Getting Personal #1: Creativity and Lists

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“One day you will wake up and there won’t be be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”

~Paulo Coelho

Finally complete a novel.

Publish said novel.

Travel — Hawaii, Alaska, Fiji, Jamaica, Italy, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand …

Be a contestant on at least one game show – Preferably Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy! 

Fill my future house with amazing art … Some of that art being my own creations.

Write/publish more novels.

Have children with an amazing man by my side … That amazing man’s name is Al 🙂

Live my life to the absolute fullest.

I originally wanted to base this post off of a Sylvia Plath quote. Don’t worry, that’s coming up soon.

But, the quote from Paulo Coelho struck me.

The list I just composed is very short, but it contains pretty much everything that I want to do before I die. It’s my bucket list of sorts, except I don’t want to call it that. The term “bucket list” has become so cliche since the movie was released seven years ago. I’m not a fan of cliches or stereotypes, so I’m going to loosely title this list the “Laura Beth Checklist.”

I didn’t number the list either. My OCD synapes are angry with me right now, but I’m doing that deliberately.  I don’t want to have a complete order to my life – I learned how to be spontaneous in college, and I want to keep it that way.

Now, you may be wondering how on earth this list and this quote relate to the Sylvia Plath quote. Well, I’ll give you the quote first:

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

~Sylvia Plath

The first thing that went through my head when I read the Plath quote was thinking of my attempts at writing novels. It hit me hard. For the last two years, I have participated in National Novel  Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short. The ultimate goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.

First novel, 2012 — Final word count of 10,212 words.

Second novel, 2013 — Final word count of 14,247 words.

Third novel, 2014 — 6,125 words and counting.

Self-doubt is something I think everyone struggles with, at least once. It goes along with the famous “You yourself is your own worst critic” line. But, I think this affects members of the creative community a bit more – I’m talking writers, artists, designers, musicians, photographers, and so on.

The reason I say that is because all of these people are striving to show something they either created or are passionate about to others, especially if they do it for a living. Self-doubt can’t be hanging around all the time if you’re trying to eat and sleep on what you create or perform.

With my novels, along with my pastel artwork and my playing the viola, self-doubt has certainly reared its ugly head.

I confessed to my friend Justin last night that I was still very self-conscious about sharing my novels. As soon as I wrote that though, I shook my head. It sounded so silly seeing it in the Facebook message to him.

I pour a lot of myself into this very blog, so what makes my novels any different, I thought to myself.

With that, I’m offering to share my novels with anyone (yes, anyone!) who is willing to read them. I love having readers of this blog, so I would love to have people read my novels as well. Criticism and praise are optional, but I’d love to hear what you really think. I’ve taken many a workshop class thanks to Longwood, so please don’t be afraid to tell me if you honestly think it’s absolute trash and I need to start over – Honesty is the best policy. Don’t get me wrong, hearing that will hurt a little, but I promise, I won’t throw a temper tantrum!

My advice – Work through the doubt. Give yourself the encouragement that you deserve. Be proud of everything that you do! Having some doubt is okay, but don’t let it take over. You’re so worthy of success!!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

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