Friday, October 11, 2013

Thoughts on Creativity

I don’t know why I never broke down in the past and just bought a voice recorder. I occasionally have great ideas and can’t reach the computer to get them down or other things keep me from writing them down, and then they’re gone forever. What follows is a train of thought that I recorded while I was driving (with all the “um”s and “you know,”s taken out). I didn't delete any thoughts, and only changed a few of the words here and there so it made more sense while still preserving the original intent.

Sometimes I feel as though creativity comes in spurts… or that creativity is limited.
Sometimes I feel spectacularly lazy. I don’t write or make or create anything for days, and then I remember that I have the ability, or I remember that I have a good idea or I suddenly come up with something amazing and I create.
Those times are hard, because creativity doesn't always come to me at an opportune moment. Sometimes I’m at work and I have to pay attention to other people and other things when all I really want to do is sit down and write or make something with my hands. Sometimes it’s 3 in the morning and I wake up and I think, “how am I gonna remember this? I just wanna sleep…” but my creativity pushes me to go. Sometimes I’m finished with all my work and I’m planning to have a leisurely evening watching television or spending time with my family and all of a sudden I get a terrible awesome idea and then I have to spend the rest of the night getting it down. I don’t want to lose those times of creativity, but they’re not always convenient.
It’s hard to be a creative person. You always want to create, but you’re not always able. Especially in those times when your desire to produce something is greater than your creative flow is willing to give. I combat that with internet flash games, which is not always good because though I get distracted enough from the push to create that my creative juices start flowing again, then I’m like, “Well I’m right in the middle of playing this game, so I might as well finish it,” and then I don’t end up getting anything done.
I don’t want to be seen as a lazy person; I want to always be working, but it’s not as easy as being an accountant, when you always have numbers to work with, or being a builder, when you always have things to construct. You might get a creative spurt while you’re driving home from your mom’s house, and not able to have that computer right in front of you to write down all the words that you want, and Google's voice to text thing is not the greatest for putting down your thoughts, so you randomly download a voice recorder. (Sometimes that happens.)
Maybe creative types need downtime and laziness to recuperate their creative flow. Like if our muse was active all the time, we would run out of creativity and then not have any more ever again. Maybe that’s what happens when we hit writer’s block or have a sudden impulse to just disengage and play a dating sim for three hours… or the rest of the day.
Non-creative types don’t understand that; they’re like, “why aren't you working?” Well, it’s a terrible excuse, but “I don’t feel like it right now!” You can’t force creativity. You can’t say, “Okay, now I’m going to write a bestselling novel,” unless you’re somebody like… I dunno, Stephen King? I’m sure Stephen King gets writer’s block. People who consume our creativity don’t have the same viewpoint as we do, since we are the ones creating. We’re the ones who spent the time to sit there, and have the wonderful ideas at 10:45 right before we were going to go to bed and actually get a night of sleep for once. They’re just like, “write, write, write, we wanna hear the next part of the story!” Well, the next part of the story is still being worked on the back of my head, so I have to distract myself by doing anything but that. It can be frustrating because they don’t understand that you can’t just be awesome and hilarious all the time, or have amazing story lines and new interesting tidbits about your characters all the time. Those are the things that you have to wait on to come to you.
I try to be productive during the lazy times, but it’s hard not to feel bad. I’m sitting here not doing anything, I’m supposed to be writing, but… I’m not. And I don’t know how I can convince myself that I really am doing something; I’m not getting words on the page, but I am being productive in some way, because I’m giving myself time to step back from my work and think about what could happen next, or just my mind wander. It’s sort of like free writing, only… you’re not… writing. “Freeing” your mind from the stresses of having to work on a project, and think about “now I have to do this” and “now I have to do that” and “I have to remember that I can’t forget this part, and this part” and “I was gonna put that in there,” and so just hanging out and doing nothing is sometimes the most productive thing you can do when you’re working on a project, because it allows you to step back. You might not think of that brilliant idea because you were so into the project that you couldn't see anything but what was in front of you.
It’s hard to be creative. I love it. I don’t think I would ever wanna go do anything else… plus I get to hang out and do nothing sometimes! (Ha ha!)

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