Friday, January 22, 2016

On being creative

Until not too long ago I wouldn't have said that I am a particularly creative person. I don't paint, or write poetry or play music, I was doing my English Lit degree which required me to read lots and structure my thinking in a certain way, but I wouldn't have classified that as creative.

How ever, since I finished uni and settled into working life back in London I do sometimes feel a sneaking dissatisfaction which is hard to place a finger on. It's not that I don't like my work, I do, I get the opportunity to write and play with language and tone of voice which is something I've always enjoyed, but then why the niggling feeling?

The answer, I think, is lack of creativity. I was wrong when I thought that my degree wasn't creative, every essay I wrote was on a subject that I chose myself after being inspired by some passage or theme in the texts that I studied, which was more often than not on a completely different thought tangent than what we had explored in seminars (my dissertation title was "'Moist caves' and 'bloody chambers': Representation of the female adolescent body in modern horror and gothic"!). Doing this satisfied a need to think in an unbounded and imaginative way. Creativity can be found in so many things - Exploring Colorado and experiencing the raw natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains was creative, keeping a diary - which I did for years and years - was creative. Cooking, putting on make up, blogging or choosing what to wear are all creative activities if you make an effort to think outside the box, push comfort zones, and try new things.

People are, inherently, creative. We are not designed to be automatons, we're supposed to be challenged and stimulated. And so, I've realised that what I'm feeling, despite being generally happy, is a need to break out of the box, to be stimulated and feel like I am exploring and expressing myself somehow.

I (like most people) spend the majority of my time at work, and even though I get to write, I don't really have an opportunity to express myself. It's not just what we do to make money that can stifle our creativity, life in general gets in the way. Going to the pub or a bar with friends, Netflix and social media are all things that get prioritised in the day-to-day.

So despite work and life, I need to work out a way to break this cycle.

I am a creative person, and I need to find space in my life for creating.

Because monotony, it turns out, is really boring.

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