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Stacey Cornelius
I'm a writer, jargon translator, idea junkie & creative entrepreneur with a Fine Art degree. I have years of professional experience in retail, theatre, fine craft and information technology.  Read More

5 simple, life-altering questions

March 10, 2012

Image by Laszlo Ilyes

When time comes calling
A friend is very ill. We used to be close, but drifted apart, as friends sometimes do. When I heard the news, I sent her a message. That I was thinking of her; that she didn’t have to reply if her social capacity was on overload.

She just received more bad news, which she’s accepted with more grace and good humour than I could ever manage. She thanked me for writing.

“I hope you are well and happy—and creatively engaged.”

Creatively engaged.

Funny how that impacts on “well” and “happy.” I have, truth be told, spent too much time trying to be useful of late. An honourable pursuit, perhaps, but Creative has taken offence and packed her bags. Can’t say I blame her. And to be honest, Useful has gotten to be a bit of a bore. Some changes in metaphorical personnel are in order.

Because when you get down to it, none of us really knows when time will come calling.

Five simple questions
So let me ask you this:

How much time do you spend in the wrong places? On things that don’t really matter to you?

How much time do you waste worrying instead of exploring? Dreading rejection instead of taking a risk and getting on with it?

What would you change so you could fully occupy your creative life?

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Comments (6)

I’m an artist and try to stay engaged with my local art community, as well as arts organizations. I don’t just join a group, I jump in with both feet in order to learn as much as I can. I have learned lots of stuff and made lots of friends. There are many times, however, that I realize I’ve missed a deadline for a show or other art opportunity because I’ve been so involved with things other than my own art.
Sometimes I wonder if this is a way of avoiding rejection!
After hitting a new decade in my age I decided to make some changes. I let go of things that take time away from painting. I’m pursuing new ways to show my art that I can control.
It feels good to be focusing more time on me. I don’t know if it’ll make me famous :)) but at least I’ll know I really tried.

Stacey Cornelius Reply:

Three cheers for you, Cathy!

A wake up call can be very powerful. It makes us see what matters. You can tell who have recieved them, and how it has changed them to be all they can be.

Making a difference through the message in a song, theres an impact when you connect with your audience. I am a singer, songwriter with nothing to lose. As long as I sing with humility and sincerity my audience responds. Our creative being is a gift. I want to give, and more importantly I want to make a difference. No matter how big or small. Its not about me, its about the gift I have to share. I have made the changes and my creative life has legs of its own.
Thanks Stacey, great perspective!

Stacey Cornelius Reply:

Nicely done, Wanda. You are an inspiration.

I couldn’t have said it better !! I’ve been ‘an artist’ all my life, but my art always took a back seat to ‘earning a living’, raising children, looking after grandchildren, doing volunteer work, and the like. Nearly a year ago I made a major change … now out of the workforce, and nearing the age when I’ll be eligible for ‘old age pension’, I realized if I didn’t do something now, I probably never would.

So I packed bag and baggage and moved away from the city where I had raised my children and where two of them still live with my four grandchildren, and followed my heart back to my hometown, in a rural area. Living in a little granny suite, I devote as much time as possible each day to creating art and trying to market it. In short, Art has become my life.

The difference in my overall well-being is dramatic, to say the least. I now feel like I’m doing what I was born to do. I still angst about leaving the children and grandchildren behind, but they’re only a couple hours away so I do get to see them, just not on a daily or weekly basis any more. It was a sacrifice I felt I had to make at this time in my life, to put myself first for once, as selfish as that might appear to some.

I basically went through all the questions you have listed, and followed my gut. And I just can’t stop smiling :)

Stacey Cornelius Reply:

What a great feeling to take the quotation marks away from ‘artist’ and live it for real. Hooray for you, Sharon!