There’s a constant pull in me, between my desire to create and my need to protect myself. To create is to give, yet I tend to favor protection.

To create, for me, looks like:

  • writing music and lyrics
  • recording
  • performing
  • releasing songs and ideas
  • thinking, reading, exercise, traveling, creative intake
  • praying
  • inquiring
  • quietness
  • waiting

To protect looks like:

  • over-producing
  • activity, busyness
  • networking, campaigning
  • meetings
  • gear research
  • advertising, marketing
  • maintaining strategic relationships
  • manipulating
  • making myself heard, shouting
  • tweeting to make myself seem interesting or important
  • strategizing
  • endless re-evaluating
  • policy creating, mistake avoidance

There are times when things on the 2nd list are necessary, but they should never be prioritized over things on the 1st list. Unfortunately, I find that to be the case most of the time. I protect myself. And only when I feel totally safe (or, alternatively, completely broken) do I choose to create.

Instead of giving, I end up taking. Instead of living, I maintain. Creative tasks are moved to the bottom of the to-do list. Not because they’re less important (they’re most important), but because they’re scary. I feel threatened, so I can’t create. I can’t give.

Is this really living?

What would it look like to live a life of creativity without concern for security? What would I do differently today? And if I made this change, do I really think I’d be any less secure?

Protection, at best, delays death (doesn’t avoid it). It maintains. Nothing more. Nothing positive. Net zero.

Generous creativity changes everything. It moves us forward. It feeds our souls. It’s exciting! And yes, it’s scary as hell. But very few times is the best decision also the safest one.

Creating vs Protecting