray, part of my routine is to write.  500 words is what I aim for, some days its more, some days it less but the point is not how many words of how much time I put in, the point is that I sit down and simply write.

These pages will likely never be read by anyone else, but they’re important for me because I need to write.  It’s not a need in the sense of an obligation, it’s a need much like I need to file taxes and I need to go to the grocery store to get the staples, milk, eggs and bread, because tomorrow cannot be the fourth day I watch my sweet husband scavenging through the cabinets for something to eat for breakfast.

I need to write because if I don’t, I will likely go crazy which is sort of the way I have felt this month.  Untethered.  Flighty.

When I don’t write I find myself in conversations talking and talking and talking yet saying very little.  When I don’t sit down and write, butt in chair, fingers to keys, I scurry around the house wiping the counters down, throwing in one more load of laundry, changing light bulbs and such.  All things well worth doing, but not vital or even that important in the moment.  Some days I think I have self discipline issues because I find it so difficult to just sit down and write.  Discipline is a factor for sure but there’s more at play.

There’s a part of me that feels like its indulgent to sit and write.  It’s the same part of me that feels like I should have set my alarm and gotten out of bed sooner on a Saturday morning rather than sleeping in until my body decided it was time to wake up at 9am (which is clearly what it needed.)

The part of me that feels like writing is indulgent is where I find the resistance and tension.  It’s how I justify skipping my writing time, in the name of ‘other important things’ I needed to do.

But I need to write.

And its important that I write.

It’s not important because maybe someday I’ll write a New York Times best seller.

It’s not important for maintaining a blogging presence and showing up every week with a new post.

It’s important because of the joy it rouses in me, for the life it sparks in me and the way I am more fully myself and more fully alive when I create.

Writing, the act of it, the expressions of thoughts and emotions in the written language grounds me while simultaneously freeing me to live creatively.

You’ve got your thing.  I’m convinced everyone dose.

It may not be writing but it’s something.  What is it for you?

Sit down and play piano.  Feel the rhythm course through your body as your fingers land softly and precisely on each key.

Mix a palate of paint and begin with the first brush stroke across a giant canvas, creating the bold and colorful images of your imagination.

Build something.  Measure and mark, sawing planks of lumber to the precise size you need.  Hammer, drill, sand, stain with hands that are a little splintered and a bit calloused from working with them.

Put on an apron and pull out your ingredients.  Mix and stir, season and salt, bake, roast, boil, sauté.

It will feel like such an indulgent activity that you will likely shy away from it.

You’ll feel the pull towards doing other ‘more important’ things with your time like respond to a few more emails, load the dishwasher, or run a few errands.

But I promise, the world will still go round on its axis if the to do lists waits and the dishes go unwashed.

So go, do things that feel indulgent, and live a life of creating.   

God is a creative God I believe.  I mean, look around.  Look at this great big beautiful world he created.

I can’t imagine how much pleasure and joy he found, how much fun he had coloring the tulips in the spring, deciding to dazzle the summer nights with fire flies buzzing about, setting the mountain sides ablaze in the autumn with vibrant shades of red and orange, and designing the thousands of snowflakes in the winter, each with different patterns and shapes, icy and crystal-y.

God clearly didn’t think creating was too indulgent and He created an entire world.

So now its your turn.

Go create. 

Go feel the blood course through your veins with life, vigor, and zest.

Indulge in it.  Enjoy it.

Live a big wonderful creative life.