“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs
We have a finite time on this earth to create. That has never been more clear to me than watching my mother lose her desire and then her ability to create in her battle with cancer. A pianist for 70 years, a church organist for over 40, and more recently a painter, she recently lost the will to play or create when the cancer began to ravage her body. More intense and devastating than we (and very likely she) imagined, this life long creative saw her only focus being on getting through each day, and then just surviving.
This should make us all mindful of our short time not only on this earth, but the small window we have to create as the great Creator made us in His image. We have to get to work people!
I always find it funny when people who have the talent to do something just don’t. I find it frustrating when I find a new music artist and look back to see they stopped making records, or only have one or two recordings and no more. Now, I know that doesn’t mean they likely quit making music, but maybe just didn’t have a way or the help to get it out there.
All of us have many ideas for creative projects. I’ve been sitting on two albums myself, and finally just got my new piano record out recently. But I have many more projects in production or in line for creation. A new jazz record which I’m sure fans of that brand would love to hear (probably wondering why we haven’t released more things like I lamented about others above!) I have novels, more albums, stories, musicals, TV shows, and many other ideas in the hopper.
The Dreaded Work Problem
So why aren’t I getting to them? Probably the same reason you aren’t getting to yours, and they have nothing to do with being incapacitated, sickness, or even laziness.
We all have this thing “work” to do. That thing we have to do in order to keep a roof over our head, food on the table, and bills paid. Very few people I know can both create what they want and have it make their entire living. It’s actually very stressing to do. It can make being creative seem like a real slog and like actual work. And the last thing you want is creating to feel like work you want to get away from.
Now those who know me as a music producer, music arranger, and even composer may think my work for clients would be fulfilling enough. I must say I am lucky that I do get paid to do creative tasks all day. But still, there is an extra mile of joy when you release your own creations that came from your brain.
I think the key is to find and make time, and even squirrel away dollars to let your personal creativity have it’s room in your life. Special times you make for creating. Other times you assign for working on the real tasks of getting that creation out there.
If We Don’t Create It Who Will?
It’s not going to magically happen. Someone who cares needs to do the work, and that someone is you. If you don’t, then no one will care enough, even if maybe you are paying them.
I know the pride my mom got from her paintings, and she was really starting to enjoy the classes, giving them to friends, showing them at local art shows, and just the pleasure of creating. But time and age take us all, and it also limits our window for creating.
I look at my life now with a smaller possible window than ever before to get out all the creative projects I want to in my life. I hope like me, you will see the importance of your artistic contribution to the world, and the urgency there has to be with the finite time God has given us on this earth to create works.
Join me. Let’s get to work!
“It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on Earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Eric Copeland is a composer, author, and is literally thinking of new projects every day and has since he was a kid. His one focus is to get out all the creations the Great Creator gave him. His company Creative Soul can help you create your next works while he creates his. Are you ready to get to work before your creative time runs out? Contact us here and let’s talk!