Follow Your Creative Heart

(The graphic contains a quote from the following text: 
"Each one of us needs to clear some space, create some quiet time,
in order to connect with our true spirit, our true voice.")

I wrote about the noise around us in my book, Alphabet of Faith

“It’s safe to say, right now, these days, we’re being bombarded by information – 
news channels that we can’t help but tune into several times a day, 
articles and videos and memes in our social feeds,
emails from our friends and families. 
There are a lot of people – 
reporters, writers, musicians, pastors, politicians, just to name a few – 
who are doing a lot of talking.”

Just recently on Twitter,
an aspiring writer wanted to know what it takes to write a book,
and she said she’d already been told she doesn’t have enough followers
or an established platform to interest a publisher. 

And earlier this week,
I watched a documentary on making three people
Making people famous. 
by buying fake followers to boost follower numbers.
That’s so … fake.  

I’m done. 
I’m officially tapping out, as they say on the TV show, Alone. 
Of course, I can’t completely tap out of social media
but I’m done with feeling like I
have to
post the right kind of selfie
post the coolest kind of videos
to satisfy 


some people in a marketing department
who think TikTok is the only way to reach people?
The way to change hearts?
The way to change the world?
The way to make someone’s life a little better?

The kind of connectedness we need
in order to be creative
doesn’t come through a social media account. 

To be creative, to be artistic, 
to use one’s skills to affect some kind of change
in the world
means shutting out the noise of the world,
the voices who don’t appreciate
creativity and individuality and art. 
Who want everything to be the same, 
who want everything to be about quantity,
not quality. 

It means tapping out of the noise
and tapping into your own instincts,
your own voice telling you what idea
to follow
not whose 

It means,
as always,
being true to yourself
even if it seems like no one else cares.

If we are working to do what other people think we should do, 
if we are striving to fulfill the expectations of others, 
we aren’t doing what is right or real for us. 
If our heads are filled with the noise of others’ 
demands and expectations, advice and opinions, 
we can’t hear our own voice, 
our own heart showing us the way that true for us. 

That’s part of the reason I decided to have a “summer of creativity”. 
To focus on creative writing, maybe even some art. 
To stop posting on social media. 
To write more of my thoughts for this blog. 
I’ve been blogging since 1999 so it’s something that is a deeply-ingrained part of my writing life.
To work on a couple of book projects that are very important to me, and need the time and space of two months of freedom from obligations and expectations in order to be realized. 

Each one of us needs to clear some space,
create some quiet time,
in order to connect with our true spirit
our true voice 
It’s no good to look at other people’s carefully curated lives all the time.
It’s no good to listen to other people’s ideas and opinions all the time.
We need to hear our own thoughts and ideas,
our own heartbeats, 
our own voice calling from the wilderness.

We think the wilderness is a bad thing,
a negative experience, 
the opposite of where we need to be.
But consider this analogy:
Social media – TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook – 
are like crowded city streets,
full of people 
full of distractions 
full of noise
sounds and images and movement
coming at us from all directions
horns lights signs 
The wilderness
is empty
wide open

While that scares people
all those people in that documentary
who wanted to be famous 
the wilderness
(which I also write about in Alphabet of Faith
is necessary
for a creative, artistic, aware, activist life
even if only for a month a week a day
we need to feel wild and free and untethered
for some time at some time

Social media 
is also necessary 
for a creative, artistic, aware, activist life
we shouldn’t be ignored pushed aside abandoned
when we choose to balance the two
and be truer to our creative spirit 

~ SJ




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