filling our creative hearts...

How do you fill your creative heart?

Do you read, sew, paint, sketch, bake, play a musical instrument, quilt, scrapbook, journal, blog, or take photographs of the world around you?

What replenishes you? What satisfies your artists spirit and quiets your inner critic?

I thought about this quite a bit while I was away this past weekend attending a writer's retreat. I was surrounded by talented and enthusiastic writer's who were all there to hone their skills, pitch their books to editors and agents as well as spend time with old friends and make a few new ones.

There was one workshop that really got me thinking. My friend Laura, who works in the PR world, challenged us to think about what our meaning of success was. Monetary gain and making the NY Times bestseller list aside, what was the intention of our book? When would we consider the book successful?

For me, it comes down to touching hearts and challenging someones perspective. How many of us have read a book and wept along with the heroine or laughed until tears fell over a particularly funny scene? Or maybe we saw a painting that made us smile and appreciate color once more. Or we had a particularly lovely meal created and shared with dear friends. We are moved. Our hearts touched and perhaps even changed by the gift.

Isn't that what we want our art, in whatever form it takes, to do? We want it to help, encourage, inspire and influence. Perhaps you don't have an audience outside your family. Your creative work is no less important than someones in the public square. Was the last loaf of bread you baked a success? Did it bless your family or a neighbor? Was their gratitude satisfying OR was the simple act of doing from start to finish without receiving accolades all the fulfillment you needed?

I realized this weekend how important it is to have time away from our daily duties and responsibilities, so we can recharge and reconnect with our creative heart. By doing so, we come back rejuvenated and ready to face the challenge of daily living and giving required of us with renewed joy.

So what do you do to fill you creative heart?

Share in the comments and let's encourage one another!

Blessings and grace,