Welcome to a new week. Are you ready to delve into part two of: making a commitment to listen as a way to cultivate inspiration as artists? If you missed part one, read it here.
First of all, this is hard at anytime. But especially during busier times in our lives, listening takes incredible amounts of intention. Whether it’s our schedules or simply the things coming at us (advertisements, cultural noise, etc.), listening is not for the faint of heart.
But—listen we must, if we want to grow. Here’s the focus this week: listening to the voices and work (others have produced) that has gone before you. There is no shame in this. In fact, it’s more shameful not to listen to those who have created before us. This is like any conversation we want to enter in life, it’s best to listen before we just start talking. Because, if we want others to listen to our tales, to our inspiration, to our art then we must become listeners—it will show if we aren’t.
Don’t be afraid of this. A common refrain among artists is “I don’t want to study (others) because I am afraid I will lose my own voice.” There is only one you in the entire universe, the more you work in applying yourself to your craft, including knowing the arena you enter, the less you have to fear. Believe more in the purposefulness of who you have been created to be than in the possibility that can be lost. It will be lost quicker by our lack of intention and attention than it will by careful listening. The more you apply the knowledge of others in your art, the more you are able to express yourself.
Here’s how Raynna and I state it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration:
“I commit to listening to the work, the conversation I join, and to those who know me, believing there’s a bigger purpose as an artist than I might know on my own.” It was a challenge to compact so many big ideas into one sentence, the most important however is the underlying reason: we are born for a purpose—I’ve dismissed this truth in the past, but that just resulted in a loss of time. So let’s do the hard work of believing it now until it’s not so hard anymore. Anyone up for taking that challenge—believing your importance enough to listen to others?
Have a great weekend everyone. Create, be happy, keep creating,
Subscribe to get the free one page PDF: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.
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