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Creative Every Day: Play Your Anthem

I found this mash-up of images from this week's anthem episode of Glee.

Some of us like to “blast” our anthems. But to each his or her own…

This is a new series called “Creative Every Day.”

The series consists of simple creativity prompts for a complicated world.

I’m starting it because I think people are afraid.

Specifically, I think creative people are fearful about the future.

I think creative people often gather around fear and treat it like a kind of club where the cost of membership is: keep feeding the fear.

If you stop feeding the fear, and dare to actually attend to your own creativity, then you are kicked out of the club.

You traitor.

About a year ago, I quit the fear club.

And I joined a different, better club instead. We will talk more about that club later.

I also happen to know from personal and professional experience that creatives, writers especially, are prone to anxiety, worry and fearful thinking.

It’s not our fault. Maybe we were born this way. Or we were traumatized. Who knows? Where this all came from is really not the point.

The point is where we are heading right now.

It’s time to quit all of our fear-based fascinations and focus on being creative every day instead.

Because that’s where your power is.

So, what’s it going to be?

Do you want to be paralyzed with icy-cold fear or happily, passionately creating?

I think the answer is pretty obvious. So let’s begin.

You’re going to need an anthem.

Yes, I watched Glee this week but I was already using my own anthem to switch gears from everything else and get myself into creative mode.

I’ll tell you what my anthem is, but you’ll need to tell me yours first.

Your anthem should be a song that makes you pound the air with your fists, sing out loud (even if your daughter is begging you to stop singing), and possibly even dance like nobody is watching.

So, how about it. Got an anthem?

Play it for yourself and then share in the comments what your anthem does for you. If you are really brave, tell us what your anthem is.

But most importantly, have fun.

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  • L'Tanya February 17, 2011, 5:11 pm

    “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas. I play it everyday, especially when I’m stressed and fearful. It gets me excited and feeling powerful. Love it!

  • Viki February 17, 2011, 5:15 pm

    “Counterphobic response” – We consciously or unconsciously seek out that which we fear in the hopes of achieving some semblance of mastery.
    A friend on a writer’s Yahoo group told me about this the other day, and I realized I’ve spent most of my life in counterphobic response!
    That said, my anthem is easy: I have done my best writing for years with the “White Album” in the background. Any song on the first side will do, but “I’m So Tired” is the one I crank up and can’t sit still listening to. Not because I feel like the title (although sometimes I do). I think it’s because it builds and expands and surprises, and makes me want to do the same. I have learned, though, not to sing along if my daughter’s home.

  • Conan February 17, 2011, 5:25 pm

    I have a whole anthem playlist: “Troublemaker” by Weezer, “Beaten to the Punch” by Elvis Costello, “Walk on” by Neil Young, “Celebrity Skin” by Hole, “Gone at Last,” by Paul Simon and Phoebe Snow, “Hollaback Girl,” Gwen Stefani, “Jailbreak,” Thin Lizzy, “Walk and Don’t Look Back,” Peter Tosh and Mick Jagger…these are just a few of the gems on the list. Most of the songs speak to rising above your own expectations. Plus they’ve got good beats and I can dance to them…

  • Kristin Antaram Offiler February 17, 2011, 5:29 pm

    “Born this Way”! Gaga! How can you question your creativity and your purpose when she’s telling you that you’re on the right track. We all need to hear that once in a while 🙂

  • T. L. Cooper February 17, 2011, 5:32 pm

    Oooo! I like this idea! The anthem song always gets me though because I’m so moody that different songs fill the role at different times.
    Three of my top five go to songs for motivation are:
    What It Feels Like for a Girl – the album version from Music – because it reminds me that being a girl is a good thing no matter what anyone says and the lines “Strong inside but you don’t know it/Little girls they never show it/When you open up your mouth to speak, could you be a little weak” reminds me of all the times I was asked to hide my abilities or intelligence to make some boy feel better and the day I vowed that I would never do that again.
    “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks because it reminds me that underneath it all we are all good and bad and those who love us will love us no matter what.
    “Like It or Not” by Madonna because it reminds I am who I am and that others only have as much effect on me as I allow them to have. It also reminds me that it’s okay to say “I’m never gonna stop” to those who don’t support me in my efforts.
    So, looking at these, I tend to like “girl power” music when I’m feeling less than creative to remind me to embrace my femininity, my contradictions, and ambition as well to feel like I don’t have to hide my abilities, intelligence, and strength as I go after my goals with as much creativity as possible.
    So there you have it. 🙂

  • Jenny Kales February 17, 2011, 6:08 pm

    Only because my kids influence me now….Firework!! (Also in Glee, recently) by Katy Perry. (It’s also my youngest daughter’s “favorite song in my whole life.”)

