Just Create the Thing

Has anyone ever given you permission to just create the thing? Yes, that thing. The thing you’ve dreamed to create. Maybe you want to start a photography business, create content on Instagram, record podcasts, or upload videos to a youtube channel. It can be hard to know where to start, and a thousand voices (mostly in your head) tell you why it won’t work or isn’t worth your time.

I’m here to tell you it is worth your time. Creating for its own sake is worth it. When you creating something to share with others is also beautiful. But as humans who exist in 21st-century America, it’s hard to see the importance of pursuing our own creative passions. Especially if they will take time from our families and we don’t know how or if they will ever make us money.

When You Create You Reflect God’s Image

God said in Genesis “Let us make man in our image”. This was at the end of his incredible week of creation. He had made everything we see and life as we know it. He put attention to detail in every leaf, the veins of every tree, and fuzz on a caterpillar. When I want to create it is a way I show that God’s image is stamped on me.

When You Create You Fill Your Soul

We tend to think of our responsibilities as being all-consuming. To step away from our kids to create is to neglect them in some way. Or we are only allowed to create if we have finished everything else we “should” be doing. What I’ve found is creating creates a paradox. I have more bandwidth to do my responsibilities when my soul has been fed by creating.

Right before my second was born I opened my Instagram to be public. Suddenly, I started thinking about the world around me as art, and I was there to capture it. I struggled with PPD after he was born. There were days I couldn’t get off the couch to get everything done, but since I knew how much joy there was in creating art I continued to take and post photos.

What happened next was surprising. I was frustrating to me that the image I could see wasn’t what was showing up in photographs. So I started arranging things to make the art in my mind come to life. I wanted to make a photo just right, so I washed the dishes. The bathroom was cleaned because I wanted to get a darling photo in our green tub. I made the bed to get a photo of us cuddling. My regular tasks were done, because I wanted to create art!

Creating Brings Joy to the Table

Better yet, slowly more and more joy and sunshine came back into my life. My husband noted the difference and encouraged me to keep creating because he could see in my transformation. Social media is tricky though. I’m not going to pretend from this story that it isn’t also for many people the source of depression and anxiety, so we made a pact that night that if it ever caused me to be more depressed or overwhelmed he would say something.

With that check and balance in place, I threw myself into creating every spare minute I had. My husband loved that my crafting budget disappeared because digital creation is free. I decided I wanted a website, so I learned how to create one.

Creating Begets Creating

People started reading and following. Soon after a book deal followed. Then I decided I really wanted to spend more time talking to real people, so I started a podcast. Every step of the way my capacity grew because I was stretching myself and finding joy in the process.

Would have it brought joy to build a website that first year… probably not. On the other hand if I had started a podcast in 2017 would I be further than I am… probably. But by creating at my pace I had joy, and by just getting started I have something really fun I get to do now.

Have I Convinced You?

Just do it! If the dream is there take the first step. It’s always better to try something and decide it is or isn’t a good fit than to wait and wonder what would have happened if you tried.

If you liked this article, try this podcast interview with Ashlee Gadd! We go more in-depth on this topic.

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