(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr. Find out more at my newsletter.)
We wish our creative works to reach people. We want to shake the thrones of tyrants and overturn oppression. We want to make people laugh, to soothe their cares in the world with fun. We want to sneak behind boredom and stab it in the back to free people’s imaginations.
Yet, will we ever do this?
Will our works reach others? Will they touch them in the ways we hope? Will we inspire others like we were once inspired?
You can never be sure of this. Your work may not be recieved in the way you expected. Time to spread your creations may not be at hand. Your latest creation may have flaws that keep it from reaching others, flaws you don’t know until it’s completed.
We may not change the world with one book or song. We may not change it in a hundred. It can be frustrating, these unkowns, these failures, these unsureties.
If you have these frustrations, be assured you’re not alone. Your friends and fellows share them. People you pass in the streets have novels they fear won’t be loved and art they hate.
But still, what can you do? WIll your work change the world?
Perhaps, but consider what you do change for sure – yourself.
As you create something, you change. You learn new skills and hone ones that exist. You think thoughts you never had before. You study and dream and practice. Each work you create changes the world – by changing yourself.
The person that starts writing a book is not the same person who completes it. If you are aware of it, that new you becomes a better person – wiser, more skilled, and more aware.
This new person you’ve become can change the world. They have better understanding, make better decisions, are more adept at their creativity. You are your own creative work, and you become more by pursuing your dreams and creations.
This new person may fail at one creative work, yet they have grown. Their next story, or piece of art, or book may shake the world. They may realize how to promote old work with new insights. The future you has more and more chances to change the world – because they grow with each creation.
May your books be read, your songs be sung, your art appreciated. May you change the world for the better, but always appreciate how everything you create helps you become an even better person.
And, consider that as you evolve in your writing or drawing, how stealthily and subtly it happens. Your sentences and verses push you forward to become something more. The tyrants, both men and ideas, won’t see you evolving or growing. They won’t know how you might evolve.
Until, perhaps, it is too late for them.