by Dedra L. Stevenson
My name is Dedra L. Stevenson, and I am a writer. At my basic core, this is what I love to do, and I’ve spent years writing since I was a little girl. I had a diary when I was little, and I loved writing down my thoughts and what kinds of ideas popped up in my crazy imagination. Writing has always been easy for me, like breathing, and I’m so grateful.
Creative people have often come from difficult backgrounds. This creative side is present in everyone, but a few people use it as a means of surviving their life, thereby forcing that ability to hyper develop, and that’s how artists are born.
I am such a person, and writing is as valuable to me as breathing. In fact, I can go as far as to say that during the times in my life that are so busy and demanding I don’t get the time or focus to write, I feel like I can’t breathe. Sadly, life in our time is so busy and demanding that it allows little time to pursue an artistic goal, and with the focus being on money and material objects, art, in general, is often on the sacrificial table.
Kids are taught that they must never take artistic expression seriously, as they will have to earn a living one day, and writing, dance, music, painting or sculpting won’t put food on the table or pay the electricity bill.
Let’s face the music. More often than I’d like to admit, the doomsayers are right. Art often doesn’t pay the bills unless you’re one of the tough ones that weather the storm and forces the world to notice. But, are we missing the biggest advantage of creative expression?
Art therapy has recently, within the last 50 years, become a legitimate method for coping with depression. These types of therapy can be a healing force for the body and the mind, in part because the creative process helps release brain chemicals that fight depression and anxiety.
Art can provide a platform for expression, where one can record their thoughts via words, paint, photography, clay, music or dance without judgment, thereby releasing the negative effects of bottling it up. Think about how many of your friends feel. Your neighbors? Their kids? Your kids? Are they stressed out? Worried all the time? Feeling the extreme pressure of life in 2018?
If your kids are acting out, it could be that they aren’t spending any time expressing their feeling in a safe way. We all have that “divine spark” (as I’ve named it), that tiny sliver of the Creator that allows us to manifest a reality. For writers, it’s accomplished through characters, through building their worlds, expressing their feelings and deciding how they will interact with other characters in this world you’ve built for them.
Whatever your means of creative expression, don’t let it sit one more single day inside you dwindling away. Get into a quiet place for 15 minutes a day and try it. Just start writing. Let your fingers do the typing or if you’re using a pen, let your handwriting flow and write every thought that comes to your mind. Release your imagination, just like you did when you were 6 years old when your creative ability was at its maximum capacity.
If you’re a musician, just start playing. If you’re a painter, just start painting. The world is your canvas, and you decide what it contains. Never let the magic inside you die. Even if it never makes you a dollar, you’ll be a happier and more centered person as a result. Now, isn’t that also important?