Just Do It! – Creativity & Releasing An Audience

art painting

“The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist. The need to produce a great work of art makes it hard to produce any art at all.”
(Julia Cameron)
Last night I made the mistake of allowing the ugly head of comparison to rise again. I looked at another’s art and felt like I was “too late in the game”, “Its pointless to write, pointless to paint, pointless to creatively speak on you tube”. I had allowed the ugly message of my ego to taint my creative pleasure. My ego began to grab onto an ‘end result’, a ‘what will happen down the line’ with what I am doing now. My ego went through my life and gave me angry thoughts: “If only I hadn’t had that grade at school that destroyed my artistic hopes and dreams; I would have had a career in art, some people have all the luck!”.

painter artist

Boy, my ego was thrashing around inside my head last night.  I went to sleep with tears in my eyes feeling absolutely destroyed and shattered by my ego’s pulsing, berating sabotaging thinking.

As my life is not the same as an ordinary route, ordinary career or structured journey; as my life is unfolding differently; as my life is all about the ‘Unknown’, ‘Uncertainty’, and ‘Letting the next step reveal itself as I go’, it was easy for my ego to take hold last night in my fledgling state of learning to walk my artistic self out onto this stage of life.

Creating Art For An Audience – OOPS!

And so my ego this past week had been grabbing onto the concept of ‘doing art for an audience’. 

The ego comes in the back door making us feel the art must be perfect. We must have people commenting, visiting and watching our art (whatever our art is).

I had found myself looking at the ‘statistics’ of my blog, checking how many people were viewing my blog.  I checked out my really newborn baby, my You Tube channel and I saw others on the path of art, structured, career orientated ‘GOING SOMEWHERE’ art.

My mind was telling me: “You are not going anywhere Kelly; this will lead to nothing; why bother? give up! nobody’s watching anyway; its not going to change your life Kelly; just stop it now”.

Hence why I cried myself to sleep. I was believing all these destructive, ugly thoughts and not able to question them as I had allowed them to seep in too deep.

Julia Cameron spoke to me this morning with a quote that really reflected last night’s tirade of words directed at self:

When we are angry or depressed in our creativity, we have misplaced our power. We have allowed someone else to determine our worth, and then we are angry at being undervalued.

And when I awoke this morning after a sleep that blew the cobwebs of that sorrowful night out of my energy, I had a little relief returning and my first thought was “JUST DO IT!”.  Do it because the creative me needs to be expressed, do it because I need to flow this out into the world, I need it out of me instead of trapped in the creative dungeon of my own making.  Do it for me! Do it for me! Do it for me!

Instead of for an audience. 

Speak, for my heart needs to speak.
Write, because my soul needs to write.
Paint, because my inner child needs to paint.

Not for an audience.

Needing an audience, comes from lack, comes from fear. It kills my growing creativity.

I may have visitors, I may have watchers – I may not. 

What matters is I allow my creativity, like my life, to unfold.

My artistic juices do not need to be prettily packaged in the perfect ribbon. What needs to flow is raw, vulnerable, free, beautiful, heart, soul and spirit.

My old ego messages from the past, the old ugly comparison ways no longer (and never did) nourish my soul.

My creative soul needs to feel free to paint beauty, write ugly, speak scary, draw chaotic, bake divine, dance blessed – whatever is within me needing to come out.

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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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  1. May 18, 2011 / 10:50 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I do this too sometimes. Lately I have been just writing to write and I am not checking stats as much (or trying not to). I guess it is this need for control that wants things the ego's way. And compares with others. But I keep in mind I'm not doing this for anyone, but myself. Healing/embracing my inner artist, breaking out of my cocoon. And if people read and benefit then that is an added bonus, but I'm not attached to it. By just being my Self, this helps people. I have compared myself to others a lot. Even with you. When I saw your videos the first time, I was like damn she is good. I wish I could be this good. Wow I haven't done that many videos yet, etc. But I realized that everything I am seeing is in me. And by admiring you, I am admiring a part of me. So that's why I wanted to let you know how great I think your videos were. When we let go of comparisons, control, and perfectionism, then we are creating from the heart. And this alone will set in motion people, events, circumstances that will allow your masterpieces to shine for the world. We need to embrace the unknown. So keep shining and healing! Your an example for us all! Sorry this is so long haha. *hugs*

  2. May 18, 2011 / 11:04 pm

    Gosh, Jennifer, never apologise for your long comments, they really support me heaps, I mean it.

    I am having some inner changes taking place, as we both are and I feel like my creative inner self is stepping her toe out of a once locked door with trepidation. Yet the foots on its way out.

    I painted a little today and during doing so my ego was trying to control aspects of the art. I had to literally say to my inner child just go for it, play, we are here to express.

    I totally understand comparison. I compared my you tube to you too lol! I absolutely adore your videos and the imagery and quotations and I just thought, if I tried to make one you might think I was copying and I just got all arrrgh! in my head lol!

    My creativity is just wanting to stretch itself out of the confines of the self made prison.

    I tear up when writing about this at the moment, my heart needs to flow. Its like a well of tears needs to be cried. My creative self is hesitant yet the flood gate has opened for this.

    I thank you so much for what you said in your comment, I needed my own creativity cluster friend. Maybe we can check in on each other to see how our creative projects/openings are doing on a regular basis.

