“Make what you love and love what you make.” These are the words on a piece of paper sitting on my desk as I write this. A reminder to pursue creativity and to just simply... start.
Hey there, my name is Hannah-Grace. As a writer, occasional musician, songwriter, storyteller, and photographer, I am most at home and alive when doing those things. However, I also struggle with just that, making time and space to sit down and create.
This has led to me wrestling with the question of “Why is it so hard to pursue what I love?” and “What is the purpose of this art if it never goes anywhere?” And instead of facing these questions and creating through this tension, I’ve been in hiding.
I've been running from the ways I was made to create. From the work it takes to bring out that beauty I see in the world around me. From who I was made to be...
I bought a guitar at sixteen, then let it sit there while my passion to learn faded. By the time I tried self teaching videos and eventually lessons, I wasn't ready to start back at square one with learning an instrument.
Senior year of high school I took a songwriting class, and it took me until the day before, staying up all hours to actually finish my projects. Writing and playing for others felt daunting. Fear over opinions and other’s comments and the pressure of deadlines made me question my creativity, rather then embracing the opportunity to grow.
I often forget my love for the arts and feel frustrated with the whole creative process. I fear a lack of originality. Instead of letting the fact that others are also expressing these truths push me to do it in a unique way and treasure it, instead of pushing myself to get better, I spend my time comparing and let that steal my joy. I get disillusioned. I wonder what the worth of this is.
What if no one ever reads it, listens...cares? Will I choose to believe that creating to reflect my Creator is enough? Will I keep choosing that everyday?
And then I come back. Five minutes on guitar turns to thirty, simple piano songs learned long ago resound in my soul, lyrics perfectly capturing and expressing emotions make me feel alive, the beauty I see with my eyes freezes on the camera lens, concerts feel like home. I choose to sit and let every thought flow out, and as it does, it’s like the world becomes a little brighter and I feel like my heart is where it’s supposed to be.
Often, the results aren’t what I expected or envisioned. The projects appear to be so far from finished. But it’s a start, and from that initial spark so much more can follow. And while it may never go far, I can’t ignore or shake the burning feeling that I must create. Though it is challenging, there is a beauty and joy from doing it, and that alone is rewarding and makes it worth it. So I will continue to find space, to push myself to grow on the difficult days, and to remember how much I love it deep down. To keep making what I love and starting to truly love what I make, because I was designed by my Creator to do just that.
I love that Dead Last is all about this, all about encouraging creativity and community. A place where we can all keep growing and find inspiration through the work of others.
Keep creating friends,