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Musings on Creativity and the Power of Positive People August 8, 2010

Posted by craftlass in music, people, Twitter.
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I was looking at my web site and clicked through to my blog. Wow, how is it possible I haven’t posted in so long? Admittedly, most of my writing brain and time has been going into music these days, but sometimes you need more than 140-characters (re: Twitter, the only social site I like) and sometimes it’s nice to not have to worry about rhymes, meter, etc.

So, here I am, with a blog probably no one bothers looking at anymore and so much to say!

This past year has  been so amazing! So many things I would never have thought possible have actually happened. A year ago I was lost, had quit the career I’d spent most of my adult life building, was a bit scared of meeting new people, and never thought I’d even consider playing music in front of strangers again. Now I’m almost a full-time musician with wonderful new friends right here in my lovely little town and across the globe. One of my favorite friends lives about as far as possible on Earth yet we’re closer than I am to most people I’ve spent thousands of hours hanging out with!

More talented and informed people than I write plenty about the power of the Internet and the social possibilities it presents, but what I’ve learned is a bit less academic. Talking to people who are actually doing things, trying to make the world or even just their own lives better, makes you a better person. Rather than “the power of positive thinking” maybe we should concentrate on the power of positive people. No matter how strong of a person you might be the people you are surrounded by (in real life or virtually) inevitably exert an influence on your way of thinking.

Until the Internet really took hold, who you were associated with was largely a matter of circumstance. You played with the kids in your neighborhood, socialized with people you worked with, got to know people purely because they hung out at the same places, and so on. My world (with wonderful exceptions, of course) always seemed to consist of people who focused on how hard life is, how unlikely risks were to pay off, and how everyone is “out to get you.”

I spent most of my childhood through 20s depressed. The most damaging part was no amount of excelling at something meant I was actually talented to my mind, there would always be someone better. My bedroom was filled with ribbons and trophies from various activities and playbills from my theater work and dancing, yet I was convinced all of my dreams were out of reach. Luckily, that feeling didn’t stop me from trying, but it weighed on my brain like a truck and made it easier to give up on some things that were not only passions, but things I actually rocked at.

So, what made the difference? Well, two things. One day I decided that I could look at my life as a series of overwhelming obstacles or I could appreciate that the hard times made me better prepared for whatever comes next and therefore I should have hope. I can’t change my past but I could change my perspective on it and use it to make my current and future life better. Suddenly, the world seemed a lot warmer and brighter than ever before, and I found myself smiling a whole lot more.

One of the great secrets of life: Smiling=meeting more people=more chances to find the good ones=more smiling. Therefore, the first thing brought me right to the second.

Suddenly, my town of mostly young adults who party too much for my older taste revealed a whole bunch of people of all ages who had similar mindsets to mine. They were always there, I just needed to change to find them.

Meanwhile, I found Twitter and my social network suddenly spanned the globe, mainly consisting of incredibly smart and upbeat people who are contributing to the world in so many amazing ways (if someone tends towards the negative there I can just unfollow them, too, which is one way Twitter is superior to traditional social venues). They inspire me daily. Most importantly, they inspired me to write music again.

I used to believe that art sprang only from depression and my newfound lack of depression would kill my writing. It’s done the exact opposite. My brain is constantly flooded with ideas, rhythms, melodies, fragments of compositions that swirl away, demanding release. Even better, when I do have down days and find myself lacking in the willpower to keep up my disciplined attacks on writing and rehearsal, my friends, acquaintances, and dear fans lift me up and remind me why it’s important to keep putting in the effort instead of nagging me about how hard it is to have a career in music. I live the hard part, I don’t need to be how difficult it is! Positive encouragement and reactions are the finest fuels for motivation.

So, if you stumbled across me and what I do and you’ve ever sent me a message or bought even a single track, thank you. It’s a cliché but you truly are the reason I work so hard and I’m endlessly grateful to have these reasons. They’re a far better incentive than any paycheck could be!

Now, I just need to work on getting the non-musical writing momentum up…

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