When I was ten my best friend was 80 years old. His name was Mr Boggs. His house was my refuge. He and I discussed my creative dreams and he inspired me to tell stories about what I saw in the world.
Mr Boggs became very ill and went into the hospital. My mother explained that because of his age and health, he probably wouldn’t be coming home. I vowed to create something for him every day that he was in the hospital, and I sent him handmade books, cards and posters.
He did get out of the hospital and when he did, he said to me, “I think you saved my life. No one else called or wrote, and I had to get out to see you.”
I immediately started writing my first book, because I thought that if my art and words could affect one person that much, what might happen if I could share them with the world?”
However, her path was neither quick nor smooth:
From ages 14 to 26 I put my creative dreams on hold as I attended school and experimented with hundreds of part-time jobs…[at the age of 26] I began creating art and writing to share with the world. For years, my art and writing was rejected by magazines, newspapers, and publishing companies. Although it must be said that I didn’t send it out very often, because I was too busy surviving and crafting new work.
In 1988 she finally decided to throw herself whole-heartedly into her work, and to be led by the answers to two questions:
WHAT DID I HAVE TO OFFER?
HOW COULD I BE OF USE?
That led to a best-selling poster and then her first book, "A Creative Companion." But that was not without its challenges, either:
I finally dared to create the kind of book I’d dreamed of making so many times. I faced massive self-doubt, ruthless inner critics, and nearly paralyzing fear, but I did it anyway.
She's gone on to huge success; it's reassuring that even the most successful people had doubts along the way.
It might be useful to think about how you'd answer her two questions and how the answers relate to your work...and what you could do (even if just part-time) if they don't.(My book can't make you creative, but it can liberate the creativity you already have and show you how to get into a creative state of mind, give you specific ways to generate ideas, provide tools that will help you turn those ideas into real projects, and introduce you to inspirational stories of how others have done it. It's all in the book Creativity Now, published by Pearson and available from Amazon or your other favorite book seller.)