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Day 52: The purpose for all creative work

Wed, Sep 13, 2017 | Read in 3 minutes

Every time I open a new note to write my draft for a blog entry, I have to ask myself of my purpose. I’m not asking so much from my creativity like I used to. I used to want to achieve a particular quantity of followings. I wanted to be #famous. I wanted my writing to provide for me every damn day.

Reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic taught me that I was doing it wrong.

Liz Gilbert says you can’t expect anything out of your creativity. You can’t demand for it to provide your basic needs. And I know I’ve already talked about this in some post somewhere on this blog. But it does help to keep going back to one’s purpose.

My creative purpose is to find freedom in expression and to cultivate imagination.

Oftentimes, I get sidetracked. Especially when I think of all the money and fame that creativity could potentially bring. But I find that these “material” things that we think can satisfy us really can’t. As humans, we will always be looking for the next big high. But as creatives, creating IS the high.

Somehow, I am tempted to delete this post—all of it—because I feel as if purpose can be such a subjective topic. So discussing it certainly won’t make sense.

I understand that people who create do so for a myriad of reasons while others create for the sake of creation. In my case, I create because I want to let out words. I want to express in writing what I can’t in everyday conversation. I want to show through writing how everything in this world fills me with wonder. How technology has changed so much of how we live and work for better or for worse. How even the sound of birds singing trigger beauty even without seeing them with our eyes.

For me, there is meaning in creation. People can’t see it at first glance, but everything else that surrounds us was created for us. And we can take part in that process of creativity too. There’s no guarantee that what we do will entertain, help, or save someone else. But there is that hope. The ever underrated word, hope.

If our lives were simply made for us, then maybe we should just keep our ideas and imaginations to ourselves. But hope tells me ever so persistently, that my life is not just for me. That whatever I create might lead to saving someone else. That if I write this, someone might read it and get it and feel less lonely.

Why do I believe this? Because I’ve been there. Someone else’s creativity has saved me so many times than I can remember. Someone else’s music or book or speech has uplifted me and led me to a sense of renewal. I’ve experienced all of these too many times not to believe in hope that is born out of creativity. Sometimes hope is just a cliche, other times, it’s simply all you’ve got.

So maybe I won’t delete this post. Maybe we all have different agendas with our creativity. Maybe mine isn’t as different as yours. And just maybe this post will reach someone, anyone who needs it more than I do.