Why Everyone Should Create (From The Heart)

There are few moments in my life when things have seemed to slow down to the point where they pause. This was one of those moments. I was standing in the middle of a crowd at the House of Blues in Boston. Everyone was singing and swaying to the beat of the drums.

For the most part, it had been a fun concert, an incredible light-hearted performance. The headliner was the kind of person I think many of us aspire to be like—so joyful to be alive, so fearless to show who he was.

But then, the melody dropped (with my stomach). His band started playing a song that wasn’t part of his normal happy-go-lucky arsenal.

The truth is, I was there to escape from the day to day pain, to reconnect with my own aliveness, and that melancholy melody terrified me.

Then it happened. And for a moment, for a few moments actually, I felt like the guy on stage was singing straight into my soul:

From when I woke until I went to sleep
You planned my life so carefully
Sculpted me like clay, I can see you in my face
And I never thought I'd live this life without your guiding light

In my mind, it was like a freeze frame scene out of a movie. The crowd parted like the Red Sea and I had a perfect view to stage center. The moment started to slow, started to spin, and then hit pause.

There was no one else in that room but me and Andy.

His lyrics cut straight through me like a freshly-sharpened knife. The way only good art, the kind that comes from the heart, can do.

I broke down right then and there, with little care for what the other people in that room thought about my dramatic fall to the floor.

Andy was, as it turns out, singing about his mom who had passed away a few years prior. And there he was, this guy with a “happy-go-lucky” reputations sharing the rawness of his grief, of his pain.

It connected with me in such a deep way that I have chills on my spine and tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

The reality is, when Andy was writing that song, he could have never known that it would create that moment for me—that allowed me to feel the grief of my mom, to dive into the vulnerable emotions that I’d been resisting for months.

He had no fucking clue what that song (called “Sinner”) would do for me. But what he did have was the courage to write from his heart, from a place that most of us are never willing to go. He had the strength of will to use his art to talk about the shit that is messy, but beautiful at the same time.

From my perspective, this is what creating is all about. Whether you paint, build businesses, draw comics, direct music videos, share Instagram stories, make scarves—it doesn’t matter. When you create from a deep place inside you, the place that is untouchable by the outside world, the place that is void of ego, fear, and shame, you are rendering a service that is immeasurable.

You are giving something the world needs more than you could ever possibly comprehend.

The truth is: there’s someone out there, just like me, who is searching, who is fighting for their life, who is seeking Truth, who is feeling broken—who needs you.

They need your app to be real, your non-profit to succeed, your business to flourish, your photographs to be shared.

They need you, your will, your creative voice, your thing.

I can’t even tell you how bad I needed Andy Grammer to sing those words to me (and to the whole crowd) at that point in my life. There’s someone who needs your art just as bad. I promise you that.

Kate Ward