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  • Charlie Nicely

What Creativity Taught Me About Perseverance

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Creativity and art have been a central aspect of my life. There have been times in the past that were so bleak that I had little to live for. At those times, creating something gave me an anchor to the present moment. A meaning and purpose right here and now and a reason not to die that day.


Self-portrait/Fading-July, 2016

I would fall apart crying while setting up for a self-portrait, intermittently clutching my stomach in grief as I pressed the shutter.


I would walk the streets of Hollywood with my camera while spiraling out in a fit of anxiety just to discover moments later that I was surrounded by beauty and mystery. That life is fundamentally divine.


When I was homeless, displaced, or just poor, the only supplies for creating that I could get was a pen and a notebook. I would feel this intense energy come over me. An urgency that compelled me to write. I would vomit the contents of my head and heart onto the page to create something that would make me more visible to myself and to others. Something that allowed me to feel like I could leave myself on this planet after my death. Like it wasn't all just for nothing.


Looking back, I can see how creativity is about taking what we have at hand and making something that speaks to our humanity. A something that no matter how subtle, refuses to be silenced or oppressed, that refuses to accept that life isn't workable. Creativity IS perseverance's most dynamic form.

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