For the Days You Don't Feel Creative

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at the blank page on my computer and sighed this week. 

My FaceTime meetings with friends usually end up in a direction of me whining: I miss being creative. 

I scroll through Instagram (a daily routine), and the pretty pictures have slowed down. Throwback Thursday has slowly become Throwback Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, it seems. We ache to feel alive, splashing in ocean waves or laughing over a meal with friends. All of my personal projects that I pushed to the side for months somehow become incredibly important and are tinged with immediacy. 

I need to do them now, and I took it all for granted, I think.

But as time slows and the sun rises and the shadows dance on my back porch, I realize what it’s been all along: a stifling fear that what I do and what I create won’t measure up to what I imagine. I want what I create to be a masterpiece - and I’m afraid to make something and be disappointed by it. 

That sentiment often feels echoed by my friends. 

“I meant to sign up for that acting class.”

“I want to play a live show this year.”

“I just need a prompt to start writing!”

“But what if it’s not good?”

The longer I linger, the more restless I get. 

And then the other night, I sat on my back porch to get some air, sank into my chair, and watched the sunlight hit the trees at dusk, turning them shades of orange and pink. I watched the palm leaves in our garden sway gently in movement as the wind made them dance, and I rushed inside to grab my camera and my prism from my dresser. Suddenly, I found myself challenged to see the same ordinary things in my house a little bit differently. 

And there it was. 

The small movement towards something I loved. 

That’s all it was - a brave, bold baby step of faith towards something I knew I could be proud of as the day ended. Unfinished, raw, and whole all at the same time.

I want to live my life in this season taking small steps towards the things that I love, whether it be singing a song in the kitchen, noticing the shadow on the wall as the light pours in, filming my honest and unfiltered thoughts on camera for the day, writing half of a song that I know I’ll finish later this week. The walls of perfection are being broken down, and I’m hoping that in all of this madness, I get to look back on these days and say, I did what I knew how to do and that was enough.


Our team thought it’d be even more fun to do this as a community. 

We’ve teamed up with our friends at HitRECord to create an April challenge (#MakeThingsApril) and give a platform for small, creative joys. Every day, we’ll have a new prompt to follow, and a space for you to throw in your poetry, your art, your music, your photos. 

Submissions every day will live here: http://hitrecord.org/makethingsapril

Having a hard time thinking of something? Find a piece of poetry that someone’s written and wind a song around it. Look at someone’s photo and tell us how you feel about it. Listen to a piece and create a video response around it. 

We’re in this together these days, and we want to see your special, unique perspective. These simple prompts were made to be a small step of faith into imagination.

These small acts of courage have the great potential to be full of beauty and wonder. 

Join us and HitRECord this month in our #MakeThingsApril Challenge!

April 1: the room you’re in

April 2: something yellow

April 3: “a year from now”

April 4: sunrise

April 5: sunset

April 6: favorite photo in your camera roll

April 7: your mood

April 8: clothing

April 9: coffee mug/cup you always use

April 10: making a collage

April 11: write a letter to your younger self

April 12: something green

April 13: books

April 14: favorite song lyrics

April 15: food

April 16: natural light

April 17: black and white

April 18: a note to a friend (even if you don’t send it)

April 19: close up

April 20: technology

April 21: playing with shadow

April 22: something you love

April 23: sit by the nearest window and write/photograph/illustrate 10 things you notice

April 24: handwriting

April 25: patterns

April 26: 5 things you’re grateful for

April 27: favorite movie quote

April 28: from a distance

April 29: something you want

April 30: something you learned

A few of our favorite submissions so far: 

Day 1: The Room You're In by @AWilliams98

Day 2: Yellow by NicNac5

Yellow is the house I grew up in,

With mismatched burgundy shutters.

A 1200-ft paradise exploding with love.

I knew it then, and I know it now,

Those moments were gold.

 

The sunlight would burst its way through the entire house,

Even when I’d try my hardest to block it out.

The smell of burnt brownies from the chocolate factory bellowing in,

The sound of nearby high school football games,

I knew it then, and I know it now,

Those moments were gold.

 

A sleepy calm on rainy weekend mornings,

The sound of hot tea pouring.

A rescue cat cuddled up in my lap,

I knew it then, and I know it now,

Those moments were gold.

 

Racing to the TV screen for dibs on the remote,

or a rush to use the bathroom first.

Knocking in code on our bedroom walls

when we were ready for truce and to end time-out.

I knew it then, and I know it now,

Those moments were gold.

 

Waiting for this storm to end, so we can be together again,

I knew it then, and I know it now,

These moments are precious and gold.

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