111 Day Artistic Spirit Pledge: Spiritual Growth Through Creative Expression
I am an Artistic Spirit! For most of my life I’ve used the creative arts as a source of spiritual exploration and healing, even though I didn’t always do so consciously. Sometimes I was the instrument creating the art and other times I was on the receiving end. The connection between art and spirituality is so significant in my life that it’s infused into everything I do. I love music, theatre, television drama series (daytime and primetime), and creative writing and find fulfillment in artistic expression of various sorts: singing, acting, and jewelry design. Throughout the next 111 days, I’ll delve into how all of the above strengthens my spirit and has saved my life on more than one occasion.
Day One: A Little TV Drama is Good for the Soul
Even before I labeled myself a writer, I loved the art of storytelling. Reading books about interesting characters and fantastical places invigorated my mind and spirit while fictionalized drama series cultivated my creative side.
There are those who hear the word “Hollywood” and instantly think the following: frivolous, unimportant, fake, unrealistic, and dream-crushing. But when I see that same word, I am inspired to create…to write…to imagine. My pen floats across the page as I scurry to write down all the story ideas that flutter in my imagination after watching a climatic TV episode. I hear a song on the radio and think it would be a perfect fit for a particular character or couple. I see a pendant at the jewelry store that’s a fitting representation of a character and I assemble a necklace out of that inspiration. While another artist’s finished work inspires me to create, it also motivates me to develop content based on characters, storylines, and worlds all of my own creation.
Even before I knew it had a name, I was writing fan fiction. In high school I spent my “free class” jotting down story ideas and dialogue based off of a TV show that I watched on a regular basis. Sometimes I would guess what would happen next and other times I would rewrite a storyline the way I’d expected it to happen. The challenge was to create dialogue that was in line with how each character actually spoke and storyline arcs that were both plausible and in keeping with the tone of the show. I’ve continued this activity all these years later, and it’s still exciting when I get close to predicting a storyline direction correctly. My career goal of one day working as a writer on a TV drama series remains intact despite twenty-five years of pushing it to the side.
A fictionalized journey inspires me to create a brand new story – one filled with characters that are both complex and relatable, storylines that are intriguing and plausible, and plot points that keep me engaged to write. The TV dramas that I gravitate to most are those that keep me wanting more, and I, in turn, want to do the same for others. Creating my own stories and characters enables me to connect with other people through the words I choose and the manner in which I present them. On the other end of the spectrum, when I think my favorite TV show took a storyline way off course then that reminds me that I’m not a writer of the series…and to focus on creating the story I envision.
What does all of the above have to do with spirituality? Acknowledging what inspires my creativity and artistry helps me grow on a spiritual level. When engaged in an artistic venture, whether creating or absorbing, I’m connecting to the world in which I live and the people who inhabit it with me.
Calling all fan fic writers, entertainment lovers, and spiritual explorers – use the comment section below to open a discussion!