We’ve all heard people talk about divine inheritance, familial inheritance. Those things that are our birthright, or things which we come into as a result of our connections. Our being. Some would say that our divine inheritance (if you believe in divinity) is the capacity to love, and to have a soul. Just to name a few. Our familial inheritance, may be literal monies left for us, or a particular viewpoint or skill that we have as a result of our fathers, mothers, or perhaps even family friends.
But what about artists? Do we have an inheritance? Do we have an attribute or a possession that is bequeathed to us because we create? Because we are “born to write”? “Born to draw”? “Born to think outside the box”? Do we have something that is uniquely ours, that can be accessed to benefit us, and, by extension, the world?
If so, what is it? Is it physical or spiritual? Or both? And whatever it is, where is it? Is it an inheritance that we can know or perceive, and then take advantage of?
I’m sure there are a great many answers to this question. And I have thought about it at length, the more I have done work around The Write Alignment, and it’s various offerings. Its very existence brings up the question of inheritance, and also provides an answer.
As I have gone through the hot, smoldering, yet necessary process of creating coursework, handouts, and exercises, I have begun to realize something. Perhaps one of our “inheritances” as artists is this:
Our ability to take the pain, suffering and challenges – the down and out days, the fears of writer’s block – and turn them into art. Turn them into something that not only heals us, but allows us to serve and heal others, and in a way that wasn’t possible before.
Creativity, I would say, is one treasure that has been bequeathed to us. And, I would argue, anyone who can use creativity to create something new and useful out of something that may already exist, is an artist.
But what else is there? What other inheritances have we been given? What other gifts have been bestowed upon us?
Another is perhaps our ability to work with and trust Muses. They are embodiments of creativity and so are not too much different than what I have mentioned already, but Muses are a special kind of creature. A special kind of being, that unless you are prepared to deal with them, and prepared to speak in their language, you may have little chance of working with.
Our ability to see – to assess the needs and state of society – when it is incapable of seeing it for itself, is yet another. A great many artists, both visual and written have filled this role. Have given this gift.
Upton Sinclair, with his gift of the book The Jungle, is one such person. Without him, it has been said there would be no FDA. No regulations and standards for the way our food is handled and processed. There are great many more. Nearly every name on the literature shelf has contributed in this way. Has used this inheritance and to great effect.
All of these inheritances, as I have called them, are great and wonderful. They are more spiritual in nature, and fitting for the pseudo-spiritual work and experience that I believe writing to be.
But writers, by and large, are poor. Certainly not in a spiritual sense, as our creativity and imagination keep us overflowing with feeling and passion. We are poor, most of us, in terms of money. We don’t get paid an awful lot for the words we write, or the art we create so selflessly. Not without having to get technical or businesslike in our application of it.
And we don’t mind, because we do it for the love of art, not for the love of money.
Even so, I began to wonder.
Isn’t there an inheritance of money for us as writers?
For our great gift of creativity, isn’t there a vault of some kind? A bank? A place where the universe has put money away for us, and where we can go to retrieve it? And then use it to further fuel our work as writers, to design our ultimate life? The life we have always dreamed of?
My answer is yes, but we have to be open to thriving. We have to be open to the idea that there is an inheritance like this out there for us.
We have to look at our ourselves in a new way. And that can be hard, especially if we don’t know how else to look at ourselves as writers. And I know, because I spent a good many years thinking like a spiritual emissary, rather than a professional. A professional artist, who uses her inheritance to build an empire. A place of abundance, not to be better than anyone, but to be my best self.
What about you? Are you ready to build your empire? To build your abundance so that you can be your best self? So that you can be a thriving artist, rather than a starving one? I’m ready, and if you are, I invite you to join me for my free seminar from 6 PM-7 PM PST on August 22, 2013 (A recording will be provided to those who register, but may not be able to attend the live event), entitled Identify and Access Your Artist’s Inheritance.
If you’re tired of getting paid in pocket change and good feelings (even though those are great), you owe it to yourself to sign up. Not just for you, but all other artists and writers. If you claim your Inheritance, so will they, and this world will be richer for it.