Are You Producing or Creating?

This entry marks the fourth anniversary of this blog and the 200th post! Hard to believe. I’ve now shared 73,500 words with you, loyal readers. Enough to fill a book! Words I hope have provided inspiration, encouragement, support, and a kick in the butt as you pursue your artist journey or uncover your creative self.

The other day, a friend told me she had lost interest in a particular artistic endeavor to which she had committed herself. She said it no longer felt like she was “creating” only “producing.” What an interesting distinction.

We hear it said all the time that certain artists are “producing at a high level” or that good artists should be “producing work all the time.” There’s a lot of language thrown our way that has to do with production, a word that’s base is formed from the word “product.” But when we are producing our best art, it doesn’t feel like production at all. It feels like creation.

It feels like giving birth, the ultimate act of creation. It feels like something bigger than us is flowing through us, a divine creation. It feels like this is exactly what we were meant to do, a bit of self-creation. It feels like we’ve been touched with unexplained power, a magical creation.

It doesn’t feel that way all the time. And often it doesn’t feel that way for long. But it’s the thrill of creation that keeps us coming back, whether we are doing it on our own or with a team.

Creation feels new, original, and untapped. Production feels old, predictable, and routine. It’s not to say production is a bad thing. Without it, we wouldn’t have cars to drive or cereal to eat. Production can still produce great things. And sometimes it’s necessary (like my friend with her contract).

But creation is where the true art lies. Creation leads to growth. It stimulates our sense of wonder. It brings us wisdom while keeping us young.

I wondered if I’d reach a point where this blog would feel like production. If it ever does, I promise I’ll stop. For now, every week, it still feels like creation. It still feels like we’re in this together, you and me. Filling up on each other’s energy and passion and love of art. Fueling each other’s creations. Thank you for taking this ride with me.

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