Some years ago, I took an online creativity-coaching course for writers from Eric Maisel, a creativity coach and therapist who lives in San Francisco.
Maisel asked us to do two short exercises daily. First, we were to physically write this sentence: “I matter and my writing matters.” He knew how easy it is to discount our creative instincts and pursuits when there is a living to make, families to raise, other obligations to perform.
He also asked us to pause every few hours, throughout the day/evening, to ask ourselves, “Could I write for fifteen minutes right now?” Amazing things could get done in just a few fifteen-minute sessions a day, he said.
And so I went about making myself believe that my writing mattered. And in between day-job tasks of my own teaching and commercial freelance writing, I worked on my own writing in fifteen-minute increments and, these past few years, my own art projects. Sometimes I found myself on a roll and was able to stretch those fifteen minutes into several hours at a time.
It’s been about ten years since I completed Maisel’s course. And as of last week, my book Skipping Church: Notes from an Accidental Minister’s Wife has just been published.
And it’s my artwork on the front.
Yes, we matter, all you writers and artists out there.
And so does our writing and art.