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

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