I recently had a conversation with, who has a great newsletter, . We batted around the idea that an act of creation is an act of self-discovery.
When you create something, you discover something about yourself. When I write, not only do I have a better understanding of the topic I’m writing about, but I understand why I’m interested in the topic. I understand my resistance or affinity with the ideas. I explore how the ideas relate to my life and how I might act on them. For example, in the Writing of the Week, I write about how we can use the Hero’s Journey to help ourselves take action.
Not only did I learn more about the hero’s journey, but I confronted several questions about myself.
Why do I hesitate to take action?
What have I accomplished?
Why do I feel like some things are not accomplishments?
What goals do I want?
What am I capable of?
In order to have a cohesive, logically flowing essay, I had to examine my beliefs and assumptions. I had to fill in the gaps that I would ordinarily gloss over. I may choose not to reveal the new truths in the essay, but the truths are now part of me.
Self-discovery is an intrinsic motivation for creation. Maybe THE intrinsic motivation.
Creativity has to be intrinsically motivated. This is what differentiates creators from content creators. Content creators are extrinsically motivated - their focus is on building and monetizing an audience. Creators are on a journey of self-discovery.
Writing of the Week:
Just Do It. I wish this phrase was never told to Phil Knight and Nike so that it could be a rallying cry for us all. However, sometimes it’s not easy to “Just Do It.” But understanding where we are in the context of a larger narrative could help us to take action. Can we use the Hero’s Journey to help us take the next step?
🔗 Where are You in Your Hero's Journey?
Quote of the Week:
“I believe this passionately: that we don't grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it.” - Ken Robinson
You can find more of my writing at chr.iswong.com.
Questions, suggestions, complaints? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Leaving you in peace,
I like the essay on applying the hero's journey. It's a very succinct example of using the hero's journey for reflection and action. A year or two ago I was offering "coaching" sessions where I'd assign the Campbell's description of one of the three phases of the journey and we'd talk through where you are in one of your life journeys and how the frame might help. Lots of talk about not answering the call in a couple of the sessions. Seeing our day to day or the past few years through this lens is powerful.
Superb! Thanks again!