Creativity and Courage

Near my home is a storage facility that posts various quotes on their sign.  Often, these are humorous.  The last several weeks though, the quote was something more thought-provoking and inspiring.

“Creativity takes courage.”

Often times, people have differing concepts of what is courage.  Some think courage is what drives the last act of desperation, noble self-sacrifice, or even that courage is devoid of hesitance or fear.  Some believe that courage is inspired by confidence and surety in a chosen course of action.

Courage, I was raised to believe, is more in tune with the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, and even Mark Twain.  Each of these great speakers stated that courage was not the absence of fear.  Courage is taking action in spite of fear, finding that which is more important than fear, and moving forward even when fear blocks your path.

Does creativity take courage then?

Without a doubt.

Whether it’s the courage to take up a brush and paint a picture, write a story, or craft lines of code into a new program, creativity takes courage.  Anyone who creates something knows that there will be errors along the way.  They know that they will have to hone and revise their work in order to bring their vision into reality.  Those who create anything for the public will be exposing themselves to ridicule and challenge.

That takes courage.

In my writing, courage is needed every time I start to work on a new chapter or idea for a story.  I must overcome the voices that tell me I’m not good enough.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe in my ability as a writer.  Still, those voices rise that tell me that I don’t have the skill to properly craft the story I’m trying to write.  They tell me that my characters are weak, my word choice is bland, my imagery is dull.

Following those, even after I’ve finished writing, I still face fears.  The fear of being seen and known is one of those fears.  Then there’s the fear that I have not done justice to the characters or the story I’ve written.

That last fear is also the key to my courage, though.  My characters, every one of them, are loved by me.  For them, I can rise to any challenge that comes.  Even when they die, I love and honor who they are.  Down to their last breath and beyond, they are my children, lovers, and friends.  My heart and passion is theirs, and for them, I rise against the fears that would hinder me from creating.

Find the thing that gives you the strength to press forward, to overcome the fears and to act with courage, and then, create.


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