an open book with the words To Deny our Creativity is to Deny ourselves, a fountain pen, pressed flowers and various crystals

To Deny Our Creativity Is To Deny OurSelves

Hey there! It’s good to see you here. My name is Lizzie, and I am the redhead who is always wondering! Wondering about life, about this beautiful world, about words and light and colour and form. And mostly about how I can be the best me that I can possibly be.

I am a creator of hand bound books and of art, in the form of cyanotypes and photographs. I am also an avid journal-keeper and I’d like to share some of my journal wonderings with you today ….

I Always Wanted to be a Writer

When we deny our desires and our needs to be creative, we are denying our very essence.

All my life, I wanted to be a writer. But it wasn’t until I did The Artist’s Way (The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron*) that I admitted that, either to myself or out loud.

But it’s the truth. And it felt so good to finally admit that.

You see, I’ve loved books and stories since I was a very little girl. Books have always been a huge part of my life. I could read before I started school and I have never stopped. I usually have at least two books on the go … a novel, and a “brainy” book that I’m going to learn something from. And since I took up an Audible subscription, there’s a book streaming into my ears at every opportunity too!!

I cut my reading teeth on sci-fi and fantasy … a brother seven years older than me meant that I was exposed to Asimov, Dick, Tolkien, et al, from a very early age … I’d read Lord of Rings (for the first time!) by the time I was 8 or 9 years old (I’ve read it about half a dozen times since!).

My Secret Dream

And I have always secretly harboured a desire to be an author.

But I couldn’t tell anyone that. I couldn’t say it out loud.

It would have felt like “blowing my own trumpet”, something that Scottish girls of my generation were actively discouraged from doing.

And if it wasn’t my own trumpet I was blowing and getting into trouble over, then I was quite simply “showing off”. Which I was constantly told to stop doing as a child, as I performed my one-girl shows, which I wrote myself, naturally!! I can actually still hear my mum’s voice in my head, “Stop showing off, Elizabeth!”

So, I grew up hiding my desires to be creative, denying my wish to be a writer; and that denial cost me dearly.

The Years of Being Told I Just Wasn’t Creative

And then I had a lot of years where I was laughed at for even daring to think that I could be creative. I mean, who was I to think I could be creative, when there’s only room for one of them in any relationship, right?! (Yes! I WAS told this!!) And when people tell you over and over that you’re no good, then you start to believe it yourself.

It was very hard to break that pattern of negative self-belief.

Thank You to That Bold Woman

Thank goodness that a bold, hugely self-confident woman took it upon herself to thrust a copy of The Artist’s Way into my hands and tell me that I “needed” it. Oh, she was so right!

The main tool in what Ms Cameron calls her “spiritual path to higher creativity” was a thing called Morning Pages … three pages of stream of consciousness writing every morning … basically – keeping a journal.

It changed my life.

Keeping a journal CAN do that.

And if you’re scared, because you don’t know what you’re going to fill the blank pages with … just pick up the pen and start writing, even if all you can think of is … “I don’t know what to write” … just keep writing. The words WILL come.

As Julia Cameron says, “Leap, and the net will appear.”

I’m not exaggerating when I say that it changed my life.

It set me on a path of self-realization and self-actualization that lasted a lot longer than the twelve weeks it took to complete the course.

Self-actualization, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is the highest level of psychological development, where personal potential is fully realized after basic bodily and ego needs have been fulfilled.

Maslow defined self-actualization to be “self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

(Thank you for the info Wikipedia!**)

I started this journey in 1998, so I’ve been on this path for 24 years as I write this now.

And I’m still on it.

I still write every day.

I explore more and more of my creativity every day.

And I love it!

And I’m getting braver all the time.

Blowing My Own Trumpet

I now quite happily blow my own trumpet, and I declare to the world that I am A Creative. Capital Letters!

I create cyanotype prints.

I create hand bound books.

I create photographs.

a cyanotype developing
one of my hand bound journals
a Black Eyed Susan in my garden

I create social media posts and blogs.

I create joy.

I create happiness.

I create trust.

I create a garden, a home, a life that I love.

a fine crop of cyanotype prints developing in my garden
a fine crop of cyanotype prints
the spine of a cyanotype covered hand bound book, pressed flowers and crystals
the spine of one of my journals
a view of Dartmoor in Devon, blue sky and big fluffy clouds.
a view of Dartmoor in Devon

I will not deny my desire to live creatively any longer.

I will not deny my need to be creative.

I will not deny myself.

I will not deny who I am.

Red Haired Witch Who Thinks She Can Write Poetry

An ex once said that I had been “a cute blonde with no artistic aspirations” when we’d met; and that I’d turned into a “red haired witch who thinks she can write poetry” … honest to God, those were his words (though not all of them; there were a lot more words, and they were all pretty horrible, so I’m not going there!). But these particular words were branded on my brain!

Well, the “blonde” came out of a bottle. I’m proud to be a redhead now (even if I do get extra help from henna … damn you grey hairs!!)

The lack of artistic aspirations came from years of being told either to stop showing off, or that I just wasn’t good enough. I don’t think that way any more!

And I have written poetry, and do you know what?! It wasn’t Keats, but it wasn’t total crap either!!

I am a red haired Creatrix and I’m proud to be one.

Definition of Creatrix - a female creator, a femail who brings forth or produces, a mother, a female founder, authoress
a photograph of me holding one of my handmade books, with piles of them beside me
that redhaired witch

I’m proud of myself, and I am proud of my creations.

And this red-haired creatrix is here to stay!

More About Me

If you’d like to know more about me, and my hand bound books, and my journaling journey, and maybe get some tips for your own journaling process, why not sign up for my Wonders out of a Redhead Newsletter. You can sign up here … Wonders out of a Redhead.

If you’d like to see more of my hand bound journals, you can find them in my British Craft House Shop!

If you’d like to see more of my photographs, why not check out my Flickr page.

I also share my journaling journey and my photographs on my Facebook page and on Instagram … why not come and join me?!

* I am an Amazon affiliate, so if you do buy the Artist’s Way using this link, I will receive a wee bit of commission, but it won’t cost you an extra penny!

** If, like me, you are a regular user of Wikipedia, then why not do what I do, and make the odd donation to them now and again?! Donate to Wikipedia.

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