It’s Christmas – dance like nobody’s watching!

Jmg02

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas (Hanukkah, New Year) and all you wish for yourself in 2012.

Thank you to all my readers – I hope you like this blog enough to come back to my tech, travel and creative musings. Here are some creative reflections and some background to this blog.

Although I started blogging in July, I chose the theme Dance like nobody’s watching for my 2010 Christmas card. It is my mantra for creative expression and is from a poem that has been attributed to Mark Twain:

“Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Joanna_christmas2010card

The quote and the illustration encapsulate how I feel about dancing and also about writing and creativity generally: the magic beyond the discipline and technique; the joy rather than the performance. I am an amateur dancer, but participating in a dance class involves some aspects of performance, and hitting the dance floor socially usually means that people are watching, albeit that both these activities hopefully involve a safe and friendly audience.

Beyond the dance analogy, the poem is a motivational mantra for creativity: expressing yourself freely; having an open heart and mind; realising your full potential; and understanding that creativity is a dynamic process and every moment counts.

As a professional writer, this philosophy is apposite in theory and frequently difficult in practice. Because creativity involves putting so much of yourself into your work, it is easy to become downcast by comparisons, criticisms and judgements, even when they are harsh, unfair or badly motivated.

It’s crucial to recognise – and I am not the best at this – that being introspective and self-conscious and worrying too much about what other people think can become a barrier to creativity and originality.

As management guru Tom Peters observed, less poetically, “If no one is pissed off with you then you are dead but just haven’t figured it out yet.”

And original/imaginative thinking regularly attracts criticism and hostility.

The flip-side is that an engaged readership, positive and thoughtful comments and unsought support and appreciation are equally personal and vindicate the choice to take the risk of putting your creative self on the line (online!). It’s like getting a round of applause and sometimes more. It makes everything worthwhile. 

The creative challenge – and its reward – is to stay fresh, original and compelling and continually to come up with something new and different.

So happy Christmas – dance like nobody’s watching!

 

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Am I sociable?

Science_museum_edit

 

Who am I? Am I sociable? On the threshold; at the museum.

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