This time several years ago, I found myself in an odd quandary. I was being paid to write, which had seemed like a “dream” at one point in my life. But my soul wasn’t on fire and I didn’t feel creatively fulfilled. Something was missing, but I couldn’t identify it.
That same year, for my birthday, my honey gave me a beautiful leather-bound journal, complete with extra refill pages. And then we went to see Tick, Tick…BOOM! Are you familiar with this musical?
It’s a rather autobiographical piece that Jonathan Larson (the amazing mind behind RENT) wrote and performed as a one-man show in 1990. After his death, his producing partner Victoria Leacock worked with playwright David Auburn (who won a Pulitzer prize for the play Proof) to develop the one-man show into the full, multi-character musical Tick, Tick…BOOM! The story follows a young composer (“Jon”) who can’t get his musical produced and he considers giving up his dream for a corporate job. On his birthday, his girlfriend gives him a huge stack of blank sheet music and encourages him to follow his passion.
That scene, combined with the knowledge that Jonathan unexpectedly died the night before RENT made its Broadway debut, reduced me to a puddle of tears.
Since then, I have explored various creative writing outlets and, for now, creative nonfiction has an inspirational hold on me. It seems like an obvious choice, now, but it took some hefty searching to get here.
Having time to pursue my own creative writing projects is one of the reasons I became a freelancer. I’m very lucky to have a supportive honey as well as friends and family who encourage me.
What keeps you creatively fulfilled, especially if you write for others? Are you searching for what fills your (creative) soul? Has it changed and evolved over the years? Please share your experience in the comments below.