    Big hugs, love you,
    Kelly xxx

  3. May 18, 2011 / 11:34 pm

    Yea definitely sweetie! Let's have check-in's with each other and see how it is going! Help each other with support. It's time for us to fly as creative, free, loving butterflies! You know my e-mail. 🙂

    I'm glad I opened up to you about it all. Lol. I'm so glad you are breaking out of that prison and healing. We are on similar journeys right now! Just do whatever your Soul urges you to do. Be your Self. Paint, write, create all types of videos, speak your truth etc. (I should be giving myself this advice ha) I thought the same thing that if I started making more vlogs you would think I was trying to compete (and maybe that is what I was initially doing subconsciously), but now I just want to open up and speak my truth when the time is right.

    But don't give into the voice that doubts and controls and keeps you imprisoned. Forgive it and let it go. This is time for Kelly to shine! Have the courage to shine your bright beautiful Light! Lots of Love to you Kelly!! 🙂 xoxo

  4. May 19, 2011 / 12:42 am

    Great discussion 🙂

    I can so relate…

    I have a vision for what I want to do with my blog and this past week I've found it to be a hindrance. Ego has just been first and foremost.

    I too found myself obsessed with my stats over the last few days. I've also been unwilling to allow myself to just let the writing flow; I've been trying to force myself so that I "keep my vision alive" 😛

    Obviously forcing isn't working or I'd have another post up ~ lol!.

    I work in education and this time of year is always very busy. I know there will be days when I just don't have the energy. Allowing my ego to dominate just creates unnecessary pressure and stress.

    So glad I have some like minds to connect with who understand 🙂

    Good luck to both of you ~ and may our egos stay in check ;~D

  5. May 19, 2011 / 1:12 am

    hehe Wow so cool. Thanks Marla for sharing with us. We are definitely not alone, Kelly. Love to both of you! 🙂

  6. May 19, 2011 / 9:17 am

    Jennifer so glad I found you when I was searching for dark night of the soul on you tube. I was meant to find you. Like flocks of birds we fly together in our own unique way. I guess the comparison thing is something I need to forgive myself for as I guess when I was at school everyone 'appeared' to be outshining me as I was in hiding as a creative person. Lessons, learning and self loving education right now.

    I love coming along for your ride Jennifer and so glad you are on mine too. I am so glad you are sharing, being creative and allowing your truth to come out, its beautiful to bear witness.

    I may consider a creative cluster small forum of some kind to attach to my blog. It would be good to share openly together as if I can trigger anothers creativity or encourage others I feel I am on my path. Hmmm… will ponder this further… (see the creativity girl inside is just flipping out all these ideas! its great to have ideas again!).

    Love you heaps,
    Kelly xxxx

  7. May 19, 2011 / 9:29 am

    Hi Marla, so lovely to have you join this discussion. I totally understand the need to keep the vision alive and the pressure to write. Sometimes I think "I must write" but feel uninspired and so I forget about it, go out for a walk and discover inspiration returns. I keep having this mantra in my head right now "Write from where you, express from where you are". This for me helps me heaps as I realise I don't need to be perfect, fixed, super amazing to express myself and that I can write or speak from my feelings. Some days I may feel crabby, some days, great but most of the time whatever I am feeling when I write comes out, often I hear what I need to hear as I write for me.

    It is great you are here Marla, may we all spread our wings and fly!

    love and big hugs
    Kelly x

  8. May 20, 2011 / 10:33 pm

    Thank you Kelly 🙂 !!! I'm glad our paths crossed! Love you!

  9. LaurieC
    June 9, 2020 / 3:40 am

    I am in awe of all that has been shared both in your post, and in the replies. And I was ‘fed’ by the words. The quote “We have allowed someone else to determine our worth, and then we are angry at being undervalued.” really spoke to me. As I just wrote that, I realized it pretty much described my 30 year marriage..lol., which I got out of 13 years ago. And in 13 years of work, I still am not fully healed and set free of old worn out childhood training. Much improved, but work yet to do.

    I am an artist and writer at the core of my being… but do not do it freely. I don’t know how to let my ‘self’ be free to be. I repeatedly withdraw back into myself again. I know some of the broken places have been healed. The wounds have scarred over. The problem is, I don’t know how to let go of feeling sad that they happened. I don’t know how to stop staying at the grave of the past, mourning the losses, wounds, and injuries that cost me so much of my life.

    I’m still held prisoner by the belief, “you don’t deserve to be happy”. And so when I do have a time of feeling it, and expressing it through crafts or painting, or decorating, that other part of me finds a way to shut it back down. Your message “Not for an Audience” is exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve got to cut the chains of being limited and controlled by outside forces, (including the pandemic, the riots and protests) and let myself live only from within.

    Tonight right before I read this blog, I started to realize I am fed up with, and tired of being unhappy because the world is unhappy. Your blog helped me take it further. I don’t have to do what they do. I don’t have to feel what they feel. And I don’t have to feel guilty because I am not participating in their misery, anger, or sadness. I’m finally getting that straight in my head after 3 months of isolation and confusion about what to feel about what is going on in the world. Major “light bulb” moment: I’m not required to participate in other peoples lives or life choices. I am only required to live my own.

    Keep writing and speaking Kelly. You are blessing and helping many. Thank you so much for this blog post.

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