“Writers write.” So if you’re not writing, you’re not a writer. And if you’re not making art, you’re not an artist. Right?
I beg, not so politely, to disagree.
If a lawyer takes a sabbatical for a year, does she stop being a lawyer? Does the bar or whatever judiciary body gives her lawyer status revoke it? No. She’s earned her credentials as a lawyer and, barring being debarred (!) for doing something dodgy, a lawyer she will remain.
Yet, as artists, writers or creatives of whatever stripe, the moment we stop creating our art, we start to doubt that we’re artists at all.
And there are plenty of so-called ‘motivational coaches’ out there who are quick to jump on the bandwagon.
“Writers write. If you’re not writing, you can’t call yourself a writer.”
Only you can.
You can call yourself whatever you damn well please.
Stuff happens. We stop making art.
If you’ve stopped making your art because you’re blocked, because your sick, because you’re depressed, because you have to care for a dying loved one, or because you simply don’t feel like it, you’re still an artist.
And I don’t see that saying you’re not is going to help any.
If someone is unable to do something they love, does making them feel worse about themselves motivate them? I don’t think so.
(Because we do love making our art, right?)
In fact, I think it’s downright insulting.
It’s not like we hadn’t noticed we weren’t creating and needed a little reminder. We already feel bad enough. Do we need anyone else to add to that burden?
No, thank you very much!
So if you’re not making your art, writing your book or composing your music, please don’t beat yourself up by telling yourself you’re not an artist.
You may be a stalled artist, for whatever reason. But that doesn’t revoke your status.
So don’t let anyone else remove it for you.
Need Help Restarting Your Creative Practice?
I’d be lying if I said I never have times when I stop making art. But I always start again. (Because I’m an artist!)
Because of this, I’ve learned a ton of great tools and approaches, so if you need assistance revving up your creative juices, I’d love to help.
But because I know starting a coaching relationship is daunting, I want to offer you a choice of two easy ways to start:
Either will give us the opportunity to get to know each other and see if we’re a fit.
If not, that’s fine. There’s absolutely no point in carrying on if we’re not making progress and enjoying the relationship. So don’t feel I’ll be putting any pressure on you to continue if you don’t want to. (Just thought I’d clear that up!)
And even if 20 intense minutes or 7 days of short texts is all the time we ever spend together, you’ll come away with some crucial tools that you can use forever to help you get back on the creative horse whenever you fall off.
And you may well. There’s no shame in that. You’ll still be an artist ;)