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Creating But Not Owning

The Creative Journey

With the exception of a few special people, creating is hard work.

I prefer a broad definition of “creativity” to:  making something… a garden, a meal, a relationship, a painting etc. … with a open mind and heart. Being fully enveloped in the world and nurturing a sense of wonder. Inserting some of myself into the process.  The output of the creative mind is the unexpected, the new.

I want to be creative, in fact, I need to be.  But I’m afraid of what people will say. That they will judge what I am doing. Which is, exactly what happens. People will tell me what they think.  If I’m feeling strong, I don’t care what they say. It’s my blog post,  my sketch, my pasta dish… I don’t care what anyone thinks.

If I am feeling low or tired, however, any criticism feels defeating. Sometimes even crushing. So bad that it makes me not want to take that risk again.

My Creative Journey

Right now, I am learning to paint. It’s frustrating to be so ‘bad’ (unskilled) at something. After all, I am a competent adult. Why is learning this so hard? I feel small and humble as I try to get my hand to do what my brain is telling it!

The fear of judgement is lessened as I use humor and humility to feed my spirit. If everyone creating a business or a novel needed the acceptance of others to make progress, I’m sure we’d have a lot fewer, of both.

Creating Without Owning

It seems difficult to “create without owning.” After all, if people like my creation, I will get the “credit” for doing something “good.” If I take the credit, then I must also take the blame.

What if I didn’t take credit for “good” (approved of) creations. What if, even though I have inserted a part of myself in the end product, I don’t take credit? What if, I just let it speak for itself?

Do you have experience with creating and not owning? Just putting what you’ve produced out in the world without attachment? I’d love to hear your experiences with creating and owning or not. The journey is fascinating.

Image credit: Tao Essentials photo by Medena Rosa


2 Responses
  • Ben
    November 25, 2018

    Hi Deborah,

    Interesting entry. I’m not sure if got the context right, but I guess what “creating without owning” means is to be not possessive. For instance, if you created a story, it will be confined to your intention but it doesn’t have to be that way. Readers will most likely have their own interpretation. And to say that their interpretation categorically is wrong is being possessive.

    So, it doesn’t necessarily mean not taking credit for your work.

    Just my cent.

  • Deborah
    Deborah
    November 25, 2018

    Hi Ben, agreed. to me, the important thing is to put something out there. Yes, i created it, so for the ‘creation’ I get ‘credit’. To me, credit also goes to all the people who believe in me and support me. (that’s why nearly every book has an acknowledgment).

    there is something so interesting that happens when I hear people discussing, for instance, a character I created. I had a character in mind, but readers take the character to places I never anticipated. It’s like having a child, in a way, you give birth and nurture, but in the end… that child is free to be whatever s/he wants.
    what kind of writing do you do?

    What do you think?

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