Staring down a blank sheet of paper is the worst.
Even if you go to bed with the best intentions of rising with the sun, deciding what you are going to make, grabbing your list of Things That Must Be Created Today as you shuffle bleary eyed to your desk, organizing your pencils and perhaps, managing to make a few marks on paper, it is still entirely possible that fate will wedge itself between you and your precious work time and there you are. Frustrated, annoyed at yourself, while those pesky little demons hiss songs of self doubt and self sabotage as you stare at your empty inbox and – empty sheet of paper.
This happens to me a lot.
It also happens to artists, writers, entrepreneurs, inventors and poets posing as clock punching office workers. It happens to retirees with time on their hands and no more excuses. It happens to the author with the runaway best selling first novel losing sleep over writing her second. It happens to graduates watching the ink dry on their diplomas, teachers of those graduates, engineers, doctors, postal workers and anyone who with a desire to make life better and more beautiful.
It doesn’t happen to art warriors.
It doesn’t happen to people who grasp the moment to create with every one of their senses tingling and on edge. People who take on the battle against the distractions closing in on them as if their lives depended on it. With a humble pencil in their hand poised as a sword. A sword that is not used for slicing potatoes in the kitchen but for seizing the prize.
How to unleash your inner art warrior
You can create a body of work you are proud to share with the world. You can make a life around being a dynamic creative force through your unique voice. You have everything you need to make this your daily reality. You, yes, you can be an art warrior.
Take a moment to consider the most common question artists ask themselves and compare it to the deeper inquiry art warriors demand of themselves.
Artists: What can I make today?
Art Warrior: What difference can I make for you today?
Art created simply as self expression is scream therapy in a gilt frame
For an art warrior, something worthy of being created is something that makes a difference that brings us closer to the wonder of who we are to each other.
Our fight is to bring something into the world that can direct our gaze together and towards each other. Something not just for people to admire, but to inspire their own inner warriors to believe in a better and more beautiful life.
The power of your answer
Knowing why you create something transforms your work into a mission to make life better for someone else. As an artist, you can make something that leave some mysteries, some unfinished thoughts, some breadcrumbs for another person to create their own path through the forest.
Knowing how you want people to feel infuses every act you take with purpose. It is easier to discard what doesn’t serve your end goal and stay focused.
Knowing who you are making art for transforms your creativity into an act of grace. Warriors move in grace and with gratitude. We acknowledge the wonder of being alive in this moment. We are grateful we have the chance to make something.
“There is but one solution to the intricate riddle of life; to improve ourselves, and contribute to the happiness of others” – Mary Shelley
Grab your sword and get out of the kitchen.