A dear friend recently created some art for someone else's project. The brief for the art was nothing more than to emulate a style to provide the relevant atmosphere. But when I saw what she'd done, my fingers curled and I shook them to the sky.
"No!" I yelled. "They're too good! Hang on to them!"
I mean, they were really great pieces! My friend had nailed the style so well, and she'd added the heart and soul that she normally gives to her art. The result was powerful and beautiful. I jokingly told her that she could shift paths and continue creating in this style seriously. Well, I was half joking. More pressing to me was that I thought she was giving away these 'better' ideas instead of saving them for a more solid project of her own.
That was yesterday.
Today, I remembered something I told myself never to do. Never hold on to your best ideas as if they are the only ones you will ever have. Don't treat your great ideas of today as if the are the imagination's gold: rare and hard to come by. I told myself that if I start treating my creativity as a scarcity instead of an unlimited abundance in this way, then that's what it would become.
Sometimes it can be hard to remember it. For people going through a tough time with creative blocks, it can be difficult to have any faith in it. But by feeling that we are all - in our very existence - a constant channel of creativity means that we will create, share, give and let go, over and over again. We will have no choice but to put our great ideas out there for the simple and immediate purposes that they quite often sprout from. Because the future will hold barely enough time to express those great ideas to come.
All right. I have a friend to email. ;)