Liz Phair did an “iTunes Original” session in 2005 that features an interview. An art history major at Oberlin College, she talks about the expectations that were in place for her art; it had to be of a certain form, subject matter, and caliber to be considered valid by those that would view and judge it.
When creating music early on, however, she felt no such expectations, thinking no one would hear it. To her, music was a “playful expression” with tremendous freedom and opportunity to express herself. She does cite the irony in that music, and not art, became her career.
Do you harbor the same challenge AND the same opportunity? Do you have a creative outlet that is tremendously freeing and fulfilling because you’re the only audience for it?
If this is your situation, think about how you can transfer that sense of freedom into the more visible areas of your work, family life, and other outlets. This can’t help but make your efforts more creative and alive. And you can still decide whether you want to express your playful creativity more broadly or keep it to yourself.