Catch & Release
A brief note on opening yourself up to receive, create, and let go.
It’s a holiday weekend here in the US, and I hope you are busy enjoying some good company, tasty food, and soaking up the last bits of summer. In the spirit of this, I’m going to keep this week’s note short, and encourage you to think of creativity in terms of catching and releasing with this short poem I illustrated in my sketchbook.
This sketchbook spread was inspired by a lot of things I’ve read over the years about creativity from Lynda Barry, Elizabeth Gilbert, Austin Kleon, Dani Shapiro, and most certainly others. While I was working on it, a few lines from Dani Shapiro’s book “Still Writing” were bouncing around my head, particularly the part where she writes about Martha Graham’s advice to Agnes de Mille:
“It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even need to believe in yourself or the work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.”
I love this concept of keeping the channel open to receive and create the work. This quote also talks about keeping it “yours,” which I think is important while you’re neck deep in creating the work. But once it’s complete, I think releasing your grip is a critical step. Once you share the work and let other people experience it, those people will make it their own — especially if it resonates with them. As a result, the work you share gets to live many lives, many of which may not be what you had in mind. That’s part of the gift of making things. Create it, then release it, then move onto the next thing. How do you know what the next thing is? Keep the channel open.
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for being here! It truly means the world to me to connect with you every week. In case you missed it, last week I wrote about the benefits of capturing fleeting thoughts in my post What Evenings & Eons Are Made Of.
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