Creative Life Truths: You Can’t do it Alone

Creative Life Truths: You Can't do it Alone — Write RightThe other week, I shared a cup of coffee with a new acquaintance. He asked about my art, so I told him about Write Right and how I place her into books, fairytales, and nursery rhymes. He listened, and then he asked if I had ever thought of letting her time travel in order to meet poets.

I stared at him. “No!” I said, “but I really like that idea. She could…she could meet Edgar Allen Poe and a raven!”

The ideas threatened to take over the conversation, but I managed to contain myself. I wished not to turn into a whirlwind of ideas—a thing that tends to frighten the uninitiated. Plus, I should be a good conversationalist and ask about his interests.

The story seems a little silly, but it conveys a point: I can’t do this creative life alone. I require people who support me, as well as ones who critique my work. I need other people in my life because art comes from living.

Art does not come from isolation, even if that continues to be the romanticized ideal. Personally, I find the ideal a bit stupid. Isolation harms all people, even the most introverted of introverts.

I make that statement based upon experience. I know what it is to lead an isolated existence. It happened during my final year of college, and it hurt. My best friends had graduated and moved out of town. I admit I should have tried to make new friends, but I was attending school and working three, if not four, jobs. Things like relationships fell to the wayside.

That year, though, informs how I live now. Experiencing isolation taught me to cherish community. It made me realize I can’t do this life, creative or otherwise, alone. I need people who care about me, who rally around me during the difficult times and the good times. Because of that, I take steps to find them, to develop friendships that bless me as much as the other person.

Image: Giuseppe Milo (Creative Commons)