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The Joy of Creating

People have an inborn need to create. It’s not about how much money you can make from it or how good at it you are, you just HAVE to do it. You have a driving NEED to paint that painting, or play that song, or write that story, or decorate that cake, or grow beautiful flowers, or whatever it is.
You can compare this creative need to a child learning to walk. He isn’t good at walking. In fact, he can’t walk at all. He wiggles all over, stretches himself, and finally figures out how to roll. He gradually progresses to scooting, then crawling. He pulls himself up using low tables and legs and learns how to balance himself. At last he takes a few tentative steps and promptly falls down. But he gets back up and tries again, until finally he is really walking and then running. And then there’s no stopping him.
He didn’t do any of this to please you. He didn’t learn to walk because he was going to be paid for it. He wasn’t relying on your approval or condemnation (although most parents are wise enough to encourage their child). He certainly wasn’t telling himself, “I’m not very good at this, so I guess I won’t do it anymore.” He just had to move. And so he did. And during the whole process, he experienced joy.
We don’t condemn a child just because he is still holding onto the furniture and falling down a lot. We keep on encouraging him and giving him the opportunity to try. There may be a few people that we pay because they are exceptionally good at running or dancing, but should that stop us from enjoying our own process of learning to walk? I think that we need to be patient and kind with ourselves, and keep on trying to do those things that brings us joy. I may be at the toddler stage of music or art, but does that mean I should quit? When little children draw, they do it for the joy it brings them. They are not worried about how good they are. They just need to express themselves. Later they begin to believe in the adults around them who tell them they can’t draw, and so they stop trying.
We listen to the negative voices all around us far too much. We need to stop believing them. We need to listen to the inner voice that drives us to do and try and grow. We may never be “good enough” in the eyes of the world, and our audience may only be those who love us, but we will experience the joy that comes from the process of creating.

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