Why should we all use our creative power and write or paint or play music, or whatever it tells us to do? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold, and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.
We’re nearing the end of 2014, and if I were to give a proper update about the events of my life in the past year, it would take… entirely too long. It’s one thing after the next, and it’s not stopping. I’m a rolling stone.
I guess my audience will have to stay tuned, and wait for memoirs. That’ll be interesting.
I don’t know when it occurred to me that my own experience and the events of my life might be relevant enough to write about. I don’t know that there was one moment in particular, but more like a series of moments in which I have simply felt the need to express myself—regardless of who listened, or didn’t. And now, here I am; sharing my inner world with the world beyond me.
I was at a holiday party this time last year, and two middle-aged, white, presumably fairly-well-off men approached me. We got to talking.
After telling them I was a writer, and that I’d started writing and collecting writings to put into a memoir (or perhaps a fictional work inspired by real events), one of them said, in a rude tone of voice…
“You’re too young to write a memoir.”
Do you know how intensely aware I’ve been of my own life?
Do you know what has happened to me? How much I have done, thought, heard, tasted, and felt in 27 years time?
Do you know how much I’ve written already in order to keep myself centered and sane as possible?
Do you know what it’s like to be a person so restless and awake; learning and growing and alive?
You, sir, have no idea who I am or what I have experienced.
You have never been a 20-something, biracial American woman and accidental college drop-out; obsessed with love (or something like it); always down with the struggle, and up for satisfying an insatiable wanderlust; equipped with a passion for all manners of creativity, along with an undying need for personal and societal transformation.
…..who also has a waning tolerance for this kind of dream-killing nonsense.
So, sorry not sorry. I may not have a memoir done tomorrow, or this year—I may even wait a few years or decades. Who knows?
But that’s not for you to tell me, that’s for me to decide.
How could you possibly tell me that my life is not worth writing about?
The worst part about this brief encounter?
Realizing how many young people have their proclivity toward creativity crushed by those who have had it drained out of them. Like this guy.
So, I’d like to take this moment to make an announcement:
If you want to write…
If you want to write ANYTHING.
Hear me when I say these words to you:
Do not wait until someone else says it’s ok.
UNTIL SOMEONE ELSE
GO. WRITE. NOW.
Whatever your artform, if you have one—or if you are pulled toward the arts, and you wish to give it a whirl—do it.
As we live within a culture that largely devalues creation in favour of profitable destruction, one of the most revolutionary things we can do is create.
To create on our own. To create with one another.
To map out new blueprints in how to think, feel, and act.
To bring our ideas, meaning, perspective, possibilities, beauty, and new ways of understanding into existence in a tangible way.
To expose the world as it has been, as it is, and to reveal what it may become.
So, with that in mind—go forth and create.
And don’t listen to anything or anyone who says you can’t.