The Creative’s Blessing: My TEDx Open Mic Night Talk

Maybe you’ve heard: TEDx is coming to Richmond in March! Last week, I participated in an Open Mic Night at the Hippodrome in downtown Richmond, where 30 speaking hopefuls gave two minutes each on their idea worth spreading, in hopes of gaining enough audience votes to take the stage for 18 minutes at the upcoming TEDxRVA. 

A number of you have asked what I talked about, so I thought I’d share the TEDxRVA Open Mic message here. Read on for “The Creative’s Blessing.”

Creative work can be highly competitive.

Our culture is to celebrate the best work of creatives. This is advantageous, because it drives creatives to produce the highest level of work possible, and brings about supremely executed art. But celebrating creative work that our culture deems best also has inherent RISK.

Our risk as creatives is that we are overly influenced by the culture around us and value our creative output more highly than we should, while undervaluing the creative process.

I’ve been studying the intersection of creativity and spirituality for several years now, and I’ve come to believe several things. I believe it is our birthright to create; that the process of developing great art is life-giving. I also believe that our spiritual selves are deeply connected to the creative process and when we create, we are nurturing our souls.

It’s tempting, though, as a creative, to become overly focused on external acclaim; to become obsessed with creating one perfect idea. When we elevate the praise of others around us over the creative process that is happening within us, the work drains us rather than filling us.

It is within our power to celebrating the process of making something beautiful. THIS is the Creative’s Blessing: We are blessed when we stop worrying about what our craft does FOR others and begin to celebrate what the creative process does IN us.

Let’s celebrate the journey. We were made to create. Let go of one “perfect” outcome, and instead allow your artistic expression to work deep within you; to leave a footprint on your soul. That is what creating is really all about.

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2 Responses to The Creative’s Blessing: My TEDx Open Mic Night Talk

  1. Carrie Schymanski says:

    Love it! I was just looking back at some notebooks from college when I would just enjoy writing random lists, sayings, rhymes, and poems. I want to get back to just playing with words without necessarily having a specific task to complete. See you around Hope! If you ever want company making music, let me know – I’m always up for a sing-a-long with someone who plays the piano!

    • Carrie, it is so interesting that you referenced notebooks from college. What prompted this whole thought for me is an orange 3-ring binder that my dad put together – he filled it with my poetry when I was writing in middle and high school. It’s the same for me as what you said – just the process of playing with words without some outcome-oriented goal ended up being a beautiful thing. I’d love to make music some time, as well…sounds like a great idea. Thanks for reading!!

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