When was the last time you got that awkward feeling that the dream you thought you wanted — the one you may even be pursuing right now — is not it. The dream you fought for years to do. That one. Yeah. Not it.
In Blaine Hogan‘s new book, UNTITLED: Thoughts on The Creative Process, he describes this strange and extremely awkward feeling. As he drove away from wrapping season one of 20th Century Fox’s show Prison Break, where he was finally starting to take off with his acting career, an undeniable feeling swept over him. Not only was it highly uncomfortable, it was down right absurd, he says.
He felt a deep sense to give up his current path of acting to go to seminary.
And the amazing thing is, he listened. He decided to stop running. His confession came out. And his life, as he shares in vivid emotional prose, was freed to become a better version.
I couldn’t help but identify with his story because I have been there as well. Many of us have. The creative life takes so many turns, paints with so many colors, that we start to chase our favorites without asking the hard questions. We simply do not think. We do not commit to contemplate, as Blaine says.
We do not do the inner work that needs to be done first. We let the medium come before the message.
We determine we like music or photography, film or acting, and we do not first consider why those mediums work for our story. Or in what capacity we should engage and express our story. We may like music and try to be a singer, ignoring our heart to serve behind the scenes instead of on the stage. We may like photography and blindly pursue it, ignoring our heart to use words to build others up.
As Blaine shares in his philosophy as an artist:
- Content must come before the medium.
- Don’t set out to prove a point. Set out to tell a great story.
We can waste years chasing something that will never free us to become who we truly can become. But the good news is that it is all part of our journey. And that journey is what Blaine points to as the deepest well for our creativity.
If we are willing to do the work to find the parts that move us, and that give us the lump in our throats, we can take others into a truer more powerful art that deeply moves them as well.
To move and be moved. To love and be loved. Isn’t that why art captures us in the first place?