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I was thinking about Ionia Martin this morning. If you don’t know her, check her out. She’s an inspiration. Recently, Ionia went through major surgery in her ongoing battle against cancer. A few months ago, she ran a marathon. She also runs two amazing blogs, nurtures her children, and never complains – or at least I’ve never heard her complain.

I complain a lot. 

I am not proud of this, but it’s part of my nature. I want things a certain way. Or, to rephrase, I want certainty.

As an artist turned writer, I tend to look beyond surfaces and find the things that might be out of balance. I think if I can spot them, I can do something about them – stabilize what’s wobbly, root out unhealthy growths, or stave off impending disaster. I’m wrong, of course. I know this, but somehow can’t manage to stop myself from digging.

Digging is what creatives do.

We poke, prod, investigate, and connect seemingly random dots to form a picture that reveals a truth. Then we throw our work to the world, demand that people look at what we’ve done, and bare ourselves in the process.

We’re in an almost constant state of vulnerability. 

Lips trembling, stomach flopping, heart pounding terror competes with pride and our growing sense of accomplishment. At times, we feign nonchalance, that media cliché of the artist above or outside the mundane.

This isn’t surprising. Creatives are taught to submit before they’re ever granted an opportunity. Can you imagine submitting to a job interview? The very idea is demeaning, yet creatives submit manuscripts, portfolios, and ideas every day. Send us your submission. Have you submitted for the competition yet?

How much power do we give away?

Ionia is an inspiration precisely because she refuses to give up her power. She speaks her mind, pushes her limits, and plows through things that would make me cave. She says she’s going to kick cancer’s butt. I believe her and I’m cheering her all the way.