As a writer, author and content creator, I spend A LOT of time staring at my computer. I bang away at the keys day after day hoping for a brilliant thought or a least a helpful bit of information for you, my readers. But, as the weather kept me inside last week on the East Coast, I felt the urge to get out of my space and into the world in search of creative inspiration.

I’m a fan of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and have written about her recommendation for periodic “artist dates.” I took her up on it this weekend with a trip to the Delaware Art Museum. It’s not the Louvre, but it is close to home, free on Sundays and it provided me with exactly what I needed — creative inspiration.

I’m not an art aficionado and I don’t know enough about art to pick out the intricacies, but I can relate to the feeling it brings. The featured exhibit this month was Pre-Raphaelite art named such because of the artists’ fondness for style focused on simplicity while a railing against intrusions of the industrial revolution. Of course, that’s not as important as what I read about the artists and the artwork itself. There are three things I took away from my visit.

Community

The Pre-Raphaelite artists formed a community, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They worked together and supported each other, even when the larger artistic community was against them. Although many forms of art are solitary pursuits, these artists found a common bond and succeeded in developing a unique style.

How often do we stay in our own space, afraid or unwilling to gather with others who share our common interests? How much better would it be if we found a community and supported each other on our journey? I thrive in places which focus on shared success. Maybe you do, too. I belong to several organizations and groups both online and in my community like NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and Delaware Writers Network among others.

Supporting another's success won't ever dampen yours

Sense of Purpose

The Pre-Raphaelites were driven by a perceived undoing of art and society and set out to use their talents to influence others. They felt that artistic style was on the wrong track with the coming of artists like Raphael and the emergence of the Renaissance. They also saw the Industrial Revolution as harmful to the natural world. Their art was a throwback to a simpler time and place. (Sound familiar?)

I’m not suggesting you should rail against cell phones and the undoing of society (whatever that means to you). I’m suggesting that we approach our work, our writing with a sense of purpose to make life better, leave a legacy and make our mark on the world. Money is not a clear enough motivator for me and I can ‘t change all of the ills in the world. But, I need to know that what I do makes a difference in people’s lives. Helping people find their words, develop their voice and share it with the world drives me to succeed. Empowering others empowers me.

Does what you do make a difference in people's lives? #purpose #writing Click To Tweet

Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value Albert Einstein

Mentorship

The third thing I found again and again in descriptions of the artwork was a note about who the artist studied under. The artists didn’t become great on their own. They found a teacher, a mentor to show them the finer points of the craft and support them through the process.

I used to try to do it all alone. If I only worked harder. If I only read more. If I only…. But, the reality is, it is hard to do it alone. I have a business mentor who looks out for me and guides me and keeps me on track. I have someone who I can look to for support and who I can look up to. Donna Duffy is successful in her own right and is there for me so I can find my success, too.

I know how hard it is to write a book. I know how hard it is to battle the distractions and uncertainty of the long process.

What you leave behind is not engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others

Who do you lean on for support? Do you have a mentor, coach or accountability partner? Do you have a community that makes you feel like you are part of something bigger?

Leave a comment and share your experience.