It’s all about what the heart wants.
Creativity: it has to be wanted by the heart, doesn’t it, or it really stands no chance of becoming what it’s asking to become.
All writers hear the same advice, when we start out on our writerly journey. Write what you know. And that’s all very well to say, but what exactly does it mean? I know about coffee, but should I write about it? Well, maybe not. I don’t know about finance: here I see an absolute. Do-not-write about it. Do not. No.
But I think what is really meant by write what you know, surely must be this:
Write what your heart knows.
Write what your heart is crying for.
Write what makes you feel alive.
When I recognised (and gave myself permission to write) the way my heart wanted to write, my authentic voice and flow came to life. Not only was I writing words and stories that I was very proud to share, but I could feel my words resonating on a deeper level. I could feel my stories and the plight of the characters I was writing, down to my bones.
That’s how I recognised that I was home.
That’s how I understood I was writing what I knew.
Maybe you are a more logical writer/musician/artist who plans everything and is allergic to the word heart. That is okay. I believe it’s still the same drive that moves us forward on the creative path. The need to express our authentic selves. It’s the key, I think, to creating at our highest human potential; harnessing our creative energy and letting it flow through us, unrestricted. For many of us, though, that word unrestricted is a constant source of angst.
In my case, I needed to overcome my fears of being different from those in my culture who didn’t live the way I did. Empathically. Whole heartedly. With love. Emotion is not a value easily digested in the culture I grew up in, and so the battle I was facing when it came to expressing my authentic creativity was one of not belonging.
Your battle may be different. I’d Imagine it is, actually (we’re all so delightfully different, us human folk.)
The thing is this: it all leads back to the same place. The need to express the truth of who we are, regardless of who may disagree or misunderstand our way of writing ourselves into the world.
Write what you know, is how it’s always been.
Write who you are, is what I would say.
Re-create who you are. Turn you into art.