Don’t monetize it. Don’t promote it. Just make it.
Some years ago, a good friend lived next door to a sweet older lady. Her daughter came to live with her. Mary had owned a cafe in California but had sold it and moved back to the Midwest, where she found a job at a trendy supermarket chain. She was cheerful and fun and a delight to be around. But in a horrible twist of fate, she was diagnosed with bone cancer and became frailer as the disease set in. To cheer her, I brought over art supplies and handmade cards and other things I had made. Soon Mary was at home, in a hospital bed and there was virtually no hope left. I came for a brief visit, leaned over her hospital bed and she whispered “What did you make me?” That made me cry.
But it made me think about how important it is to show people we care by actually creating something. It could be painting a picture, singing a song, baking cookies or writing a poem. Whatever you choose to create does not have to be a masterpiece. It just has to be.
The maker culture has become a buzzword lately. People create and post art on Instagram to show others what they can do. There’s a burgeoning world of sketchers, painters and crafters and I’m in awe of so many of them. But it’s not always about gaining the approval of digital fans or selling your work. Create something for a friend, a colleague, a family member or for yourself today. Just make it.