Spending Creative Energy
I wish I could go back and recapture all the time and creative energy I wasted by channeling it into everything else but the art I was working on. I let fear stop me at the front door–the final step towards realizing my true vision. Every. Time. I refuse to let that happen anymore.
The path to success is paved by forward momentum and perseverance, not by negativity and fear. Be it writing or playing the piano, the act of creation yields power in its completion. Creation is a form of energy, and we have a choice in how we spend that energy. We can spend it creating, building, or singing something, or we can spend it by wasting our time, being resentful, or overcome with fear.
Using Fear’s Energy
When I used to perform and sing in live shows and concerts, the fear and being nervous was intense. As performers and singers (actors as well), we get used to channeling all the energy of fear into the performance instead of being overtaken by it. Fear becomes fuel because the show must go on. Taking a page from that prior experience, I am learning to use fear or anxious energy as fuel for my other creative endeavors such as writing and painting. Creating and making things, and sharing with others is profoundly filled with happiness.
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.”
–Norman Vincent Peale
According to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, pursuing happiness can lead not only to happiness itself but also to success. To put it another way, it is not a universal rule that to be a great artist, musician, or writer you have to be a tormented recluse. We can be happy, fortunate, and grateful, and at the same time, be outrageously profitable. After all, how people act or react are choices. Finish writing the book or not, either way, it’s a choice. As artists, we have to keep our eyes on the road ahead. Motivation is cultivated by staying active and focused, and by limiting downward spiral thinking.
Happiness and Professionalism
To be or not be happy, that is the journey. Having sat on panels next to other authors, I can safely say that fans and colleagues don’t want to know that an author they like is disgruntled and mean. Panel and events staff members don’t want to invite caustic authors or artists to speak at conventions. I can’t imagine the privilege of sitting on an author panel or being interviewed and not using my power towards creating an excellent experience for myself and others. When I finish my books (or any art), I celebrate and keep going. I move onto the next book and the next and then celebrate by encouraging others to finish theirs. I’d like to think that giving out encouragement will spread encouragement back.
Creative energy is a commodity of power. We have a choice in how we spend it.