“Why do you make everything you do into an obligation?” someone recently asked me. It’s the sort of question which gives pause. Really makes you think about the question being asked, and what it means.
I have an answer to it too, which I will get to momentarily.
First, it is important to note that I consider myself a very creation oriented person. I am not well suited to repetitive tasks. I very much like a beginning, a middle and and end to things, and I like there to be something tangible and real when the end is realized.
It doesn’t matter if it’s music, art, web sites, writing, a complex personality, or anything else. I love to create, and that’s where the answer to the above question comes.
The reason I make everything into an obligation is because I imbue everything I create with a tiny piece of my soul.
A little sliver of my soul, sliced off and tucked into the heart of everything I make. The more time I put into something, the more of myself I put into it. And the more of myself I put into something, the more I want it to succeed.
Like being a parent, creating art for me is an obligation. An obligation to ensure the creation is the best it can be, to ensure that the little bit of soul I have invested in it doesn’t go to waste. It’s a finite resource.
Maybe it’d be easier if I didn’t share a piece of myself with everything I create. It’d certainly make it easier on me. While I sometimes wonder if it would be better to have an intact soul, I have to balance that with the idea of never experiencing the joy of creation.
Even if that means slowly whittling myself down a slice at a time to have the joy (and yes, associated obligation) of realizing some of the things that have coalesced behind my eyes.