Passion and Permission

This week marks the seventh anniversary of this blog. Someone asked me how I had maintained the stamina for such an endeavor and how I came up with new ideas every week. I told her it all comes down to passion and permission.

In 2014, friends had been urging me to start a blog for years, but since so many writers had blogs I didn’t want to attempt one until I felt I had something unique to say. When I landed on the idea of Bursts of Brilliance®–which is really all about celebrating the inner artist in everyone–I knew I had something that would sustain my interest and provide enough passion to tackle a weekly blog.

Then I gave myself a whole lot of permission. I decided I would not critique my ideas; I’d just put my fingers to the keyboard and start typing. I wouldn’t try to write to themes or plan some sort of forced agenda. I would write about hot topics only if they genuinely interested me, not just because they were trending. I would employ my best writing skills, but I wouldn’t let my perfectionism interfere with publication. I’d write about personal things, if I felt like it, without fear of judgement. I’d do the best I could to challenge my readers, and myself, without causing harm.

When I started this blog, I couldn’t have anticipated a global pandemic or social and political unrest to the scale we saw in 2020. When the lockdowns started, I had a sense the blog–which had always been a view of life through the eyes of an artist—would become much more personal as everything about how I created and sold art began to change. Because my thoughts and feelings were so big and sometimes heavy during that year, I had no choice but to address them. So, I joined a chorus of people engaged in “pandemic writing” that will, hopefully, reveal our humanity to future generations. I’m sure the lessons I’ve learned in the past year will continue to surface in my work.

“How do you know when a book is done?” new writers often ask me. No one has yet asked me how I’ll know when my blog is done. I don’t even ask myself. I wake up every Friday morning and know it’s time to write. I close my eyes and wait for that burst of brilliance that tells me what this week’s post will be about. As long as those bursts continue to arrive, this blog will go on. That’s the nature of creativity. As long as something still brings us passion, it’s not hard to give ourselves permission. When the passion wanes, it’s time to move on to something else, and that’s okay. Because creativity never stops, it just changes direction.

I hope these posts and my book, Bursts of Brilliance, have sparked your inner artist, brought you joy, made you feel seen, and helped you remember we’re all in this together, we artists, creators, learners, and teachers. Make some good art today in whatever form you choose, and thank you so much for reading.

Teresa R. Funke

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