How to Stay Sane and Alive if You’re Creative

There are days when I’m consumed by my fears, anxieties and worry. The words don’t come. The pages are garbage. The brilliant idea slipped through my fingers, and it’s gone forever.

There are other days when I revel in the love of words like I’m rolling in lottery money, throwing it up to the air in great handfuls while I laugh. I could touch the sun. I could talk to god.

I am a writer. This is my lot in life, to endure great struggles and anguish, and to dance in fantastic victories with the deities of my talent. I delve into the depths of my own mind, searching for the stories and words that I want to drag out of the mire. I open my mind and let my creativity soar, spilling out onto pages.

Alright, so I’m waxing poetic. It happens. Truth be told, most days, I’m just myself, doing my job. And today I was doing that job, running down my to-do list. Here was something fast and easy – a video my friend Susan sent me. Probably something to do with law, no doubt.

Well, it was time to cross it off the list, so I clicked ‘play’ with a small sigh and sat back to watch, already dreading what was to come. A video that can hold my attention longer than 1.36 minutes is a meteoric miracle.

Do you remember the movie years ago? Jerry McGuire. All the women loved it for one sweet line: “You had me at hello.”

That was me. The woman on stage had me at hello. I sat there enraptured for the full 19.29, drinking in every word that flowed like water from Elizabeth Gilbert’s mouth.

(Run-on sentences, if you must know, but it was soothingly fitting.)

I even wrote a few words down, seizing them as mine. I whispered them aloud as my pen scratched the paper. “Swallow the sun, swallow the sun.”

If you write, if you draw, if you play with color or language, if you see shapes, images, words in your head… if you are in any way creative, then you need to watch Elizabeth Gilbert and hear her message.

And to Susan? I should have listened weeks ago when you sent this. Thank you, thank you.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.