    Love the lyrics and the beat, and listening to it makes me feel less old and ready to tackle difficult writing issues. 🙂 So whatever works….

  • Kathleen McDade February 17, 2011, 8:13 pm

    Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield. 🙂

    It makes me run faster, focus my brain, sing out loud, reach as high as I can.

  • Mkoning February 17, 2011, 8:27 pm

    My anthem is “Take Me Away” by Avril Lavigne. One of the most difficult things for me to get through in life is dealing with mental barriers I have acquired from a childhood illness and a disability I cannot shake. I have learnt to overcome many obstacles, but can still find difficulties from time to time, and when I get frustrated and feel weak I turn to this song, sing it out out loud and helps to lift me up.

  • T. L. Cooper February 17, 2011, 9:03 pm

    Good one! Love that song!

  • Judy February 17, 2011, 10:50 pm

    Yeah! (Usher) Yeah!

  • Anonymous February 18, 2011, 5:51 am

    I will have to check out that “counterphobic response” term more, Viki. Thanks for sharing! I also like the White Album. My brother was a big Beatles fan when we were kids. 🙂

  • Anonymous February 18, 2011, 5:55 am

    Go, girl power! 😉

  • Anonymous February 18, 2011, 5:56 am

    I like Natasha Beddingfield, too, Kathleen. I’ll have to check this song out. 🙂

  • Anonymous February 18, 2011, 5:57 am

    Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational. 🙂

  • Anonymous February 18, 2011, 6:04 am

    Okay, here’s my latest anthem: Natasha Bedingfield’s “Strip Me,” which I first heard in the movie “Morning Glory,” which I liked better the second time. 🙂

    I’m working on a playlist of my anthems of all time, which is also fun. But I don’t have much time right now, so mostly I just play a handful of songs over and over, which has always been a habit of mine when I really like a song.

    Happy antheming!

  • Toni Dockter February 18, 2011, 2:39 pm

    My anthem is a mixture of Green Day’s “Don’t Want to be an American Idiot;” Springsteen’s “Badlands” (“Keep pushin’ til it’s understood and these badlands keep treating us good”); and Sinatra’s “My Way.”
    Gosh darn it — I’m going to have a successful writing career if it kills me!

  • Anonymous February 18, 2011, 5:03 pm

    Okay, Christina, you’ve done it again. Wrote exactly what I needed to hear.
    I’m in the transition from a very creative-vampire of a day job to
    freelancing full time. The fear some days is dibilitating. I think having an
    anthem (or anthem playlist — even better) is a great idea. Anything to help
    us push that “Counterphobic Response” out and Transform into brave creative
    souls, is worthy on so many levels. I like some of the songs mentioned in the
    comments here, but I also have a few well-placed quotes to go along with that
    music (things from Byron, Nin and Faulkner) that remind me why my passion is
    important. My list may well include Hole, Natasha Bedingfield, Gaga, as well
    as your other readers have indicated, but when I meet some of my task goals
    today, I’ll reward myself with making a playlist and let you know. Thanks

  • Jaymie Dieterle February 18, 2011, 9:06 pm

    It’s My Life – BonJovi.

    This is a fantastic idea and a fantastic post!

  • Dawn Herring February 18, 2011, 9:58 pm

    My anthem would be the song, “This is Your Time” by Michael W. Smith. I love the lyrics: This is your time, this is your dance, live every moment, leave nothing to chance.” That tells me to give my all, my heart, into every thing I do. Perhaps encourage others to live their own dance!! I love the message!

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring

  • Anonymous February 21, 2011, 1:27 am

    I tried it and liked it, Kathleen. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂

  • Anonymous February 21, 2011, 1:28 am

    Thanks, Casondra. Enjoy your playlist. 🙂

  • Anonymous February 21, 2011, 1:28 am

    Thanks, Jaymie. 🙂

  • Anonymous February 21, 2011, 1:28 am

    Thanks, Dawn. It’s good for all of us. 🙂