Thursday, February 11, 2010

Creative Responsibility

Writers/artists often find conflict between their desire and need to fulfill their creative urges and the necessity to meet obligations of concrete life.

Have you read Becoming a Writer? It's a classic by Dorothea Brandt, first published in 1934. It touches on the need to remain childlike in our creativity in order to reach into and draw from the depths of what we have to offer. By doing so, we have a chance to create something wonderful.

The other side of the writer/artist must manage the mundane, take care of daily activities and obligations, and encourage the artistic side to work and live responsibly.

While it's easy to agree with Brandt that it's important to allow the childlike creativity to reign without restriction in order to create our best work, that doesn't mean that being creative gives us license to ignore our responsibilities. We must remain good citizens and share in life's obligations.

I have known artists/writers who seem, at times, to be in creative worlds of their own. When they are in their creative zone, they have difficulty keeping up with more mundane activities, such as paying bills, making it to meetings and appointments on time, etc.

I don't happen to agree with the supposition that to be creative, one must be flaky. It's not only possible but important to find balance as writers/artists between our creative lives and our practical lives.

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