Music was my first love.
Watching my father sing and play guitar taught me so much about the joy music can bring not just to the listeners, but to the creator as well.
As a young kid, I consumed music every chance I could. I had a small record player, but very few records. My absolute favourite group when I was an early teen was the Bay City Rollers! Remember them?
When 8-track players came out, I begged my father to get to me one…. And he did! It was a small red transistor radio with an 8-track slot in the side. I was in heaven. My first 8-track was ABBA “Greatest Hits”, followed by Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind”, The Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” and Blondie’s “Parallel Lines”. What can I say, it was the late 70’s – early 80’s, and it was a time when I played albums obsessively, hanging onto each and every note and lyric.
This love affair continued all throughout my teens and early adulthood. I learned how to play guitar and dreamed of becoming a star (….didn’t everyone?)! I caught the creative buzz, and I liked it.
I ‘broke-up’ with music for a short period in my 30’s.
I stopped playing. I stopped creating. I became a consumer only. That period was a very time in my life when I put everyone else’s needs over my own (my choice), and let my dreams and desires (almost) vanish.
Immediately after transitioning away from a toxic relationship, I returned to my first love again… and started writing songs. I’d only penned a few up to this point, but now it seemed as if the floodgates had sprung open, and I had a lot that needed to come out. That period was and still is, one of the biggest creative periods of my life.
Skip ahead almost a few decades to when I come face to face with my second love – painting. I had dabbled before, but never took it seriously. This time, something felt different.
I’ve always been a consumer of fine art. I’ve always marveled at how a painting or a sculpture can evoke such emotion – I’ve always asked myself: how do they do that? How does the artist bottle that and present it so well? Where does that ability come from?
Once again, I became immersed…… okay, let’s call a spade a spade…… I became obsessed with finding the answers to those questions.
I went on a journey of discovery. I consumed everything I could get my hands on about the creative process of painting. I became a YouTube fanatic – similar to how I’d been an MTV fanatic back in the 80’s. I dove in as deep as I could.
I discovered an unsatisfiable curiosity.
The more I found out, the more there was to find out. It was endless. I was hooked – line and sinker. So much so that it felt as if I had no other choice but to see if I could do it; if I could actually create some of these textures, colours, styles; etc.
I switched from being a consumer to becoming a creator again…. and ohhhh the joy (and the awe-inspiring, soul-captivating challenges) I’ve found!
The world is full of things to consume, and it’s very easy to just sit back and consume it all. I’m not knocking consumption – all I’m saying is that there is a whole other side you might be missing out on by only consuming.
Switching from consumer to creator, no matter which area you choose, will open your eyes so wide, and activate your senses so deeply, that you may even question if you’d been truly living up to that point. It can be that powerful, and exciting.
You begin to see things differently. Everything becomes a story. There is meaning everywhere. A lot of things become seeds of ideas for things you can do. You become infinitely curious about life and everything in it, which in turn makes the world a much richer and interesting place to be.
Shifting from consumer to creator is not always easy – don’t be fooled.
Creating can be hard. You will be challenged. You will come face to face with your shortcomings and lack of knowledge. You will have to work to shut down the inner critic and wake up the inner advocate. You will have to learn to trust your intuition.
But here’s the thing: You will WANT TO DO all of this because you have awakened your passion about something and will want (perhaps even need) to follow it through.
Being aligned with your deepest curiosity, intuition and creativity is a great way to live.
This week’s writing challenge is to explore how/where you can shift from being a consumer to a creator.
Get comfy in your writing space. Light a candle, and prepare to go inward. You're going to be asking your soul some questions, so you need to be prepared to hear the answers and record them.
1. Consider 3-5 things you currently like to consume. Is it books, music, perfumes, fashion? Maybe you love looking at someone who can dance really well. Or you love eating certain food. Or perhaps you admire someone who knows how to code, or builds shelves or fixes cars, but you’ve never thought you’d be able to do something like that. Just list them.
2. Pick just one of these things – the one that feels the strongest in the sense of stirring your curiosity – and try to imagine yourself as a creator in this area. Write about it in real time, as if you are already doing it. Describe a typical day from sun up to sun down. Try to write as much detail as possible, including how you’re feeling as you move through the day.
3. Make a list of small steps you can take to learn more about becoming a creator instead of a consumer. For example, do you know someone who might be willing to show you the ropes? Can you find something online? Start with one small step. It will lead to another, especially if it’s something you’re passionate and curious about.
Remember, we are all creators. It is the one thing that separates us from the animal kingdom. Your mind is a machine. It’s creating something right now from these words I’m typing.
My greatest wish is for you to feel the joy and absolute wonderment that comes from creating something from your soul’s desire ….. it can be anything. Being creative is not just painting, or writing, or singing, or acting. IT IS EVERYTHING.
Go have some fun with your creative soul.
#WritingPromptWednesday is a self-paced, self-directed writing challenge by #AmmoArtworks that encourages you to examine self-awareness topics affecting mindset and perspective. There is no reporting, posting or submitting. It is your private process and you are accountable only to yourself. For previous “WritingPrompts” see previous blog posts at www.ammoartworks.com/blog ⠀
Michelle Myrick is the owner and operator of AMMO Artworks – a creative arts company specializing in products and services that inspire belief in abilities and the capacity to succeed. She is a singer, songwriter, and musician; a visual artist; speaker and author. Michelle is also an educator and offers Team Building Seminars, Workshops, Courses, and Keynote Address & Performance for groups and organizations. See www.ammoartworks.com for details and information.