‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.’ 

Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White

I canceled my membership to Medium this morning. I simply wasn’t making the time to read or write on the site as much as I had hoped, so I’ve just bowed out for a while. It’s a wonderful resource and I know if I had written daily or even weekly on there I might have found an audience there also, but hey, you can’t do everything.

I get the feeling that like so many other networking sites (yes, including this one), Medium is a little Ouroboric, like a snake eating its own tail. People follow you, so you’ll follow them…it all feels a little pointless and circular.

And that is the opposite of what I set out to do when I started writing. This is all about meaning-making for me. If I wanted pointlessness, I would have kept making pretty pictures to match the drapes! And don’t think I’m knocking pretty pictures! I love pretty pictures! But for me, 7 years of making someone else’s art is enough. The problems started when I didn’t make time for my own art.

I heard Dr. Eric Maisel use those words and it made instant sense. Nothing in life has any inherent meaning – we give meaning to our lives through our own thoughts. Sometimes we take on rituals and beliefs that have had meaning to others, but eventually, I believe, we all stop and ask ourselves what has meaning for me?

Having said that, the article I read on Medium this morning was beautiful and inspiring. (My apologies if this is member only content. As I write this I have 1 day left on my membership!) I found the quote above within it. This is why many of us write, why we create anything really, the meaning we bring to life through our making. How wonderful to think that through our creativity we make better the lives around us. Even better to think we may inspire others to make something of their own.

It’s all those ripples, those tendrils of vine that grow out from us and end up who knows where.

Doing something that feeds our soul can’t help but touch the souls of those who experience our creation. We just don’t know who or how or why our art will inspire. That is not the point. This isn’t about getting validation from others, nor accolades, prizes, those little ‘best-seller’ banners on Amazon or Likes on Instagram. The first person we inspire by using our creativity is ourselves. And it is addictive. The more you make, the more you want to make. I really don’t think it’s just me.