My husband loves to build things, fix things, solve problems . . . . He was born to be an engineer. Even after his regular work hours, he always has some scheme or other going for home improvement, and is never happier than when he’s in the muck of creating something cool.
I’m thinking of this right now because I’m in the “muck” of the final revisions for a book. I am reminded that, in writing as well as in home improvement, things always look worse before they look better. I’m also thinking that such creative outlets are as necessary as oxygen. So I continue to work to make my forthcoming book better.
I recently read Chad Allen’s excellent short book Do Your Art: A Manifesto on Rejecting Apathy to Bring Your Best to the World (which, BTW, is just 99 cents for the Kindle version and $3.99 for a pamphlet-like paperback). If you’re an accountant whose passion is painting, or an editor whose passion is writing, or even a teacher whose passion is teaching (go figure!), this book is a jump-start on the creative process. Allen says that so many people dream big dreams but have no idea how to make those dreams part of their daily lives, step by baby step. So he helps readers identify their particular creative zeal and then follow that path, deal with setbacks, establish goals, and generally turn their imagined ideals into something concrete.
For inspiration I have been working on my book in the living room just so I can see my husband’s latest project. I was there for all the steps, and helped with some of them (I am a whiz-bang painter); but this was Phil’s baby from start to finish. Here’s how it went:
And there it is, from start to finish. It took about eight weeks of work, sporadically. But he’s not done making things. Now he is talking about a built-in entertainment center for a flat-screen TV. (It is dawning on me that this is how guys guarantee they get a certain size of TV.)
What’s your creative passion? And how might you take a step this weekend toward living it out?