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We Need Creators

Today I ran across the idea of justifying why we do what we do in a several different places. In a Facebook group I'm in. In a newsletter I get. On Twitter.

One of these places (I already forgot--how does that happen so fast?!) shared this quote from Stephen King: "I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all."

The newsletter was from a writer who's been writing for decades, and she asked us why we write. And her question, plus the quote above, reminded me of when I was younger and people would ask me why I was writing in my notebook. A lot of people also asked me why I was reading. One manager at the bank I worked in during my college summers would regularly remark, "Still reading those books!" with a laugh and a shake of her head like she thought I would grow out of reading for fun. She also sometimes asked about why I was always writing in my notebook during breaks.

Honestly, I never understood these questions. My family and the people around me always thought I was weird, but secretly I thought there was something wrong with them. Because how could they not understand how important it is to have stories and art?! How could they not see that we can see other worlds and other lives and so many more things than we could possibly experience in one lifetime otherwise just by reading and writing stories? (I will admit, though, that I did often fall prey to uncertainty about my role in making any of this art.)

There's a quote I can't find right now about why the world needs artists. We do. We need those glimpses of the beauty and the possible that they bring us. And we, as artists, need to keep bringing that to the world.

This is another rambling post. I don't have my thoughts about this organized and sorted, but I wanted to put it out there because it's on my mind today. I hope it makes some sense, and I hope it reminds you that we need to keep creating. The world needs our art.


24 thoughts on “We Need Creators

  1. Helen Patrice

    There are always those ready to denigrate artists. Same people demand instant entertainment as though it comes from nowhere.

    1. Kim

      I was thinking about that, thinking that those people probably go home and watch their favorite TV shows and never make the connection between artists and the things that brighten and shine light on our world.

  2. Donna

    It's funny, I have been having the same thoughts recently, trying to "justify" what I am doing to my family who don't do it. Yet, they don't question why I'm doing it. I put that on them. I have always loved to read, until I was widowed and now I can't concentrate long enough, but I can now art all day for no other reason than to put marks on a page (yet I still want perfection)
    I guess we all question those that do something different to us.
    Btw I love your rambling please carry on!

    1. Kim

      That might be true, that we question the things that don't call to us. That makes sense. I'm glad the arting is bringing you some enjoyment and that my rambling is, too! 🙂

  3. Cheryl Turtlemoon

    You’re right, people often put others down. Perhaps they’re scared of trying what others are doing? Maybe they’re nervous? Or perhaps jealous? Lots to think about!

    I enjoy your posts!

    1. Kim

      Yes, all of those might be the case. Next time it happens, maybe I'll try to dig in and see what's up!

    1. Kim

      LOL! My family at least finally stopped saying versions of it, but they still think I'm weird. They might be right, but not about the books. 😀

  4. Effy

    Those people that ask those kinds of questions baffle me, too. Why do you read is a little like asking why do you dream or why do you breathe. It's such a dumb question! Why do you write? Because I can! Hah!

    1. Kim

      Because I can! I'm adopting this attitude more and more. I used to feel like I had to explain myself, try to make them "get it." Now, I am more able to just brush it off as some weirdos asking strange questions. I feel like I need to paint a "because I can" card to hang on my corkboard! (I need to be making a list of all the awesome things people in this challenge are saying so I can keep it all close to me.)

  5. Lisa

    Oh Kim, I feel this post deeply! The quote you referenced, I saw it on FB too. I think Chris Zydel shared it? I can't recall for sure though. It is a fabulous quote, I need a print out of it for sure 🙂
    I got those same silly questions about reading books. I had teachers tell me I shouldn't let my child read more than one book at a time. She could read several at once and keep all the stories, characters, etc straight. Yet they wanted me to discourage her. Instead I bought her more books.
    I've had people ask me what I was writing and why was I doing it. I've had someone tell what I shouldn't write about and they thought I should be writing instead.
    I'm getting tired of having to justify or prove to others why I need to write, read, or paint what I am.
    You definitely aren't rambling. (((HUGS)))

    1. Kim

      I think you're right about Chris Zydel sharing it! Thanks!

      I am so glad you didn't listen to the advice and gave your child all the books. That is so good!

      And we don't have to justify ourselves. We think we do, especially when we're young, because society seems to expect that. But we can just do what we want! {{{Hugs back}}}

  6. Lisa

    I so related to this post. It’s impossible to explain my junk journals and art journals to people who just don’t get it. And the reading. I usually read 3-4 books at the same time, different genres, different levels of engagement, different moods - so many reasons. It irks me the most when people say, where do you find the time to read? Usually after telling me all about their latest Netflix binge.

    1. Kim

      It's so funny how the people who don't do the things we do so often want us to explain ourselves. And yet I don't think they're ever going to understand it. A lot of times I feel like they aren't actually trying, even when they ask their "why do you do that?" questions. I wonder what it is that makes them ask these things?

  7. christal

    I'm an avid reader and writer too. I also used to hear comments about always having my nose in a book. I feel like I've explored a million places, real and made up and my life is richer for it because of my love for reading. And writing continues to help me process things experienced throughout my life. Keep on creating. It is, I believe, how we touch the divine within and around us.

  8. Jean

    Oh please keep rambling !! I cannot imagine a life without reading or exploring, or playing, or creating!!! I love what you wrote - more please.

    1. Kim

      I can't imagine that there would be much enjoyment at all without all of that! And thank you for reading and joining the conversation! I love feeling not alone in my thoughts.

  9. Marie

    I loved your post and I agree that we need artists, creators, writers, readers, dreamers .... 🙂 It's how I find my sanity.

    1. Kim

      I don't know if I've found sanity. 😀 Looking at art, reading, all of that is what brings me some peace and relaxation for sure.

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