What makes a house a home? A house becomes a home when it’s warm, loving, and comfortable. A home is a place for growth. A home is a place you care about. When something breaks, you fix it. A home is a place you want to improve by upgrading, renovating, and remodeling. A home is a safe place to hide away when the world becomes too frustrating and horrible. When a house is a sanctuary, it becomes a home.
But creativity can be home too. Creativity gives us a place to go when life is hard. After all, a home is a safe place to practice, where we learn to push through our comfort zone without the public’s prying eyes.
That is how I like to think of creativity. Creativity is not escapism. Creativity is returning to a place where we can rest, recover, and reflect. We don’t escape to our homes. We live in our homes. We grow in our homes. We learn in our homes. We love our homes.
I love my apartment. I do my best living here. The one positive about leaving this place is that I get to experience coming back. That’s what traveling is all about. The best part about traveling is gaining a new perspective and reaffirming that where I live, the life I’ve chosen, is correct.
As a writer, my house is where I do most of my writing, but I can take my home with me when I write. Wherever I am out in the world, I can open my work and be transported home. The process of migrating the story from my brain to the page is a room I can always enter even when I’m far away. Home, in this case, is a mindset. It’s my passion and pursuit that grounds me and gives me comfort. Once again, it may sound like escapism, but I’m not escaping anything. I’m sitting at the coffee shop or a bench in the park, feeling at home.
When we think of our creativity, we get caught thinking of it as a chore we need to check off. While there is a lot of work involved in any artistic venture, there is also a lot of work involved with taking care of a house. But taking care of your home is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, because who reaps the reward of your efforts? You.
Therefore, think of creative work as the extra mile we put into making a home more livable. We are editing our story again so that we can make it better, a renovation. We move words around the way we move furniture to get a fresh perspective. We cut sentences out of our work the same way we declutter our closets. Yes, we want to invite people over and have them marvel at our efforts, but even if a project failed to appeal to anyone, we know it allowed us to live a better life.
We create because like doing laundry, we need to clean. While cleaning a house may require us to get rid of stuff, cleaning, in a creative sense, means taking the ideas in our heads and bringing them into the real world, thus freeing them from our minds.
Regardless of what we do, most of us are lucky to go home almost every night. We crawl into our beds and wake up in the morning. But that’s only the physical home. What about our creative home? Are we visiting that place within ourselves often enough? Are we finding comfort and growth in the act of creation? Do we have a way of expressing ourselves? Are we taking care of that home?
Creativity is not a hotel. You don’t just check in, check out, and never return. No, creativity should be a place you can open the door and enter whenever you want. It should be a place where you can feel safe every night. It’s a place you can bring with you wherever you go. Make creativity your home, and you will always have a place to stay, and from there, you can recover and face the sometimes horrible, frustrating, and awful world that doesn’t always feel like home.
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