News: The Goodreads Giveaway ended on March 15 at 11:59pm PDT. Goodreads has selected and announced the winners of a free, signed copy of Book One of the Enemy Glory trilogy here. Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to all who entered.
Creative life: Give yourself the fool’s license.
A tradition evolved in the Renaissance regarding court jesters. Under social norms, the jester, or fool, was free to criticize the king without repercussions. I don’t know how or why this free speech practice evolved, or how often a particularly angry monarch might ignore the norms and punish the fool for some insult, but the idea of the license was around. Possibly it came from the powerful wanting to avoid seeming thin-skinned for punishing a lowly fool for mere words. Or, more likely, for not wanting to signal to dangerous, ambitious peers which sentiments offended, so as to better learn what others were thinking. Let the fool freely insult the king, and if the duke laughs, well, we know who to watch.
Today is a good time to play king and fool by giving yourself that license. To be creative, you need to play without restricting yourself. You need to hold a mirror up to the world and write, draw, paint, perform whatever you see without inhibition. Don’t censor yourself by second-guessing what will sell, what others will think, or if it’s any good. This is your time to hold a private audience with your heart, to allow whatever you’re channeling to exist in all its glorious messiness through whatever medium you work in. Love it enough to let it live. Whatever it is.
There’s time to revise and rework later – after you’ve seen what it is you’re working with, and what it wants to be. But when you begin, claim your license, and cut loose like a fool’s merry business. Don’t be the angry king silencing your own voice before you’ve even begun to sing.
Of interest: April is the traditional time for making pilgrimages to holy places. Your heart, your center of creativity, is such a place. Go there without apology.