An open letter to my Creativity

Dear Creativity,

As you’re well aware, I’ve struggled with you most of my life. Either you’re too intense and free-flowing (and I can barely keep up as I want to implement alllllll your ideas) or you’re dead. Silent. Stuck. With these pure opposite ends of the creative spectrum you’ve taught me a few things…

Intensity and Free-Flowing

Your intensity builds a raging fire inside me that won’t be quenched until I take action. You bubble up excitement, anxiety, and yes, sometimes fear as I wonder what others will think of this creative burst. But then you gently whisper, “It doesn’t matter what others think. I’m your creativity. Let me shine.” And so I do. Well, not shine so much as burn so freaking bright the whole neighborhood wants to know what wattage bulbs we use. But I digress…

I love when you’re intense and free-flowing. I love the almost endless nature of energy I feel as I’m working on whatever ideas you’re pouring in my direction. I love how you can show me links, connections, I never saw before. I love the patterns that emerge, the ability to see the holes… and the unique ideas on how to plug them. While others may turn to duct tape, you hand me underwater sealant.

When you’re free-flowing, I’m on Cloud 9. I feel invincible. Like I can conquer the world. When you’re free-flowing you’re intent on showing me everything you can in the short time I feel we have together… I try my best to keep up and sometimes my physical body just can’t, allowing the new ideas to wash over me and soak into my soul until I’m so full of creativity and re-energized that I can run gung-ho with all the ideas once again… But sometimes…

Dead. Silent. Stuck.

At first I viewed my blank moments of creativity as the death of part of my soul. That part responsible for the ideas, the growth, the energy… I grew tired, frail, maybe even sick. You were silent, or so I thought. I’d start to feel stuck. I longed for the days of boundless energy, free-flowing ideas, and the intense drive I once felt to keep pressing onward, developing the latest goal.

But you fell silent. Your silence brought me the illusion that I was stuck. That I could not move on. That the blank cursor would continue to taunt me for the rest of my days. That no idea I had was good enough to keep going when shit hit the fan and I wanted to quit. In fact, I felt like in your silence, you were telling me to quit. “It’s not worth it” I thought I heard you whisper.


In looking back on these ebbs and flows of you I’ve discovered something. The powerful surges of intense energy when you’re free-flowing are energizing, yes. The outpouring of ideas that spring forth faster than I can keep up make me giddy with excitement. And in this flow, I push forward… often beyond my physical limits.

Because while you may be a spiritual entity within me, I am still mortal. I’m still confined by physical limitations. And sometimes, sometimes I deeply resent that. I hate my body for betraying my spirit of creativity. I hate my body for not being able to keep up.

But then you revealed something to me… When I’m tired of pressing on, I’m tired of growing, I’m tired of implementing ideas faster than I actually can, and I finally hit the edges of burnout… You’re not saying, “It’s not worth it” to me.

You’re saying, “It’s not worth destroying yourself and me in the process.”

This realization has shown me that there is balance to everything. Ebbs and flows. Intensity and peace. Action and rest. To neglect one is to kill the other. So thank you, Creativity. Thank you for showing me the truth of myself. The greatness that burns inside me and how through you it will shine on. But only when it should. Because sometimes we are called for a period of rest. Sometimes you fall silent on purpose. Sometimes you realize when I’ve pushed too hard, too far, and to keep me from free-falling over the edge, you stop the flow. You cut yourself off… sacrifice your self, to save me. So I can regain my strength and do it again. Rest. Go. Rest. Go.

And in doing that, you save yourself… and every dream, goal, or aspiration we will ever have. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for forcing me to stop. And thank you for the intense free-flow that I know will come back when we’re both ready.

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