Guest Post: A Responsibility to Creativity

Today we’re featuring a guest post from accomplished novelist, ghostwriter, and writing coach Charlotte Rains Dixon:

Creativity is getting lots of attention lately.  There was a cover story from Newsweek last July warning that scores on a test designed to measure creativity much like IQ had declined since 1990, rather precipitously.  And the current issue of O magazine features creativity and imagination as its entire theme.  One of the magazine’s articles cites studies proving that creative people cope better with stress and crises, and also that we tend to have higher senses of well being and better personal relationships.

Creativity is the new hot topic because researchers are discovering it is good for us.  In a word, creativity is important. But you probably already knew that, or you wouldn’t have found your way to this wonderful blog of Patrick’s.  Since you have made it here, odds are good that you enjoy some kind of creative practice, be it writing, painting, singing, dancing or whatever.  And because of that, I submit that you and I, those of us who create regularly, have a responsibility.

We have a responsibility to show others how engaging in creativity is done on a regular basis: what that looks like and how it affects every aspect of our lives.  It’s important because if our society as a whole is indeed losing touch with its creativity, then who better to showcase its benefits than practicing creatives? But more than that, we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our own creative spark.

I’ve thought a lot about being responsible to my own creativity lately.  In my New Year’s Eve blog post I wrote about taking 100% complete and total responsibility for myself and my creative goals.  And since then, my thoughts have morphed to pondering what a responsibility to creativity looks like.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (and I suspect this is one of those quests that will only take me deeper and deeper as I go along).

As a creative person, I have a responsibility to:

  • Make time for my creativity
  • Attend to it fully when I have made time for it
  • Hone my skills so that my creative projects are the best they can possibly be
  • Remember and practice the creative process, allowing everything inside me to come out and then shaping that raw treasure into a final product
  • Not judge or compare myself as I create

Let me add one caveat.  When I say creative person, I really mean everyone.  Because I believe that every single last one of us has a creative spark inside that is longing to come out.  Maybe it will take the form of flower arranging, or cooking, or raising a child well.  Don’t sell yourself short, because we also have a responsibility to recognize and nurture all the many non-traditional ways we create, each and every day.

So tell me.  How do you take responsibility for your creativity?

Charlotte Rains Dixon is a novelist, ghostwriter, and writing coach, living in Portland, Oregon, with frequent trips to LA and Nashville. You can read her blog and follow her on Twitter @Wordstrumpet.

(The photo above is by the photographer Hallowed and is available for use with attribution from www.everystockphoto.com.)

About Patrick Ross

I'm the author of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road.

10 Responses to “Guest Post: A Responsibility to Creativity”

  1. Thanks so much for giving me this chance to guest post on your blog, Patrick!

  2. Charlotte, this is a wonderful concept and I love your list of responsibilities. I would add to it a responsibility to take care of myself, “a precious instrument of creative expression,” as Jill Badonsky puts it. If I don’t get enough sleep, overload my schedule, etc., then I don’t have the energy and focus to do creative work and am more likely to just do what’s easy like hang out on the computer.

  3. More than a responsibility, for me, creativity is a calling. If I want to be true to myself I have to listen to it. When creativity becomes a way of life we shine a glorious light onto the world and that’s how we change it. By the power of our example. It’s the only way. Thanks for this, Charlotte!

  4. Nice entry Charlotte. It reminds me of the current issue of Poets & Writers magazine, which is devoted to inspiration. I’ve bookmarked this site and will sneak out to it as the day allows….Roy

  5. Thanks for all the wonderful comments to this post, guys.

    Sue, I love the responsibility to take care of ourselves. That’s very important. Maryse, hi! Creativity is a calling, and once we hear that calling (which I believe is in all of us) then we need to take responsibility to follow it. Roy, I’m so happy I’ve introduced you to Patrick!

    And I invite you all to my blog on Feb. 2nd, because the one and only wonderful Patrick Ross will have a guest post there! I’m very excited.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Kudos to the Artist’s Road Commenters of 2012 | The Artist's Road - January 14, 2013

    […] CHARLOTTE RAINS DIXON: Charlotte discovered The Artist’s Road when it was only about two months old, and has continued to stick around. This Washington State writer has a great blog of her own, where she provides solid writing advice–she has an MFA from Spalding and offers both group and one-on-one writing instruction–and shares her own writing story, which includes a novel being published on February 12, Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior. Just as impressively–okay, perhaps not–back in January of 2011, Charlotte wrote a guest post for The Artist’s Road, “A Responsibility to Creativity.” […]

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