Sunday, February 20, 2011

We're All Born Creative

From a very young age we all have a quiet little voice in our heads that comes from somewhere deep inside. It whispers unique and amazing thoughts and ideas to us. In the beginning, we all hear these ideas, get excited, and do something about them. Unfortunately, the bigger and more unusual the ideas, the more resistance we encounter when we try to bring them to life. Eventually, most of us stop listening to that quiet little voice, dismiss its thoughts and ideas, and just try to fit in because it's too damn hard to do otherwise.
The great artists never stop listening to that quiet little voice in their heads no matter how tough it gets. James Taylor was on the Charlie Rose Show the other night. He talked about how hard it was for him early on in his life.
"I was born with a difficulty of being in my own skin. Living in human society,
I just ran into trouble. I think everybody does to a greater or lesser extent. I
did feel as though I was born on the dark side of the Moon and that I didn't
have a place in this world when I was 15."
James Taylor's troubles living in this world inspired that quiet little voice in his head to help him write some remarkable songs. Here's how James described the process to Charlie:
"I don't really feel as though I write songs. I feel as though I hear them first
and remember them and get them down. It's such a mysterious and subconscious
process that I couldn't really say that I wrote those songs. I just channeled
them or they happened to me first. There is a sort of lightning bolt kind of
moment when you're visited by a song and you get, hopefully, as much as you can.
Sometimes it's a whole song, but sometimes it's just a fragment. Then you have
to collect those fragments and often later on you sequester yourself and hide
away somewhere and work 'em."
Don't stop listening to that quiet little voice in your head. It's your genius. Write down everything it says no matter how weird, nonsensical, or fragmentary it may seem at the time. If you don't write it down, you'll forget it. Then, like James Taylor, spend time with the stuff you collect. Work it and shape it. Figure out what you were born to create. Build it. Publish it. The world is waiting for you to make a difference like James Taylor has with his songs.