Free the Angel – being creative in a difficult world.

Difficult times?  Hoooboy, if you’re watching global news, mulling over political debates, worrying about the environment, the economy and/or personal income,  concerned about what the earth is doing,  then adding your own problems to the list,  I’d bet you’ll affirm sadly, “Yes, these are difficult times.”

And, here’s another “problem.”  Are you yearning  to see some personal, you-created project through the birthing process and into the public eye?  Well yes, that, too, whether you’re starting a new business, finishing a painting, building a shelf, helping a child build with LEGOs, extending comfort to a fellow human, or putting “The End” on a manuscript and hoping it will become a book.

Well, what if your project isn’t working out?  It’s just too hard, and you’re discouraged.  (Or, I am?)

So, now what? Give up, sit in a corner and cry or rage?  Turn your back on the whole thing and just plod through each day?  What?

I say it’s time to “free the angel.”

These words come from what Michelangelo is supposed to have said when someone asked him about his creative process:  “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Sounds like he trusted that the angel (or whatever) was there. So, what about your angel?

I say every human populating the globe has the creative ability–the angel–inside. Imagine Michelangelo, chipping and chipping away on that block of marble.  What a huge job!  I bet research could tell me how long it took him to find the Pietá, or David, inside those enormous chunks of white marble. (You can do the research if you like, but we acknowledge a lot of time, right?) THEREFORE! Don’t you dare whimper (remember, all this is directed at Radine, too) over the time and hard work it takes to create a viable business, or a painting to suit you and others. To practice sport or dance, help another person meet his or her need, OR, for many readers here, do the writing, editing, selling, and promoting it takes to see shared thoughts go out into the world.  Don’t you dare deny the value of whatever it is your personal creative spark says must come out, be seen, and shared.

Have enough faith in yourself to know it’s there, and it’s yours alone to set free. If you don’t let it loose, the world and all people will be robbed of the value you could have shared.  If even one person gains by what you, (you alone) have found inside and worked to share, well, isn’t that a happy result of your  creative ability?

Yes, it is.  So, let’s get busy chipping.  Free the angel!


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7 Responses to “Free the Angel – being creative in a difficult world.”

  1. needlesandpens Says:

    You are so right. I love the quote by Michaelangelo. There is a book for writers that I read several years ago, called Wrestling with Your Angel, and in it, the author wrote of our inner critic and our inner angel. Years later, I am finally realizing that wrestling with the angel takes the greater effort … editing that manuscript again and again, finding things that will improve, errors that need repair, and flaws that slipped unseen until re-read yet again. While it’s important to believe in ourselves, it’s also important to recognize our weak points, and ask others for help when it’s needed.

    I enjoyed reading your post … and remembering!

  2. Sara Martin Says:

    Great pep talk! Trust is so important for us creatives. Trust that there is value in our work, more to be discovered every day. Thanks for sharing!

  3. radine Says:

    Aren’t these wonderful additions to our discussion! Helpful sharing for me and all. THANK YOU!

  4. Jackie King Says:

    I needed to be reminded of that quote from Michaelangelo! So thanks. Sometimes I forget that any book or story I’ve ever written has been hard to do. The only solution is to keep my fingers on the keys and keep typing.

  5. Jenny Milchman Says:

    Free the angel indeed, Radine. Great find. I wish you could be at our Friday Writing Matters panel–it’s on “accessing creativity in a hectic world”. Thanks for the post!

  6. Radine Trees Nehring Says:

    Jenny, I wish I could be there, too. A scholar/physicist recently spoke at the University of Arkansas, saying both time travel and instant travel, place to place will be possible in the future. Since “in the future” is the operative word, guess I won’t be there! Thanks for the invitation.

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