“Will” is one of those small words that can have a tremendous impact on our creative lives. It is a mere four letters long with only three unique characters. This simplicity belies the richness of its meaning.
• It can be a noun or a verb
• It can be used to anticipate or indicate a future action
• It may be a document
• It may be a declaration
• It can be a command OR a request.
• It can refer to an internal drive, an amorphous urge to do something
This last type of “Will” and how it affects and interacts with creativity that we are concerned with. It is not only the desire to create something but the commitment and tenacity required to finish the project.
Having a desire to create, or even choosing to act upon that desire, is one small part of the creative journey. It is easy to build up excitement at the beginning when everything is fresh and new, but what happens when that initial burst of energy and motivation fades, as it inevitably does?
The process of creating can be long and frustrating. Very rarely do things go exactly to plan. Sometimes the muses are kind and things flow quickly and smoothly but most of the time there are bumps, curves, and the unexpected sheer cliffs along the way. These can come in the form of illness, a job, invitations from friends and family members, or the dreaded creative block. Basically, living life can throw things at you to try and knock (or entice) you off track.
Now, I’m not saying you have to become a hermit and never go anywhere or do anything but work on your project. We all need breaks, and building and maintaining relationships is incredibly important. We all get sick, have emergencies, and, for a lot of us, full or part-time employment is required to pay the bills and support our creative pursuits. This about whether or not you return to the path.
Do you let yourself get bogged down and never return to your project? Do you give up as soon as you hit the stuck point? What is it that keeps us from throwing our hands in the air, saying “I’m Done” and giving up? What is it that drives us through the harsh and sometimes lonely parts of the creative process?
• It reminds us why we keep plugging away at the manuscript, musical composition, artwork, or any other project when there are all sorts of shiny things vying or our attention.
• It is the tenacity and stubbornness to push through the blocks, pull ourselves back to the creative path, and move forward.
• It gives us hope that things will smooth out and the courage to keep going in anticipation of that time.
• It gives us hints of the mental, emotional, and physical rewards that we will experience at the project’s completion.
• It reminds us that we are all Badass Creatives with something to contribute to the world.
• It is the force that, if we let it, will lead us to the realization of our creative dreams and visions.
This is why such a small word can have an enormous impact on our creative journeys.