You don’t have to draw, paint, dance, play music, write or sell stuff to be an artist. In fact, one of the defining aspects of human beings is creative expression. You are the artist of your own life and your recovery. And your art can save you.
Creativity is love when you would rather isolate, it is hope when darkness is like a familiar cloak, it is choosing joy when your brain tells you that you don’t deserve good things.
Today, I hope that you will be inspired to create. I share with you the words of Neil Gaiman, from his 2012 University of the Arts Commencement Speech.
When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
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Keep it Real
Photo credit: Neil Gaiman