Creativity is so iLately, everything I read and listen to discusses the benefits of creativity. Maybe it is self-selection and I am just absorbing podcasts, books, and articles about the topic, but I think there is something in the air.
I don’t know if I would describe myself as a creative person. I am not very good at art although I would very much like to be. I get frustrated doing any sort of artistic DIY project and have given up slash half-heartedly attempted knitting, scrapbooking, and all the other trendy artistic related hobbies people say will benefit your life. I also stopped playing guitar which is one that still bothers me.
Although I am not artistically or musically creative I am beginning to broaden my definition of what creativity looks like. I was certainly a creative child, not the artistic kind, but in the sense that all my childhood memories involved some type of imagining. My mom used to say that I sounded so convincing talking to my imaginary friends when we would drive somewhere that occasionally she would look back in the car to confirm there was no one there. I had imaginary friends, worlds, and detailed plot lines. I used to sit in the wardrobe in my room and convince myself that it felt cold and I was going to be able to walk into Narnia. I talked to a magnolia tree in our backyard (likely due to lack of friends) and would sit on the big branch singing and talking to the buds.
As I got older my imagination had to invent new ways to keep busy (since it was no longer acceptable to talk to magnolia trees) so it got busy imagining drastic situations occurring that had no basis in reality. This was problematic because my imagination is so convincing it was easy to forget that it was inventing its own stories about the future. In an effort to keep that imaginative child alive and keep my adult imagination busy on positive things I am determined to try out this whole “creative lifestyle.”
Writing has always been my creative outlet. I remember when I was around ten I wrote stories about this character Izzy and her large family. I feel happy thinking about how much I loved it. I have also always loved writing letters and emails. One of my favorite gifts was when my mom made me a binder of all of the emails I wrote to her from my study abroad in Argentina. I wrote detailed emails about loneliness, uncomfortable situations, new friendships, and exciting adventures. I think about it now and realize that students who study abroad no longer have that excitement because everyone has wifi and it is too easy to just connect anytime. They do not have the feeling of waiting for the computer in a youth hostel with such excitement simply to read and write emails. I am fairly certain I almost got in fights with people who took “too long” when I was counting down the minutes to hear from family and friends in the states.
For my second big adventure abroad instead of long emails I wrote blog posts. I had the same fulfillment in being able to write about my embarrassing moments, the people I was meeting, and again the loneliness.
So even if no one reads my posts and I am not sharing adventures from Manchu Picchu or a safari in Kenya I will keep blogging. I will refrain from judging what I write and whether people will like it and remember that this is not a chore or a job, but is something I need to do to keep being me.
- The New York Public Library Podcast, “Moth on the Power of Storytelling” (made me smile and gave me goose bumps – my favorite quote, “stories are magic”)
- Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic
- Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast of the same title
- Tim Ferriss Interviews with BJ Novak and his one with Rainn Wilson (guess he was on an Office tribute?)