I used to love writing, did it almost everyday for three years and then stress and daily chores took over. The problem was that my creativity got lost in the process.
Well, not lost, it was always there in the back of my mind coming up with great ideas and plans but I chose to ignore them.
It (aka Creativity) got annoyed with me pretty quickly. Some people bottle up emotions (I am quite good at that as well), I bottled up my creativity so I could focus on my studies and work that I had categorised as more important. That was a big mistake. Creativity should never be bottled up. It should be expressed and shared. It balances the daily stress and frowns with bright laughter and colour. Life appears more vibrant.
Words are flowing in a constant stream, forming ideas and projects.
Things wanting to be realised and appreciated.
Things that could change your life or that of others if you were to realise them.
Creativity, be silent, please! I need to focus on important things!
I do not know at what point I decided to ignore my creativity. It was not very wise and I usually pride myself on being that when I throw hilarious pearls of wisdom at my friends who laugh at me with amused snorts and pet my shoulder good-naturedly.
When do we decide that creativity is distracting?
Probably when we think we should spend more time doing something we are not one hundred percent passionate about. At least I think that’s what happened to me. I had a whirlwind of ideas in my head that distracted me from my work and I thought by putting my creativity aside, just for a few hours, would help me finally focus on my deadlines. Hours turned into days and then into months. I stopped writing, I stopped singing, cooking, photography… There was a void and I thought I could fill it with work but that was a big mistake. The creativity void is heart-shaped, a book will not fill it, neither will an essay on business theory. It took me a while to understand that.
What I had labelled as important at the time was not important weeks later. It is how a lot of things work in life. You stress about a project for days to get it over with and in the end it did not cost you your first born child. It did not even have a great impact on your life. You just thought it would.
Your creativity is pissed off at that point. You have been ignoring it, stuffing it into the back of your drawer with old t-shirts and collectibles. Maybe it even got a bit dusty. It lets out a frustrated huff as you start on a new project for work or university to fill the heart-shaped void.
This can go on forever. A circle of never-ending, monotonous activities ensue and it slowly dawns on you that something is wrong. As a creative person you long to create and change. Develop and express… but suddenly you have forgotten how. Writers may call it writers’ block. Artists may face a white canvas, whatever it is you normally do to let your creative juices flow. It suddenly does not work anymore. You feel broken. Is there a repair shop?
The moment of realisation. You are frustrated at this point, you know something is missing from your life. You feel out of balance and have an urgent need to express something in any way possible. Some day it clicks.
Remember when you splashed colour around your living-room?
Or when you lost your voice because you were singing at the top of your lungs for hours?
It’s like someone shattered a window and you suddenly understand. The creativity starts rummaging through your old clothes causing havoc. You hurry over to your drawer and finally release it. Everything that you held caged in explodes in the form of a colourful, bright, happy fountain. Let’s call this event, inspiration. It bubbles and bursts out of you. Don’t be surprised to find yourself giggling. As a creative person your moods can very much correspond to your creativity.
And right then, at that moment, you were beyond happy.
What a bliss to release your obsession with what work, society or ‘you’ expect of you. It does not matter. What matters is that you open the cage that you have built for your creativity. A gleaming, golden cage with pretty ornaments because… let’s be honest… your creativity is unique!
The powerful feeling in your chest is back as your fingers hit the keyboards of your laptop, as the paintbrush dances across the white canvas or the perfect tone comes out of your mouth to create a mesmerising concoction of sounds.
Living and loving creativity involves all your senses.
If I were dramatic I would say it is like being reborn. Who are we kidding? I am dramatic.
So, let’s rediscover our creativity. Let it out and frolic around on the green or inside your house.
Wherever creativity strikes you: let it out, appreciate it and enjoy the fantastic revelations it will present to you. In the end, your creativity is a reflection of your true inner life that is very undervalued in our society. So why hide it in a drawer? Share its beauty and uniqueness, it will not distract you or bring you off your path. It will enhance your experiences, turn them from black and white into a masterpiece of art.