The Cost of Creativity

Two of my three young adult children, in some way, wish to be writers. They are young adults though, so a million things could change, especially their minds. Dare I hope their minds? 

When people ask, "What are they studying?" or "What do they want to do?" or any variation of the inquiry, and I explain the potential writing part, they all exclaim, "Ahhh....just like their Mom!" I'm sure they expect me to overflow with pride and joy, but if I'm honest, pride is the very last emotion I feel in those moments. Apprehension, fear, heaviness, foreboding...followed by a fierce level of protectiveness, are more likely. 

Let me explain.

Writing is a beautiful venture. It fuels the soul and taps into the most intense longings of your heart. It's stretching and satisfying all at once. It's the closest to controlling your loveliest dreams and reigning in your most desperate fears. The creative arts are enriching and restorative and life-giving. They are also life-sucking.

Putting a pen to paper and sending it into the world for others to see will always leave you exposed and raw and open and vulnerable. Oftentimes, your work will be noticed, maybe even exalted. But sometimes, it can be misunderstood and criticized, or even worse, dismissed, and that rejection. It will break your heart. Such pain, my sweet children, I'd do anything to shield you from.

Writing for writing's sake, is the truest and most worthy endeavor. Writing for fame and fortune, more like a cautionary tale.

One might ask why I do it then. Well, if you ask any writer this question, whether successful or novice, most of us have the same answer: Because I can't not write. It's just not an option. 

So sweet children of mine, don't let my hesitation stop you. If the wild words call to you, if your writing demands to be written, take to the pen and let it flow. Whatever the result, I'm sure it will be magnificent, and I will love every word, for I understand the beauty and the cost.

Carry on, creatives. 


Holly and Jenn

Homecomings and Heartaches

It may look like just a La Croix can but it’s not.

It’s Noah’s. And we just dropped him off at the airport at the end of his Spring break.

I know this can is his because he always takes the tabs off his cans. He fiddles with them, he chews on them, he plays around them until it's time to drop them right into the cans from which they cometh. 

It used to totally bug me because those tabs typically ended up in the sink or the garbage disposal!

But not this one. I’ll drain the can carefully and toss it in the recycle bin, tab included. And when I do, it signifies the end. (I know!! I’m so dramatic!) But really, it's the end of our wonderful, spring break of freshman year, visit. The end of the nine days when my heart got back into its comfortable and familiar rhythm of Noah being home. The end of a glorious week witnessing his casual comings and goings, of feeling his presence.

When your child moves away and comes back for a visit, with them returns a level of joy when walking through the house and stumbling upon little reminders of them…like socks, hats, wrappers, keys, sweatshirts, whatever. Well, that’s all done now. Sure, he’ll be home in less than three months, but my soul had just forgotten the ache it endured when he was several states away. And my soul doesn’t want to remember.

It doesn’t get easier. My heart is heavy and also full, so I’ll hang onto that. Until the next homecoming.

Thanks for listening.
Holly and Jenn