I read a book recently that annoyed me about 75 percent of the time but I read it anyway, hoping for a redeeming quality and refusing to put another half-read book back on the shelf and remind myself that I never finish anything. The book probably got under my skin because the writer was so much like me, struggling to find her place in the world, her true calling and taking the leap of faith that makes a rewarding life possible.
Anyway, I’m glad I finished it because the last few chapters were what I was hoping for–an inspiring call to action that reaffirmed faith in my work. She talked about artists and the beauty that art brings to the world. Writers write to calm the turning wheels in their heads, but I rarely think about the avid readers who crave something to quench their thirst for knowledge. She talked about musicians, and how the lyrics and melody to a single song can stir your soul, desperate for the artist to continue with their craft, to hope to feel that magic over and over for a long time to come. She says it better than I remember, so here:
“I know that life is busy and hard, and that there’s crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don’t. Please don’t. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader, because of the art that you make. Please keep demonstrating the courage that it takes to swim upstream in a world that prefers putting away for retirement to putting pen to paper, that chooses practicality over poetry, that values you more for going to the gym than going to the deepest places in your soul. Please keep making art for people like me, people who need the magic and imagination and honesty of great art to make the day-to-day world a little more bearable.” -Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, “Needle and Thread”
That's what I needed to hear! I recently saw a sign on Pinterest that read "I just want to make beautiful things even if no one cares." I'm here to say that...people care!!! The people that appreciate a creative outlet and what it can do for your spirit. I love that sites like Pinterest and Etsy have spurred a craft revolution of sorts. Handmade is once again appreciated. The love put into artwork is once again valued, and the story behind a piece is endearing and celebrated.
What makes your story unique? Follow that creative desire, even if its just for the pure enjoyment of tinkering around for an afternoon... just play! Who knows what you'll come up with. Just keep on working to make beautiful things. Someone appreciates them, and the person that might benefit the most is yourself.