I have fond memories of sitting around campfires. Sipping tea beneath the starry sky and chatting with friends, a full Moon rising beyond the pine trees, and the smell of wood smoke clinging to my clothes while the fire crackles and pops before me ~ ah, there’s nothing quite like it.
A campfire draws us in, holds us close, mesmerises us. The primordial knowing of the ancient fire touches our soul. We relax into our true selves.
Writers have campfires, too. The people they share that sacred space with are almost certainly friends and family, and sometimes colleagues in the profession. A campfire invites intimacy as we share our deepest longings, but for a writer it can be a nervy place: how much to share, how much to hold back… That is, until we understand that our fellow campers around the circle of the campfire are vital witnesses to our creative journey. Only invite people to your campfire who honour the creative journey.
Do we share plot lines of unpublished stories? With whom do we celebrate when that five-book publishing deal comes along? Or, indeed, when we self-publish (the ultimate statement of self-belief), to whom do we give free copies?
For those of you who have read The Artist’s Way, you’ll understand the concept of the ‘blocked creative’. These are people in our lives who aren’t expressing their own creativity (for whatever reason) and because of this unowned potential they tend to criticise our creative projects and triumphs. Maybe they don’t outwardly criticise. Perhaps they simply hold back on offering congratulations or try and dim your light in other ways. Maybe they express outright jealousy. Whatever the case may be, it is important that blocked creatives are not sitting around your campfire. These people don’t nourish the soul, they tar it with their own brand of self-hate and sabotage.
As a writer, it is important that the people you surround yourself with are great supporters of your creativity. They may not relate to your genre, but that’s not the issue. What is vital is that they honour the light you shine, and reflect it to you so that you can shine and bask. We were all born to be creative, in some form or another.
I have a small circle of creative women around my campfire; some are writers, some are singer/songwriters, others are illustrators, some of them knit, garden, bake, dance. What they all have in common is that they let their creative light shine. We support each other with authentic celebration.
You’ll keep the campfire of your creativity burning so much brighter when you make conscious choices about who gets to share the damper with you!