You have a foundational choice you must make as a writer or artist.
You can focus on what you offer the world.
Or you can focus on what the world offers you.
Most of us start out focused on what we can offer the world. We’re trying to find our place. Trying to find our voice.
But as we mature—as we meet failure, rejection and indifference—we begin to engage and respond to the world around us in new ways.
We shift our orientation from being broadcasters of our ideas to receivers of universal ideas.
I like to think of myself as an electrical wire that connects people to energy sources. I don’t see myself as the lamp, for example. I’m the lamp wire and you are the lamp.
My job is to feed power to you. And to do this, I must be plugged into a source so I can channel its offerings to you.
How do you see yourself and your role as a creative person?
Does your work emerge from what you offer the world?
Maybe it’s time to flip the switch and open yourself to what the world has to offer.
From May 2012 to July 2013, I wrote a weekly series of intimate essays for writers and artists seeking a deeper connection with their identity and place as modern creatives. I called this series Root Notes. This was an essay in that series. It was originally published on July 31, 2012.