As a trainer, I learned years ago adults often like to do what we already know – to become “better experts” instead of taking a long, deep stretch into unfamiliar skills. Sometimes we build our own fences, then wonder why life feels limited, tight and constricted. Beige. Yep, grownups can forget the pure childlike joy of being a beginner, and that’s one of the reasons I’m thankful for the kids and young adults in my life. Watching and listening to them reminds me it’s okay to do what I enjoy even before I’m good at it.
Adults have a lot of power, but sometimes we need kids to teach us about freedom.
I’ve been in the business of communication in one form or another for more than 20 years, but writing fiction is new to me. Sitting at the same computer where I happily work on challenging assignments for clients, my shoulders tighten as I decide to work on my own manuscript “just for fun.” (Hemingway said it best: “There is nothing to writing. You just sit at a typewriter and bleed.”) I give myself permission to relax and to write like Candace, without trying to imitate Hemingway or anyone else for that matter, and then I’m off, typing and pausing. First, I wrote more than 50,000 words. That’s half a novel. Now I’m editing and adding to the framework of that first draft.
Once unleashed, creativity is electric and contagious. Whether I’ve fired up my sewing machine, twisted copper wire or written a few fictional scenes, making something “optional” at the end of the day makes my work for clients stronger.
To feel the pulse of life moving through us, we need both the efficiencies of routine and the stimulation of passionate, irregular moments. We do our best work when we seed our busy schedules with the activities and people we love. So be more productive. Chase joy.