Mindful Monday: On Creativity

I never thought about writing. I was married young, I was still in college, as we did then, and I had two babies before I was 25, and I loved them, and I loved taking care of them, but I was a little bit cuckoo, staying at home and not having a creative outlet." ~ Judy Blume

Do you have a creative outlet? Something you do just for you, just for the fun of it? Cooking? Crocheting? Baking? Painting? Decorating? Sketching? 

Just about nine months ago I captured photos of a sweet newborn and her very happy older sister. It was a lovely day and the photos reflected that joy. About a month, or maybe six weeks later, a mutual person to me and the girls' mom casually asked why I didn't do more photo taking. Why, she asked, did I not make this a viable business, something more than an expensive hobby? My reply was simple and direct: "I don't want to." 

We talk, a lot, about doing what we love. Pursuing our passions as careers. We talk about these passions, as my Grandmother would say 'from both sides of our mouths.' We praise those who dare and succeed repeating the lauded words of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Oprah. We praise their empire building and remind ourselves it's never too late.  We excitedly point out that Tina Fey was nearly 28 before she was hired by SNL and - let's all gasp - Vera Wang designed her own wedding dress at age 40! Incidentally, that wedding dress was the first she designed.

We exhale, inhale and immediately begin cautioning others, loudly, about the conditions necessary to pursue and succeed at passionate paths. How often have you said or heard "well, you'll need to save more money before you quit and start this business" "are you crazy, giving up a job with benefits?" "what if you fail - then what will you do?" and on and on and on.

Here's my approach. Do it for yourself. No, I'm not joking. Do it for YOU. Do it simply because it makes you happy. 

I don't wish to be a wedding or newborn or family photographer. I don't want to chase sales and overprice snapshots to pay my mortgage. I'm keeping this just for me. Just for the fun of it. 

I study photography. I read magazines. I try new techniques, I fail and I delete the file. Sometimes a new technique is awesome - I print those and frame them. 

I publish the photos I love and sell them at a very reasonable price so others can surround themselves in affordable beauty. I make notecards on smooth paper - perfect for thank you and happy birthday and I'm sorry for your loss and I'm just missing you and thought I'd say hello. 10% of every profit is donated to charity usually St. Jude Children's Hospital, though when I started it was to bolster my family's Autism Speaks Walk Team. That makes me feel like I'm spreading love and joy into the world. Little ripples that touch others in a happy way in a world that can, at times, be too unhappy.