Mental Health, Creativity, Writing & Publishing

"Being" versus "Doing" — An Excerpt Finding Your Bipolar Muse


by Lana Castle

“Many people’s creative dreams revolve around what they want to be: an actor, artist, dancer, filmmaker, musician, photographer, writer or any other type of creative. But becoming any of these depends more on doing than being. When you act, you are an actor. When you dance, you are a dancer. When you sing, you are a singer. When you write, you are a writer. Being an actor, dancer, singer or writer means taking action. It means immersing yourself in the creative process by acting, dancing, singing or writing. 

“If your focus is on being rather than doing, it’s time to reexamine your dreams. For instance, when someone expresses interest in being a travel writer, that person’s real interest might be to travel and have travel pieces published—but not to actually write them. You don’t get the perks if you don’t do the work! So carefully consider whether your interest lies in doing or only being.

“Whatever your desires, it will take hard work to achieve them. If you expect big results without investing the time, energy and money they require, you’re setting yourself up for big disappointments. 

“Prepare yourself for frequent frustrations, multiple rejections and bad reviews — even if your work is stellar. You might need a moment — or considerably longer — to lick your wounds, but if you truly want to follow your dreams, you must keep moving forward. You can’t let such disappointments stop you. 

“Succeeding in any creative endeavor is challenging . . . , but that doesn’t mean you must abandon your dreams. Just keep your eye on the prize and take whatever steps you can — whenever you can.”

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