After recording an oracle reading yesterday where the question was about how to make a living through being creative, my partner said to me – “Do you think it’s irresponsible to encourage people to be creative? To say that the Universe will help them make a living making art?”
Irresponsible? Yeah, maybe it is. After all, I don’t make much of a living through my creativity, so encouraging others to tread the same path may seem like a bit of a crazy thing to do. But I like to think that even though I may not be rolling in cash, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other creatives out there who can make a decent living through their creativity. And also, at some point, I do hope that I can earn more money through my passion. In the mean time, I do what I need to do to survive, even though some of it is very boring and not at all creative.
(I think maybe the dragonfly was trying to tell me off for encouraging creativity. He was coming right up to my face!)
I guess I also feel that if you’re a creative person, that it’s impossible to live a life that is devoid of creativity, just in the name of earning an income. I find that when I have a normal job, and a regular income, though it feels good that I can pay my bills and buy things I need, my soul feels as though it is withering, shrinking, and fading away. You could argue that I could just do creative things in the evenings outside of work, but often I find myself so drained or tired, that the creative juices don’t flow in my free time. So the alternative was to do my creative work, and survive with the help of credit cards and some freelance work.
I must admit, there’s been more than a few times where I’ve wondered about the sanity of my choices. Where I’ve wondered why I continue to do the work I do, writing books and doing readings, and spending most of my time on social media, when it doesn’t yield the monetary compensation that fits the number of hours spent on it.
But after having received so many beautiful letters, emails and messages from people who have been helped or touched by my books in some way, I know that I cannot choose to ignore my creativity. That I cannot turn away from the words that flow through me. That I must write, I must share my words, I must publish my books, and I must connect and interact with my readers. It’s the reason why I’m here.
Yes, I could get another job, I could stack shelves, organise activities, do data entry or answer phones, but I choose not to. I choose to follow my soul’s purpose, to do the work I have been called here to do.
I also feel that part of the work I have been called to do is to help to change the collective consciousness that believes that artists and writers shouldn’t make money from their work. Their work is just as valid and valuable as work done by other professions, and it needs to be recognised as so. After all, can you imagine a world without art, books, music, movies or crafts? If it is possible to imagine it, lets me ask you this – is that a world you would like to live in?
As my partner pointed out, the same holds true for spiritual folk, for the healers and alternative therapists. There is this overwhelming feeling that to make money from helping and healing others is wrong. But doctors get paid, so why shouldn’t healers?
There’s a world that James Redfield describes in The Celestine Prophecy, an idea of a world where people are compensated for their knowledge, their wisdom, their energy and creativity. He talks of the playing field being levelled, and spiritual people being recognised for their value and worth. That’s always stayed in my mind, because it is something that I very much hope to see happen in my lifetime.
What do you think? Are you creative? Could you be happy if you weren’t exploring your creativity daily? Do you encourage others to be creative? Let me know!
NB: My partner is a very creative person himself, and is a potter, wood-turner, sculptor and artist. He didn’t ask me the questions above because he thinks that creativity is a bad thing to encourage, he just felt that perhaps people may have a rosy view of making lots of money through their creativity, and that perhaps encouraging that was not a good thing. But as I find with my author clients, there’s a really fine line between giving them a reality check and killing their dream and their spark of enthusiasm and hope. So as I like to say, if you have your head in the clouds, try to at least keep your feet on the ground.
I believe to be human is to be creative. Many have become removed from the basics when we used to make tools, clothes, utensils etc. Most have forgotten that humans are intrinsically craftsmen (like your partner), artistically decorating our wares. We danced, sang, made and played instruments, painted on cave walls. The only thing that has changed is that so called ‘creative’ people sell a product to people who believe they are ‘non-creative’. Everyone can find a creative outlet, so why not encourage that? And if they want to follow that career path to make money, great, many do and succeed. But it is true to say that you can’t go into a creative career thinking there’s loads of cash! However if you don’t try, then you’ll never know.
When I went into professional dance, my tutor warned me there’d be no money in it. It didn’t matter to me, I knew I would wither and die if I wasn’t performing and teaching. Like you Michelle, I encouraged people to explore their creative potential, literally finding their feet. My route was dance, music and storytelling. That’s all you can do, is lead the way and they will follow their own path with all the highs and lows. If people don’t, they will have regrets later in life. It’s that old thing on the gravestone – you only regret what you didn’t do. I don’t think anyone would look back and wish they hadn’t gone on the creative journey regardless of the outcome.
So, no, I don’t think it’s irresponsible. I think it’s wonderful to help and inspire people to pursue their burning desires, with what is, in my opinion, DNA through our ancestors from the universe. We need more Michelles:)
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Thank you for your wonderful comment 🙂 I do also believe that everyone has creativity within them, some souls just have a bigger desire to express it than others!
My soul dies a little bit every time I turn away from my creativity, and I know that it is why I am here.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to clone myself so I can do all the creative projects I have in mind – let me know if you figure out how lol
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I also don’t make my art “for the money.” The money I make from my novels’ (very small) royalty checks is nice, but that’s not why I do write and illustrate. So I don’t feel its irresponsible to encourage people to follow the artist path, if that’s where their interests lie.
The truth is people who “do it for the money” won’t last long once they realize its a job. I am a published author, but I also teach or work retail. This is the path I have chosen for myself and I don’t regret it. I create something beautiful that and makes others think about the world around them. That is my true reward.
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Thank you for your comment 🙂 I don’t think anyone who has a true passion does it for the money, and I think that if you write and publish books purely for the money you’ll either get called out on it by readers who can see that your content is lacking, or you will get fed up with the sheer amount of hard work involved!
To be able to create worlds and characters and share them with others is an amazing feeling, and I wouldn’t trade it in for anything either.
Sending love and hugs, and I hope many more readers find your books 🙂
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I encourage people. I look at it this way. No matter what you’re trying to do, there will always be someone to discourage you. It doesn’t even have to be ‘creative.’ Going to college, building your own house, even adopting a dog. There will always be a nay-sayer.
So I figure that part is taken care of for me. It’s more rare to encourage people.
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I love it! You’re right, there are far more critics than there are encouragers, so by encouraging people we are doing our bit to at least balance things out a little 🙂
Thank you for your comment 🙂
I understand so much of what you talk about. Unfortunately, so many people think that because I love my work as a dancer that I should be happy to work for free or for peanuts. It is art and that defines our culture and development as society and music, literature, and art in all its forms that enriches our lives more than money can.
I am an artist and I must dance and choreograph for my own sanity. We must follow our bliss and the money will come.
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To follow your bliss is surely the best way to live, no matter what obstacles we may come across along the way. That way, when we’re ready to go home, we can say we truly lived the life we came here to live. Keep dancing, beautiful lady 🙂