Answering Your Creative Calling

Image description: A hand holds a blooming Passion Flower in the palm, numerous other flowers bloom in the background.

Someone asked me a question about sexual fantasy today and I knew the answer! An ego-boost right there, but what followed was an interesting conversation about changing technology and how we as people relate to sex and sexuality. As we were having this conversation, I became aware of how good I felt in my body. At ease, comfortable, and just excited enough to feel a light tension thrumming through me. The conversation I was having with the other person flowed perfectly, not too strained but not too exuberant.

People talk about having a calling in life. A lot of spiritual people in my life have said they felt lost or unfulfilled until they started living life for their God-given calling.

Whether you believe in God or the Universe or making the most of your time here in this life, us creative types usually consider our art or writing to be this purpose, this calling.

But we often get burned out. Work gets rejected. Work that is published isn’t read. Work that is read gets shredded in the comments. We write or create stuff we don’t want to build content or get paid. Even stuff we do for fun on our time can lose its luster.

This is just my humble opinion, but I believe just creating isn’t enough to sustain us through the difficult times. We must nest a deeper, more refined calling within our creative work.

For me, that calling is giving a positive role to sexual fantasies in our lives. In order to do this, we must first untangle shame around our sexualities. So almost all of my creative work at this time strives toward one of those two things.

I know, it sounds pretty damn specific. But I can tell you that my creative work flourished when I finally honed my purpose to this very specific thing.

It didn’t happen overnight. For me, it’s been years.

I know I’m trying to be sneaky with all these pictures of cemeteries here on my site, but we all know I’m a sex writer. I’ve been commenting on sexuality and writing erotic romance since 2013. Sexuality and erotic romance are tremendously wide categories. In the past, I tried to focus on areas that I had experience or interest in but I was still trying to cast my net far too wide.

A Jane of all kinks but a Mistress of none.

Exploring was good for me, certainly. I had to discover my voice as a writer and creative. So this act of the overall play isn’t a bad place to be. It just lacks focus and can lead to producing work that doesn’t really ring true to a bigger, over-arching or true voice for you as a creator.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you are not going to change or grow as a creator even after you’ve refined your purpose for creating. You should grow and change. But the amazing thing is that by focusing and refining, you actually make room for greater growth.

To illustrate with another example, I am a Library worker and my identity as a Librarian and the ethics of Librarianship are really important to me. But even stuff I’m really into like the Right to Read or intellectual freedom don’t keep me from getting burned out in the day to day. I’ve refined the meaning that I get from my job and the effort I put forth to the role the Library plays in creating memories and serving a daily role in people’s lives. This is the calling I fill when I do everything from planning programs to developing collections to answering references to cleaning bathrooms. And where the Big Picture Librarian purpose has failed me in the past, it is this smaller focus that has kept me going.

Creatively, I’ve been able to apply so many of my other interests—art history, cemeteries, somatic processes—into my writing where I strive to untangle sexual shame and uphold sexual fantasies. And my work has only improved with this focus.

Sometimes these themes are subtle and sometimes they are bold, but they are always guiding. They help me push through the daily grind or the incessant, droning criticisms on social media, or even the backlash for being a sex writer in my “real life.”

I have also started producing work that I can be proud of in the long haul. Projects feel right when I’m working on them and completed when I am finished. It’s a great place to be.

The vast creative prairie can be harsh and trying. But you can carve out a shelter in the wild veldt. This is your home. This is where you can thrive. Onward!

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