The most important things I learned from attending the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association conference in Seattle last week:
Our creative process is powerful and tenacious.
Our job is to translate the gifts our imaginations give us as accurately as possible.
Our work is to build the craft to allow us to complete that translation.
Our fears intrude between us and our ideas, turning our ideas into shadows.
Our most profound fear is that we do not know the future. Since we cannot know the future, this profound fear always comes true. Understanding this liberates us from the chokehold of this profound fear.
Our creative process seeks to escape our fears, profound and mundane. If we get out of its way, our creative process will accomplish this escape.
Our creations, if intended to be shared with other humans, will find their way to other humans who appreciate them.
Our joy that results from a powerful and tenacious creative process freeing itself (and us) from fears and finding connections with other humans is immeasurable.
Whether your creative process expresses itself in writing, or another art form like painting, music, gardening, cooking, speaking, sculpting, or simply in living, invite yourself to trust its power and tenacity. When you find yourself feeling disconnected from your creativity, it’s likely there is fear in the way. Let the fear speak, and trust it will dissipate. Because it will. Creativity is an invitation to trust. Take up the invitation.
(Written with gratitude to Bill Kenower, whose sessions on creativity inspired all of the above and were in themselves an invitation to trust.)