Received a note from a fellow Etsian today. "Hi, I've added your item to my treasury list," it said. "Hope it's successful." This virtual networking caught me off guard a bit. "Who is this person?" I thought. "Do they email everybody? Is this how it works?"
At first, I was just tempted to disregard the message. Then, I looked at her site and read her bio. A former Quality Assurance Manager, she was laid off recently and started focusing on her two favorite hobbies: jewelry making and knitting. "Growing up I was never an artsy and/or creative person," her bio said. "I wanted to be, but did not have the confidence to try."
This comment got me thinking about my own work and my own confidence. Why is it there is so much fear attached to being creative and doing what you love?
In a recent Ted Talk, Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) addresses this issue and suggests maybe it's time for people start to think differently about creativity. "In ancient Greece," Gilbert says, "People didn't believe that creativity came from human beings, they believed creativity came to human beings from some distant, unknowable source." If that's the case, Gilbert points out, "Maybe creativity doesn't come from you, but rather it is on loan to you." (Phew...wouldn't that take the pressure off?).
Whatever the case, Gilbert's final thoughts are good ones. "Don't be afraid. Don't be daunted," she says. "If your job is to dance, do your dance. Ole' to you for having the sheer human love and stubbornness just to keep showing up."
Which brings me back to my Etsy friend. "'Ole', Irena," (and all of the Irena's out there). Your stuff is fabulous and so are you!
Altered Today: Thoughts on creativity, Email habits, Connectedness with other creatives, New pizza place, New Diner