"I can't remember the writer, but I clipped this quote from "Science of Mind" magazine: 'You are a novelist when you have written a novel. Getting published is beside the point. You're an actor when you act, an artist when you make art. If you pour yourself into it for the sheer delight of creating characters and moving them around, someone will want to share your delight.'
"That's exactly what all creative work is: sharing delight. To look at it any other way is to constipate your creative self. You may ask yourself, 'What good will it do you after you create it? You're living in a dream world!'
"That's right. Creativity IS living in a dream world. A world where you constantly dream up the ideas and projects you want to do. You must get lost in them. You must live those dreams.
"The first songs I wrote were so exciting. I would finish one and have a dozen ideas for new hooks and titles backed up in my song idea book. It was one of the happiest, most exciting times of my life.
"Then I moved to Nashville. I got caught up in all the business angles. I knew how much you were likely to make off a No. 1 song. I knew about radio and TV royalties and record sale royalties. Before long, my writing slowed down to a snail's pace. What had been a delight that kept me constantly playing with ideas and tunes became a business.
"I remember driving home one night and being depressed. I made a definite decision that night, and it was simple: I will write for pure pleasure the rest of my life. I will offer my songs to publishers and artists; but if no one records them, I'll record them myself and put out my own records.
"I remember Dolly Parton saying something like this: 'If I'm going to write songs and sing and make records - even if no one wants to release them - I'll sell them out of the trunk of my car.'
That's the kind of decision we must make. To throw yourself into the delight of doing your own thing. Emerson was right when he said, "Your calling is in your talents. To not answer our calling is something we must never even consider." Don't ever think twice about not doing it.
Whew - what a reminder! I love the reference to creative constipation.
Another resource came my way this past week in the form of a new blog, authored by Bruce K. Haley, a wonderfully gifted photographer and brilliant writer. Check out his blog for ongoing inspiration at www.bkhaleyphotography.com.
In the meantime, I'm reminding myself to "do it for the sheer delight." Even the second-guessing that goes along with my upcoming musical gig with Ron!
Linda Arnold, M.B.A., is a certified wellness instructor and chairwoman/CEO of The Arnold Agency, a marketing communications company specializing in advertising, public relations, government relations and interactive marketing. Reader comments may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 25301 or e-mailed to livelifefu...@arnoldagency.com.